Rutgers Law Professor Ruth Anne Robbins is the recipient of the 2023 Thomas F. Blackwell Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Legal Writing. The honor is awarded by the Association of Legal Writing Directors and the Legal Writing Institute (LWI). The Thomas F. Blackwell Award is presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to improve the field of legal writing by demonstrating an ability to nurture and motivate students to excellence; a willingness to help other legal writing educators improve their teaching skills or their legal writing programs; and an ability to create and integrate new ideas for teaching and motivating legal writing educators and students.
Prof. Robbins is a Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School in Camden, where she has taught since 1997. She is a Past President of LWI and a longtime Board member of "Legal Communication and Rhetoric: JALWD," currently serving as Editor-in-Chief Emeritus. She is also a co-founder of the Applied Legal Storytelling International Conferences, co-sponsored by LWI and the Clinical Legal Education Association.
Called “the consummate teacher” by her nominators, Prof. Robbins is a four-time recipient of Rutgers’s Lawyering Professor of the Year Award and, in 2018, Rutgers awarded her the prestigious Lindback Foundation Teaching Award. She is also a prolific scholar and a dedicated leader and mentor. In the words of her nominators, “Few members of the legal writing community have made so many far-reaching contributions to our field as Ruth Anne Robbins. She has been a leader in helping individual members of our community, as well as our collective group, succeed. Through her leadership roles and committee work, she has raised the profile of our membership and helped professors across the country excel in both teaching and scholarship. Moreover, she has been a thoughtful leader on the cutting edge of legal writing scholarship and pedagogy.”
The Blackwell Award Reception to celebrate Prof. Robbins will be held at the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting in San Diego in January.