The annual Robert Ballow Excellence in Writing Awards were presented to Nashville School of Law students on Wednesday, March 22, 2023.
A total of eight students were recognized for their performance in the Rigorous Writing Exercise program.
The students and their writing mentors who received top honors are:
- 1st – Allison Wilson – Felony Voter Disenfranchisement: Putting an End to Second-Class Citizenship in Tennessee with the Implementation of Automatic Voter Restoration (Ms. Krisann Hodges, mentor)
- 2nd (Tie) – Daimon Duggar – Fiat Justia: The Development and Challenges of Prosecutorial Discretion in Tennessee (Mr. Eddie Herbert, mentor)
- 2nd (Tie) – Amber Schlatter – National Consensus and Proportionality: A cure for the Unconstitutional Relationship Between Severe Mental Illness and the Death Penalty (Ms. Candi Henry, mentor)
- Mitzi Dorris – High Conflict Ben Divorcing Parents: Enforcement of Tennessee Legislation to Protect the Children (Hon. Matt Sweeney, mentor)
- Jenna Huff – Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: Protecting Platforms Instead of Protecting Children (Mr. James Strong, mentor)
- Shakira King – Abuse of the 13th: A History of Slavery and the Fight to End It. (Ms. Amanda Gentry, mentor)
- Joseph Swafford – Tort Reform and Tennessee (Mr. Christ Fowler, mentor)
- Lily Ying – Defending the Kennedian Sovereign Doctrine of Specific Personal Jurisdiction: A Critique of the Substantive Due Process Based Consequentialist Criticism Couched in Originalism (Hon. Sharon Guffee, mentor)
*Click on the name of each paper to read the award-winning work.
The Rigorous Writing Exercise is a project all Nashville School of Law students embark on as a requirement of graduation. Working with a volunteer mentor from the legal community, students research and write a 15-20 page paper on the topic of their choice.
Each year, the students’ submissions are evaluated by a panel of legal writing experts, who determine finalists and award winners.
Our 2021-2022 Mentor of the Year award has been presented to Ms. Tamika Parker ’15.
The honor is conferred in recognition of a mentor’s exceptional service to the Rigorous Writing Exercise Program.
Parker obtained her undergraduate degree in engineering from Drexel University and her master’s degree in organizational dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has also undertaken a series of studies on the intersection of neuroscience and theology, and she applies all her knowledge and skills to help her clients. Ms. Parker has a private law practice here in the Nashville area.
The award is named for Robert L. Ballow, Esq, who endowed the award with a generous contribution that allows for a cash award to top three finalists annually.
Mr. Ballow graduated from the School in 1963. He was the founding partner of King & Ballow, a national law firm whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, more than 300 daily newspapers, and 100 radio and televisions stations. Mr. Ballow was listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1982 and one of the best 150 lawyers in Tennessee. He was a member of the Media Law Reporter Advisory Board, the Labor Law Section of the American Bar Association, and the ABA Committee on Antitrust and Labor Relations.