The 2004 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award Recipient
The 2004 Thomas F. Blackwell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing was presented to Pamela Lysaght of the University of Detroit, Mercy School of Law by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute.
Pam is the director of the Applied Legal Theory and Analysis Program at Detroit-Mercy, which integrates legal theory, legal doctrine, and legal skills, and she is the principal author of the teaching materials it uses. She also developed the school’s Writing Across the Curriculum program.
Pam is a founding member of ALWD, served as its President in 2000-2001. During her presidency, ALWD hosted a pathbreaking conference entitled “Erasing Lines: Integrating the Law School Curriculum.” The conference was perhaps the first national gathering to discuss merging doctrine and skills courses as part of an effort to chart the future of legal education. It was also the first conference to bring together Legal Writing professors, other law professors, dean, and judges to talk to one another about their common interests in improving the legal profession. The conference also sparked the first issue of the Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors, which was devoted to the conference proceedings.
Pam has been active in both ALWD and LWI, where she has chaired the Plagiarism Committee. She has often made presentations at the conferences of both groups. She also serves on the Plain English Committee of the State Bar of Michigan and on the Communication Skills Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. She has been a leader in the effort to improve ABA accreditation standards to reflect the contributions of legal writing faculty to legal education. She is also the co-author, with Brad Clary, of Successful Legal Analysis and Writing: The Fundamentals.