Mercer Law Professor Teri McMurtry-Chubb Receives National Legal Writing Award


MACON – Mercer Law School Professor Teri A. McMurtry-Chubb was recently named the 2018 recipient of the Teresa Godwin Phelps Award for Scholarship in Legal Communication by the Board of Directors of the Legal Writing Institute (LWI).

The selection committee recognized and unanimously recommended McMurtry-Chubb’s article, “The Rhetoric of Race, Redemption, and Will Contests: Inheritance as Reparations in John Grisham’s Sycamore Row,” published in Vol. 48 of the Memphis Law Review in 2018.

One nominator wrote that this article successfully “juxtapose[s] will contests, property, and inheritance rights against the complex and often ‘difficult to have’ discussion about race in America.” The nominator also noted that “Teri’s unique style of mixing genres in her legal communication disrupts potential perceptions of legal writing professors, while preserving our discipline as a recognized field of study.”

McMurtry-Chubb teaches and writes in the areas of discourse analysis, genre analysis and legal history. She is also the author of Legal Writing in the Disciplines: A Guide to Legal Writing Mastery, published by Carolina Academic Press in 2012. She has lectured nationally on structural workplace discrimination, disproportionate sentencing for African-Americans, racial and gender inequalities in post-secondary education, and African diasporic cultural forms.

This upcoming academic year, she will be a Visiting Distinguished Professor of Law at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, teaching legal writing and a seminar on Critical Race Feminism.

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. In making the award, the selection committee and the LWI Board focus solely on whether an individual work is specific to the discipline of legal writing and on whether it makes an outstanding contribution to the discipline.

McMurtry-Chubb will be presented the award at the Seventh Applied Legal Storytelling Conference in Boulder, Colorado, during the gala dinner on July 11.