Mark E. Wojcik, a professor at UIC John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has been awarded the 2021 Civil Justice Scholarship Award from the prestigious Pound Civil Justice Institute.
The Award is bestowed upon published legal academics and recognizes current scholarly legal research and writing focused on topics in civil justice, including access to justice and the benefits of the U.S. civil justice system, as well as the right to trial by jury in civil cases.
Wojcik was selected for his article, Extending Batson to Peremptory Challenges of Jurors Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, 40 No. Ill. U. L. Rev. 1 (2019), in which he argues that all federal and state trial courts should expressly prohibit the exclusion of jurors based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. He argues that the lack of protection for LGBT jurors fosters discrimination in the law, violates the rights of LGBT persons to serve on a jury, denies LGBT defendants fair representation from the community, and undermines public confidence in judicial proceedings.
“I am deeply honored that the Pound Civil Justice Institute selected my article for this award,” said Wojcik. “The law already prohibits excluding jurors based on their race, religion, national origin and gender. And just a handful of states – including most recently Illinois – prohibit excluding jurors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lawyers should examine each individual juror’s beliefs and experiences rather than falling back on stereotypes.”
The Pound Institute is a national legal think tank created by pioneering members of the trial bar and dedicated to ensuring access to justice for ordinary citizens. Through its activities, the Institute works to give lawyers, judges, legal educators and the public a balanced view of the issues affecting the U.S. civil justice system.
Wojcik, a John Marshall faculty member since 1992, teaches Lawyering Skills, International Law, International Business Transactions, Torts, Criminal Law and Sexual Orientation Law. He is also founder of the Global Legal Skills Conference Series, the author of multiple books, the past president of Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers and a three-time board member of the Legal Writing Institute.
Wojcik is the past Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress, past Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research and a winner of the AALS Section Award for lifetime contributions to legal writing. In 2018, he received the prestigious Burton Award for Outstanding Contributions to Legal Writing Education.