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Tulane Law students win national writing awards

April 25, 2017


Amanda Crawford (L ’17) won a national Burton Award for legal writing for her article on the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone.


Allison Skopec (center, L ’18), winner of the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee/Gard student writing competition, is joined by Chaffe McCall associate Laura Beck Knoll (L ’15) and Ray Waid (L ’07), a Liskow & Lewis shareholder and committee chair.

Amanda Crawford (L ’17) has won a Burton Award for legal writing, the third Tulane Law winner in four years in the highly competitive program that celebrates writing in the legal profession.

Allison Skopec (L ’18) has won the law student writing competition sponsored by the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and Gard (North America), a major New York-based maritime insurer.

Both Crawford and Skopec are accomplished students leaders involved in a wide range of academic and service activities.

Crawford is a Tulane Law Review notes and comments editor, and her Burton-winning article, “Nutrient Pollution and the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone: Will Des Moines Water Works be a Turning Point?” was published in the journal.

Only 10 law students each year from across the United States receive a Burton Award, this year renamed the Law360 Distinguished Legal Writing Award. The nonprofit Burton Foundation created the program, which is run with the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the ABA. The writing judges include professors from Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley law schools.

Winners are to be recognized at a May 22 gala at the Library of Congress, highlighted by an interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Crawford, who’s from Delaware, has been a student-attorney representing clients through the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic; treasurer of the Environmental & Energy Law Society; an academic tutor; and a teacher in the TaxJazz project, which teaches tax literacy to high school students. She hopes to practice environmental law and plans to start at Venable’s Washington, D.C., office in the fall.  

Tulane Law’s previous Burton student award winners were Annalisa Cravens (L ’14) and Laura Cannon (L ’16).

Skopec’s award comes with a $1,000 prize and an August visit to Gard’s New York office, where she’ll receive a general primer on maritime insurance and give a presentation of her paper. She’ll also attend an ABA conference later in the year. Her article, “Learning to Love Blockchain Schooner Rather Than Later: Streamlining the Container Shipping Industry in the Wake of the Glencore Heist,” will be published in the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee newsletter.

Among other activities, Skopec has been president of Tulane’s Public Interest Law Foundation, Tulane Maritime Law Journal senior online editor and a student-attorney in the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic. She plans to work at Winston & Strawn’s New York office in the summer.


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