The 2011 Presentation of the Brill Award
On January 7, 2011, the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) awarded the “Brill” Award to IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Ralph L. Brill in recognition of his more than 50 years of service in the legal academy and to Legal Writing specifically.
Professor Brill received the first Brill Award at the ALWD/LWI Awards Reception held during the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting in San Francisco. Subsequent awards will be given periodically to honor those in the legal academy who, for 50 years or more, have assisted their colleagues and students in mastering legal analysis, research, and writing.
Brill, who has become synonymous with activism in Legal Writing, attended the University of Illinois Law School and began teaching Legal Writing at the University of Michigan in 1960. He has been a faculty member at Chicago-Kent since 1961, and established its three year Legal Writing program in 1978.
Brill has been on the Boards of the Legal Writing Institute as well as ALWD. He is past chair of the AALS Section on Legal Writing as well as one of the authors of the First Sourcebook on Legal Writing. He was a previous recipient of the AALS Section Award, the Thomas F. Blackwell Award, the Terri LeClercq Courage Award, and the William F. Burton “Legends in the Law” Award. Brill was very active in lobbying the ABA to grant Legal Writing professors a higher level of status and security in 1996, and remains active in any issue involving the potential diminishment of status and security for Legal Writing professionals.