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Cravens wins prestigious Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing

April 24, 2014

Tulane 3L Annalisa Cravens has won a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.

Tulane 3L Annalisa Cravens has won a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing.

Soon-to-be graduate Annalisa Cravens has been selected for a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive honors in legal writing.

Cravens, who is completing a law degree and a master’s in Latin American Studies, was one of 15 students chosen by a committee that includes some of the nation’s leading legal scholars. All U.S. law schools can nominate one piece of student writing.

The awards ceremony is a black-tie gala, scheduled for June 9 at the Library of Congress, with a performance by comedian Jay Leno.

Cravens’ winning Tulane Law Review comment, “ ‘This Is Not the System Congress Created’: Rethinking Louisiana’s Immigration Law After Arizona v. United States,” argues that Louisiana’s Prevention of Terrorism on the Highways Act, which makes it a felony to drive while in the United States illegally, is an improper state foray into immigration regulation. While the piece was going to press in Volume 88, Issue 1 of the law review, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that federal law preempted the statute.

The Burton Awards are celebrating their 15th year honoring achievements in the legal profession, with a focus on promoting clear legal writing. Along with the students, the nonprofit Burton Foundation, in association with the Library of Congress, also honors excellence in writing by practicing lawyers. And this year, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is being presented a Reform in Law Award for his efforts to make sure that immigrants in the legal system have representation.

The writing awards recognize articles that “demonstrate creativity, knowledge and know-how” and that “display true understanding and mastery of the law and contribute to the field’s need for clarity and reform in writing.”

Cravens, who is from Madison, Wisconsin, received her undergraduate degree from Tulane. During law school, she worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in an immigration clinic, volunteered with the Public Interest Law Foundation and completed an externship with Judge James L. Dennis on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She also was the Tulane Law Review’s senior articles editor.

After graduation, she’ll start a year-long judicial clerkship with U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman in New Orleans and then plans to work as a litigator at New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

“We’re very proud of Annalisa’s outstanding accomplishments,” Dean David Meyer said.  “She is already making her mark in the profession.”
 

 
   


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