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Tulane Law Grad Wins Prestigious Burton Award

May 18, 2018

Coleman and Scalise

Third-year law student Coleman Torrans (left) is one of 15 students from top law schools around the nation to win the prestigious Burton Award for legal writing. It’s the third straight year that a Tulane student has won the award.

For the third straight year, a Tulane law student has won the Burton Award honoring the finest legal writers around the country.

Coleman Torrans, a third-year law student and the Senior Articles Editor of the Tulane Law Review, is one of just 15 student writers from the top law schools in the country to receive the honor. He will receive his award May 21, the 19th anniversary of the event, at the Library of Congress. The program will be followed by a reception, dinner, a gala and a performance by Broadway stars from the hit musical Wicked.

“Coleman is an exceptionally gifted writer, said Ron Scalise, the A.D. Freeman Professor of Civil Law at Tulane and the faculty advisor to the Law Review.  “I’m very happy to see his hard work and efforts rewarded with this prestigious recognition.  It’s richly deserved.”

Torrans won for his article, "How Did They Know That? Cell Site Simulators and the Secret Invasion of Privacy."

The Burton Awards are presented to the top student legal writers around the country annually, and whose nominations are submitted by their respective law schools. This year, Torrans receives the award alongside students from Stanford, Yale, Georgetown and Emory universities.  The non-profit program is run in association with the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. They are presented by sponsor Law360.

William Burton, The Founder and Chair of the program, said “The winners are outstanding, highly skilled, and effective writers, and the competition was acutely keen. The Law360 Writing Awards winners have now attained a new and even higher standard of excellence.”

Torrans, from Fairhope, Ala., received his undergraduate degree in psychology from Tulane in 2014 before attending law school. In addition to his work with the Law Review, the flagship publication of the law school, he is a Senior Fellow to the Tulane Legal Research & Writing Department. He has performed service work as a student attorney for the Tulane Criminal Justice Clinic, representing indigent criminal defendants in New Orleans.

In his last year at Tulane, Torrans has been awarded the prestigious John Minor Wisdom Award. It is given annually to the outstanding JD candidate who has demonstrated excellence in academic work and in writing ability, has contributed selflessly to the law school community, and who has accepted a federal or state judicial clerkship after graduation. Torrans has accepted a clerking position with U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier at the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Also, he was one of the recipients of the Robert E. Friedman Law Review Award, given for his submission of one of the best comments appearing in the current volume of the Tulane Law Review.


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