The 2008 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award Recipient

The Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute jointly presented the Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award to Diana V. Pratt, Director of Legal Writing at Wayne State University from 1983 until 2007. The award was presented in New York City.

Dr. Pratt received her A.B. degree from Radcliffe College, both her M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, and her J.D. from the University of Michigan. Diana Pratt is best known for her pioneering legal writing text, Legal Writing: A Systematic Approach, first published by West and in continuous print since 1989.

During her 26 years at Wayne State, Diana Pratt established an excellent program and mentored all who instructed under her tutelage with the skill and care that is her hallmark. As Director, Dr. Pratt successfully campaigned to have the six-year cap for instructors removed. The program now grants its legal writing professors a series of presumptively renewable three-year contracts.

Diana Pratt has tirelessly devoted herself to the profession of legal writing on the national scene as well. She has served in all the offices and as Chair of the AALS Section of Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research, and has served on the LWI’s Board of Directors for seven years. She has also been an Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.

A frequent speaker at LWI conferences, Diana Pratt joined with Grace Tonner at the University of Michigan on two occasions to host the LWI Conference at Michigan.