WilmerHale Associate Monya M. Bunch was recently chosen to receive the Burton Award for legal achievement, acknowledging her for outstanding skill in legal writing.
Ms. Bunch’s award-winning submission, “Juvenile Transfer Proceedings: A Place for Restorative Justice Values,” 47 How. L.J. 909 (2004), suggests that close examination of America’s policies designed to protect, nurture and develop children, particularly children in minority communities, indicates that fear, rather than hope, is the driving force. Supporting her thesis, she points to the increased trend of transferring juvenile offenders to adult criminal court, despite research indicating that such transfers fail to reduce the juvenile crime rate. Ms. Bunch argues that incorporating a role for restorative justice values within juvenile transfer statutes is a better response to juvenile crime, as it adequately balances the needs of the victim, the community, and the offender.
Having graduated from law school last year, she was selected as one of only fifteen Law School Winners nationwide, each nominated by his/her law school dean. On June 6, the black-tie 2005 Burton Awards Program honoring this year’s recipients will be held in the Great Hall of The Library of Congress in Washington, DC, featuring guest speaker Chris Matthews from MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews.”
The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is a unique not-for-profit national awards program dedicated principally to rewarding effective legal writing. “The program honors partners in law firms and law school students who use plain, clear and concise language and avoid archaic, stilted legalese.” (Click here to learn more about the Burton Awards.)