Thursday, May 7, 2015

Andrea Miller ('15) Wins Burton Award for Legal Writing

We are very proud to announce that graduate student Andrea Miller (Social Psychology program, advised by Gene Borgida and Chris Federico) has won the Burton Award for Legal Writing. This is a prestigious award that Andrea has received for a law review paper that brings social psychology to the area of family responsibility discrimination law. Congratulations to Andrea on this achievement!

APRIL 16, 2015 - The Burton Foundation has announced that Andrea Miller ('15) is the winner of a 2015 Distinguished Legal Writing Award—one of just 10 students from U.S. law schools to be so honored. Miller is both a J.D. candidate at the Law School and a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Minnesota's Department of Psychology. Her winning paper is entitled "The Separate Spheres Ideology: An Improved Empirical and Litigation Approach to Family Responsibilities Discrimination."

"Andrea's article is another great example of the excellence of the Law School's writing program," said Professor Brad Clary ('75), who selected Miller's paper for submission. "It's well-researched and well-analyzed. It gets to the point, and it talks about things that matter."

In discussing her article, Miller explained that family responsibilities discrimination "is discrimination on the basis of a person's real or perceived caregiving responsibilities. Although it is sex discrimination under Title VII, it receives inconsistent treatment in federal courts. My paper argues that the separates spheres model of discrimination can help the courts to adopt a more coherent, evidence-based understanding of family responsibilities discrimination—which can affect men as well as women—and empower employers to prevent such discrimination in the workplace."

Miller graduated magna cum laude from New York University in 2009. After completing her J.D. and Ph.D. this academic year, she will be a doctoral fellow at the American Bar Foundation. She is a managing editor on the Minnesota Law Review, a student instructor of legal research and writing, a Robina Public Interest Scholar, and president of the University of Minnesota chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice. She has worked as a research intern for Minnesota Women Lawyers, as a law clerk for Gender Justice, and as a law intern for the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Miller will receive her Burton Award at the foundation's annual gala, to be held June 15 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. United States Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will also feature a performance by Kristin Chenoweth, winner of both Emmy and Tony awards.

The Burton Foundation was established by William C. Burton, a former New York state assistant attorney general and a strong advocate of plain language in legal writing. In the 16 years that the foundation has sponsored its highly regarded national legal writing awards program, the Law School has had 8 student winners.

Miller is the Law School's eighth student winner in the sixteen years of the competition. The seven previous legal writing honorees are: Phillip Walters ('12), Eva B. Stensvad ('11), Noreen E. Johnson ('09), Emily C. Melvin ('08), Dan Robinson ('07), David Leishman ('06), and Kari M. Dahlin ('01).