ALEXANDRIA, Va.--()--Derek A. Webb has been selected to receive the American Inns of Court’s prestigious 2012 Warren E. Burger Prize. The award will be presented by Kannon K. Shanmugam, Esq. at the American Inns of Court’s annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States on October 20.
“The Original Meaning of Civility: Democratic Deliberation at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.”
Given in the name of the 15th Chief Justice and founder and first president of the Supreme Court Historical Society, 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 award annually honors those in the legal profession for their exemplary writing abilities with publication of the winning essay in South Carolina Law Review and a cash prize of $5,000.
Webb is a 2012–2014 Fellow at the Stanford University Constitutional Law Center. Prior to his fellowship, he served as a summer law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Webb received his BA in philosophy from Yale University, his Ph.D., in political science from the University of Notre Dame, and his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. He was on the winning team of the 2012 William B. Spong, Jr. Invitational Moot Court Tournament, the longest-running constitutional law-themed moot court competition in the country, hosted by William & Mary Law School, and earned the “Best Brief Award for the Respondent’s Side” in the competition.
Webb, a recipient of six best paper and exam awards in law school, received the Warren E. Burger Prize for his essay titled, “The Original Meaning of Civility: Democratic Deliberation at the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention.” The essay examines the convention as a potential new model for constructive dialogue using as a basis for argument the story of civic friendship among the delegates at the convention, which drew from frequent interactions and camaraderie across party lines. Webb wrote that upon their foundation of friendship, the delegates were able to reason together in a manner conducive to open-mindedness, rational deliberation, and incentives to compromise when deliberation over deep economic and political interests divided the delegates.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, fosters excellence in professionalism, ethics, civility, and legal skills. The organization’s membership includes more than 29,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in more than 367 chapters nationwide and more than 85,000 alumni members. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.