‘18 Graduate Wins Prestigious Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing


Recent Miami Law graduate Nicole Chipi won the 2018 Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing for her paper, “Eat Your Vitamins and Say Your Prayers: Bollea v. Gawker, Revenge Litigation Funding, and the Fate of the Fourth Estate.” Chipi is the first-ever winner from Miami Law in this prestigious competition.

Nicole Chipi, J.D. '18

Chipi, who graduated in May 2018 and is now an associate at Jones Day in Miami, will receive $10,000 and a $5,000 donation will be made to the scholarship fund designated by Dean Patricia White, who selected the paper for nomination. 

“I was shocked to find out I was a finalist, let alone that I won,” said Chipi. “I feel especially honored to have been selected after reading the incredible notes published by my fellow finalists and by past winners.” 

The Brown Award is sponsored by the Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation and recognizes excellence in legal writing. Chipi’s paper, which was published last year in the University of Miami Law Review analyzes the “demise of Gawker Media at the hands of Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who bankrolled a handful of simultaneous lawsuits against the company in the hopes that one would ‘hit.’ 

Thiel’s strategy bore fruit when one such lawsuit (filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan) secured a $140 million verdict. His success shook the media world and my note considers what, if anything, these entities can do to protect themselves against the threat posed by such ‘revenge litigation funding’ tactics,” explained Chipi. 

A member of the University of Miami Law Review, Chipi finished second in her class. She participated in the Professional Responsibility & Ethics Program and received the Roger Sorino Award from the Society of Bar & Gavel, which is given to a graduating law student who best exemplifies leadership, dedication to the school and service to the community. During her time at Miami Law, Chipi also served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Adalberto Jordan and to the Honorable Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres.

“I first discussed writing about this topic during my 1L summer internship with Magistrate Judge Edwin G. Torres,” said Chipi. “That initial conversation sparked a few ideas, which I took to my 1L Torts Professor and now Acting Dean Osamudia James. Dean James’ insight carried me through the research and writing phase of the note. When it was time to polish things to perfection, I went to my legal writing guardian angel, Prof. Annette Torres. As with every step in my law school career, it took the whole UM Law village to make it happen, and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of them.” 

In Fall of 2021, Chipi will begin work as a clerk to Judge Jordan. 

More on LComm, Miami Law’s Legal Writing Program