William & Mary’s Connor Baer J.D. ’16 has been named one of 10 law students from across the nation to win one this year’s Burton Legal Writing Awards. The awards are probably the most prestigious legal writing awards in the nation.
Baer received the award for his Note, “Drugs for the Indigent: A Proposal to Revise the 340B Drug Pricing Program,” which was published in the November 2015 issue of the William & Mary Law Review. In his acknowledgments, Baer thanked Professor Stacy Kern-Scheerer for providing significant inspiration and many comments for his work.
“I feel quite honored and humbled to have been selected for this award,” Baer said. “It certainly is a testimony to the quality of legal writing at William & Mary, and the tremendous effort my colleagues on the William & Mary Law Review have invested to produce a nationally recognized and respected journal.”
Each year, law schools are invited to nominate one piece of published student work (typically a law review Note) for a Burton Award. The judges place particular emphasis on clarity of expression in making their decisions.
Baer, who hales from Bedford, Pa., graduated cum laude from Grove City College in 2013. He is a Lead Articles Editor for the William & Mary Law Review and has served as a Graduate Research Fellow to professors and competes with William & Mary’s national Moot Court Team and Alternative Dispute Resolution Team.
In summer 2014, Baer interned in the chambers of Judge Thomas Hardiman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and in summer 2015 he worked as a summer associate for K&L Gates in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Baer has accepted an offer of employment with K&L Gates, and plans to move back to Pennsylvania after graduation.
In 1999, William C. Burton, a partner in Sagat|Burton LLP., New York, created the Burton Foundation and the Burton Awards program to encourage perfection and reward excellence in the legal profession. The nonprofit Burton Awards program is run in association with the Library of Congress.
This is the 16th year that the Burton Legal Writing Awards have been conferred, with William & Mary law students receiving nine of the awards. In addition to Baer, other William & Mary recipients are: John B. Hoke (2014), Garrett Trego (2013), Arpan Sura (2010), Emily Reuter (2008), Bryan Shay (2007), Noelle Coates (2006), Jeffrey M. Connor (2004), and Lawrence Judson Welle (2000).
Though the other 2016 winners have not been announced, at this point, only three law schools have received more Burton Awards than William & Mary. Penn’s students have received 11, and Columbia and Georgetown have each received 10.
Baer will receive his award at a black tie gathering at the Library of Congress in late May; the speakers for the event will be Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America's oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.