Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Mark Velez '11 Wins Burton Award for Legal Achievement June 05, 2012
Mark Velez '11 Wins Burton Award for Legal Achievement

Mark Velez '11 has many recent accomplishments to celebrate - completing his J.D. degree through the Evening Program, becoming a member of the California State Bar, and now receiving a Burton Award for Legal Achievement, one of the most prestigious awards recognizing outstanding legal writing. He has been selected as a 2012 Distinguished Legal Writing Award winner for a Southwestern Law Review article he wrote entitled: "AIDS/HIV + Inmates: A New Standard to House Infected Inmates Based on Objective, Proactive Criteria That Balances the Needs of the Infected Inmate While Protecting Non-Infected Inmates and Prison Staff." Velez is a police captain and 23-year veteran of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department.

The Burton Awards were established in 1999 to reward great achievements in law ranging from legal writing to publications to the greatest reforms in law. The program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear and concise language in their writing. Southwestern was one of only 15 law schools in the nation to have a student receive this distinguished award.

As a law school winner, Velez will receive accommodations to attend a black tie awards program, which will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on June 11 and feature retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens as guest speaker.

"I feel this honor is a direct reflection of Dean Garth's leadership and the quality of instruction we receive at Southwestern," said Velez. "Southwestern provides a setting that encourages students to excel. The faculty, staff and environment make students want to be successful in anything they do." Click here to read Southwestern's student profile of Velez.