The Blackstone Award is named for Sir William Blackstone (1723–1780), the English jurist and politician whose work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, transformed the study of the common law.


Awarded for the first time in 2011 to William C. Burton, The Friends of the Law Library of Congress Blackstone Award recognizes and celebrates an individual who has provided significant contribution to the mission and activities of the U.S. Law Library of Congress.

William C. Burton was presented the first Blackstone Award by The Friends of the Law Library of Congress in 2011.

William C. Burton was presented the first Blackstone Award by The Friends of the Law Library of Congress in 2011.

2011: William c. burton

In 2011, William C. Burton was presented the Blackstone Award by The Friends of the Law Library of Congress for embodying and promoting the best ideals of the venerable institution.  Mr. Burton created the Burton Foundation and the Burton Awards program in 1999 to encourage perfection and reward excellence in the legal profession. The non-profit Burton Awards program is run in association with the Library of Congress.   Learn More about the Burton Awards.


William C. Burton is a named partner in the law firm of Sagat/Burton LLP, 245 Park Avenue, New York. His practice is devoted to lobbying at the federal and state levels. He has served as a New York State Assistant Attorney General and an Assistant New York State Special Prosecutor. For fifteen years, he was Director of Government Affairs for Continental Insurance in New York City. He is the author of Burton's Legal Thesaurus, which received an award from the Association of American Publishers for innovation when it was published. In 2011 Mr. Burton was presented "Sir William Blackstone Award" by the Friends of the Library of Congress for his dynamic leadership. In 2010, the second largest association of law professors, the Legal Writing Institute, named him the winner of the "Golden Pen Award" for furthering the best causes of legal writing.