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Faculty Making the Grade

Louis Sirico

At the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, our world-class faculty create a cutting-edge learning environment that prepares students for practice and inspires them to find their place within the profession.

One of Villanova Law’s remarkable faculty members is Professor Louis J. Sirico Jr. He’s taught generations of students the invaluable art and science of legal writing since joining the faculty in 1984. Described by colleagues as a “giant in the legal writing community,” Sirico has been recognized for contributions to the field. And now he’s adding another honor to the list.

Sirico was recently named the 2016 recipient of the Burton Award for “Contributions to Legal Writing Education,” one of the profession’s most prestigious honors. The award—presented by the Burton Award program’s Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing and Education Committee—is bestowed upon the finest law school teacher who has promoted and advanced legal writing. Sirico will receive his award at the 17th Anniversary Burton Awards Program and Gala at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2016.

The Burton Awards are funded by the Burton Foundation, a nonprofit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has focused primarily on the refinement and enrichment of legal writing and other major legal accomplishments. The program honors those in the legal profession who use plain, clear and concise language in their writing.

Sirico previously received the 2007 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Legal Writing, the highest honor bestowed by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute.

He is co-author of two popular Legal Writing texts—Legal Writing and Other Lawyering Skills and Persuasive Legal Writing. He served as technical editor for the first edition of Best Practices for Legal Education and has authored numerous law review articles. 

Sirico has chaired the Sections on Teaching Methods and on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research of the Association of American Law Schools. He continues to lead and coordinate multi-day workshops designed to assist Legal Writing professors develop quality scholarship. He regularly makes presentations at national Legal Writing conferences.

The co-editor of the Legal Skills Prof Blog, Sirico currently serves on the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Plain English Committee and on the Advisory Board of the Villanova University Paralegal Program.

Click here to learn more about Villanova Law’s Duane Morris LLP Legal Writing Program.