Student wins prestigious award for distinguished legal writing

April 29, 2014 10:00 AM

Linda P. Campbell


Annalisa Cravens

After graduation, Annalisa Cravens will start a year-long judicial clerkship in New Orleans and then she plans to work as a litigator at a New York-based firm.

Soon-to-be Tulane University graduate Annalisa Cravens has been selected for a Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing, one of the country’s most prestigious and competitive honors in legal writing.

Cravens, who is completing a law degree and a master’s degree in Latin American studies, was one of 15 students chosen by a committee that includes some of the nation’s leading legal scholars. All U.S. law schools can nominate one piece of student writing.

The awards ceremony is June 9 at the Library of Congress.

Cravens’ winning Tulane Law Review comment, “‘This Is Not the System Congress Created’: Rethinking Louisiana’s Immigration Law After Arizona v. United States,” argues that Louisiana’s Prevention of Terrorism on the Highways Act, which makes it a felony to drive while in the United States illegally, is an improper state foray into immigration regulation. While the piece was going to press in Volume 88, Issue 1 of the law review, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that federal law preempted the statute.

The Burton Awards honor achievements in the legal profession, with a focus on promoting clear legal writing.

Cravens, who is from Madison, Wis., received her undergraduate degree from Tulane. During law school, she worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in an immigration clinic, volunteered with the Public Interest Law Foundation and completed an externship with Judge James L. Dennis on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She also was senior articles editor of the Tulane Law Review.

After graduation, she’ll start a year-long judicial clerkship with U.S. District Judge Martin L.C. Feldman in New Orleans and then plans to work as a litigator at New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.

“We’re very proud of Annalisa’s outstanding accomplishments,” says David Meyer, dean of Tulane Law School.  “She is already making her mark in the profession.”

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000