Students Receive Legal Practice Excellence Awards

Twelve second-year law students were recently honored with the law school’s annual Carmody MacDonald Legal Practice Excellence Awards for their exceptional performance in Legal Practice as first-year students. Each recipient was recognized for drafting high-quality memoranda and briefs in his or her section and for significantly contributing to the class as a first-year law student

The 2011 recipients are John Galanek, Anne Legomsky, David Collier, Scott Dubois, Zoran Tasic, Cameron Stanton, James Goodenberger, Caitlin Hartsell, Shaun Broeker, Lily Kurland, Mary Schlapprizzi, and Stephen Harrison

Dean Kent Syverud and Mark Hillis, former Washington University Law visiting assistant professor and an attorney with Carmody MacDonald in St. Louis, addressed the recipients about the importance of clear and persuasive writing in the legal practice. Syverud, Hillis, and Jo Ellen Lewis, professor of practice and director of the school’s Legal Practice Program, presented the students with certificates at an early evening ceremony held in the Crowder Courtyard. Members of the Carmody MacDonald firm and Legal Practice faculty also joined in congratulating the award recipients.

Hillis stressed the importance of attorneys writing in such a way that the recipient will understand the communication--one free of jargon and one that briefly and clearly states the point. He noted that good communication skills help not only with addressing legal problems, but also with client cultivation. Additionally, Hillis encouraged the law students to find their own voice and to speak and write in a fashion that is professional, yet comfortable for them.