Mercer law professor Karen J. Sneddon accepts National Legal Writing Award

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Karen J. Sneddon receives legal writing award.
Karen J. Sneddon, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research and development, received the 2020 Teresa Godwin Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication from the Legal Writing Institute.

Mercer University School of Law Professor and Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development Karen J. Sneddon recently received the 2020 Teresa Godwin Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication from the Legal Writing Institute.  

Sneddon and co-author Susan Chesler, clinical professor of law in the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University, received the Phelps Award for their article, “From Clause A to Clause Z: Narrative Transportation and the Transactional Reader,” published in the South Carolina Law Review. The article explores the benefits of incorporating narrative techniques for writing transactional documents to increase reader engagement and comprehension. 

As one nominator wrote, “The article tackles a subject we don’t always think of when we think of narrative, wills drafting … and is well-researched and supported as well as engaging and well-written.”

The Phelps Award honors and draws attention to individual works of outstanding scholarship specific to the legal writing discipline that are published in any given calendar year. The award is meant to set aspirational standards for others writing in the field and is annually awarded by the Legal Writing Institute. 

Sneddon teaches, writes and speaks in the areas of legal writing, wills and real estate transactions at Mercer Law School. Since 2007, she and Professor David Hricik have co-authored the regular Georgia Bar Journal column “Writing Matters,” which offers practical advice for improving legal writing. 

Sneddon holds a variety of leadership positions within the legal writing field, including serving on the editorial board of the Legal Writing Institute Monograph Series for Vol. 10 and Vol. 11 and as chair of the Association of Legal Writing Directors Scholars Forum Committee for 2020-2021. She also serves as associate dean for faculty research and development at Mercer Law School in addition to her teaching and advising responsibilities. 

Lauren Mauldin is director of communications and marketing for Mercer University's School of Law.