Leitch '12 wins Burton Legal Writing Award

June 6, 2012Duke Law News

Bryan Leitch ’12 will receive the 2012 Burton Legal Writing Award at a black-tie ceremony at the Library of Congress on June 11. Leitch is being honored for his article, “Where Law Meets Politics: Freedom of Contract, Federalism, and the Fight Over Health Care,” 27 J. L. & Pol. 177 (2011).

The Burton Awards reward major achievements in the law ranging from excellence in writing to significant initiatives in law reform. Supported by the nonprofit Burton Foundation, the writing awards recognize outstanding articles by practicing lawyers and law students “which are clear, concise, and comprehensive,” according to the foundation’s website. They are selected by a panel of academics, jurists, and public servants.

One of 15 honorees in the “Law School” category, Leitch wrote his paper relating to federalism and the constitutionality of health care reform as a 2L. He subsequently won the Law School’s 2011 faculty award for legal writing.

"Bryan wrote the best paper I have ever supervised,” said Professor Neil Siegel, a constitutional law scholar and director of the Program in Public Law who has focused much of his recent scholarship on the constitutionality of health care reform. “Before many seasoned academics saw clearly, Bryan insightfully mapped the ragged and blurry boundary between constitutional politics and constitutional law in the ongoing controversy over health care reform. I am proud of him, and I am proud to be part of a school that produces young lawyers like him."

Last September, Leitch presented his paper at a Duke Law conference entitled “Constitutional Challenges to the Affordable Care Act: Ideas from the Academy.”

Other News
  • Environmental Law and Policy Clinic comments on proposed international regulations for mining the ocean floor

    The Environmental Law and Policy Clinic weighed in on the first-ever regulations proposed for mineral exploitation of the ocean floor in June, emphasizing the need to protect deep-sea biodiversity and ecosystem function.  Little is known about life in the deep sea, a region scientists have only recently begun to explore, but discoveries over the past few years by Duke scientists and others have provided glimpses of an astonishing range of biodiversity — including unique life forms thriving in super-heated thermal vent environments. 

  • Susan Akers JD/MEM ’91

    After majoring in biology at Wake Forest University, Susan Akers broke new ground for Duke Law students by pairing her JD studies with the pursuit of a graduate degree in environmental management from the Duke School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (now called the Nicholas School of the Environment).