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Kaufman & Canoles recognizes first-year students for legal writing

  • Writing awards 2013
    Writing awards 2013
    Celebrating the 2013 Kaufman & Canoles Writing Awards on April 18 were Alison V. Lennarz (of counsel, Kaufman & Canoles), Dustin Devore '01 (partner, Kaufman & Canoles), Sean Campbell '15, Debra Wong '15, Aaron Gold '15, and Greg Davis '86 (managing partner, Kaufman & Canoles).
    Photo by David F. Morrill

It’s never too early to bring home the legal awards, and, thanks to excellent writing skills, that’s just what three first-year law students have done at William & Mary. Debra Wong ’15, Aaron Gold ’15, and Sean Campbell ’15 were recently announced as winners of the 2013 Kaufman & Canoles Writing Prizes, awarded each year for outstanding performance in William & Mary Law School’s Legal Practice Program.

The students received their awards at a luncheon held in April at the Law School. On hand from Kaufman & Canoles were Alison V. Lennarz, of counsel; Dustin Devore ’01, partner in the firm’s Williamsburg office; and Greg Davis ’86, managing partner of the Williamsburg office and a member of the firm’s executive committee.

Wong, who hails from Needham, Mass., was named first-place winner for Best Overall Brief. Her writing instructor, Rachel J. Suddarth, praised her emergence as a strong writer on the first assignment and credited her with since becoming “a phenomenal legal writer.”

Earning second place for Best Plaintiff Brief was Gold, from Mount Olive, N.J. Writing instructor Jennifer S. Stevenson described him as “the most serious and committed law student,” one who regularly gets to the Law School at 4:30 a.m., and whose professionalism will serve him well in a law career.

And Campbell, a native of Visalia, Calif., took third place with Best Defense Brief. According to Associate Dean Robert E. Kaplan, Campbell’s precise writing, strong word choice, and tight and well-reasoned analysis were instrumental in his receiving the award.

Davis, who is not only an alumnus of the Law School but also aformer adjunct faculty member, said that Kaufman & Canoles is proud of its 30-year association with William & Mary.

“Having a relationship where we’re known at William & Mary is very important to us,” he said. “We want the word to get out to students that we’re supporters of the law school and of students who have interest in varied practice.”

Jennifer Franklin, assistant director of William & Mary’s Legal Practice Program, offered thanks to Kaufman & Canoles for making the annual awards possible.

“It means a lot to the school to have your involvement and to encourage the good writing that we’ve seen,”  she said.