Jean Galbraith, a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, has won the 2010 American Inns of Court Warren E. Burger Prize. Ms. Galbraith receives a cash prize of $5,000 and her winning essay will be published in the South Carolina Law Review. The award was presented on October 23, 2010, at the American Inns of Court’s Celebration of Excellence, hosted by Justice Clarence Thomas, at the Supreme Court of the United States.
The Warren E. Burger Prize is a writing competition designed to encourage outstanding scholarship that “promotes the ideals of excellence, civility, ethics, and professionalism within the legal profession,” the core mission of the American Inns of Court. The American Inns of Court invites judges, lawyers, professors, students, scholars, and other authors to participate in the competition by submitting an original, unpublished essay of 10,000 to 25,000 words on a topic of their choice addressing issues of legal excellence, civility, ethics, and professionalism.
Prior to her fellowship, Ms. Galbraith practiced law at Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin in Philadelphia. Ms. Galbraith has also served as an associate legal officer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and held clerkships for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was also one of four young lawyers selected as American Inns of Court Temple Bar Scholars in 2007.
Ms. Galbraith earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her Juris Doctor from University of California, Berkeley Law School, where she served as editor-in-chief of the California Law Review. She is a member of the bars of California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Her Burger Prize-winning essay, entitled “The Ethic of High Expectations,” examined the delicate balance that lawyers must strike between ethical behavior and their duties to their clients.
“I argue that, under certain circumstances, lawyers can best serve both their clients and the broader good by practicing what I call the ethic of high expectations. A lawyer acting from the ethic of high expectations gives advice that will be fully effective only if both the lawyer’s client and the other party voluntarily and independently relinquish legal rights in order to further the broader good. The lawyer succeeds by shifting the conversation from being about legal rights to being about right outcomes,” Ms. Galbraith wrote.
The judges for the competition were Professor Stephen Gillers, Chair; Emily Kempin Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law; Professor Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Trustee Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School; Professor Nancy J. Moore, Nancy Barton Scholar and Professor of Law at the Boston University School of Law; and, Professor Robert M. Wilcox, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
Photo: ©KevinKennedy.com Jean Galbraith (left) receives the Warren E. Burger Prize presented by Professor Robert M. Wilcox (right) during the 2010 Celebration of Excellence.