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UMass Law student wins 2017 Burton award for legal scholarship

Third-year law student Mary Chaffee wins “2017 Distinguished Legal Writing Award” from Burton Awards for Legal Achievement

Law student Mary Chaffee, '17

Third-year law student Mary Chaffee won a “2017 Distinguished Legal Writing Award” from the board of directors of the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement. 

Chaffee’s publication, “Extracting Medical Injury Information from the Legal System to Improve Patient Safety in the Health System: A Social Utility Approach,” was one of only 10 student-authored publications to be selected from entries from many of the nation’s law schools. She will receive the award at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in May 2017. 

Chaffee’s note, published in the spring 2016 issue of the UMass Law Review, was completed as part of her work as an associate editor of the journal. Judge George Jacobs, a member of the UMass Law faculty, served as Chaffee’s advisor on the paper.

“Judge Jacobs was an expert mentor whose feedback and wisdom was valuable throughout development of the manuscript,” Chaffee said.

Another scholarly work of Chaffee's, “The Case for Integrating the Environment into the Definition of Bioethics,” will be published later this year in the UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. 

The Burton Awards is a nonprofit organization operated in association with the Library of Congress and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. The program honors exceptional legal writing in the nation’s law firms, in education, and in journalism. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will receive the program’s 2017 Book of the Year Award.

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