2017 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award

Melissa Weresh

Melissa Weresh is a Professor of Law at Drake University Law School and one of the brightest stars in the legal writing field.

Professor Weresh has dedicated her twenty-year career to the study and teaching of legal writing. Professor Weresh has been a consistent leader and voice for the legal writing community. Among her many roles, she has served as the President of the Legal Writing Institute, a member of the Editorial Board of Legal Communication and Rhetoric: J. ALWD, and chair of the AALS Teaching Methods Section.

Through her scholarship, Professor Weresh is a strong advocate for ethics and professionalism instruction and for security of position and tenure for legal writing professors. She has also influenced the content of legal writing courses nationwide by authoring two books for first-year students: Legal Writing: Ethical and Professionalism Considerations and Iowa Legal Research. Moreover, Professor Weresh has twice been an invited scholar in residence and in 2009 received the Warren E. Burger Prize from the American Inns of Court. Professor Weresh’s leading work on learning outcome measurement has influenced the way law schools respond to new ABA standards.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Professor Weresh’s nominators recognized that “each time Mel stands before colleagues at a conference presentation, we see again what an outstanding teacher she is. She is creative, engaging, demanding, and supportive.” ALWD and LWI are proud to present the Blackwell Award to Professor Weresh.