Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2022) – The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Committee on Sections has selected the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities and AALS Section on Property Law as Sections of the Year.
The annual award recognizes excellence in member support and other activities that promote AALS core values. Such activities include: community/pro bono service; expanding membership and member engagement; supporting faculty scholarship; providing mentorship and teaching support; and developing impactful programming.
“The Section of the Year Award is an honor that recognizes outstanding efforts by section leaders and members to promote AALS values through collegial connections, educational enrichment, and innovative programs and activities over the course of the year,” said Donna Nagy, Chair of the AALS Committee on Sections and Acting Executive Associate Dean and Professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. “We are pleased to honor this year’s AALS Sections of the Year who have embodied these qualities.”
The AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities has supported its membership with several new initiatives. An Educational Enrichment Committee was formed to produce programs about access to justice and to educate members about new issues. The section also organized a series of discussions with law school administrators to foster connections within membership. This year, the section introduced new awards that were presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting for lifetime achievement, access to justice, and emerging leadership. In addition, a newsletter was produced to inform members about upcoming events, news, pro bono project ideas, resources, and more.
“The Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities is proud to accept this award to honor the hard work and inspired leadership of our members who are always focused on how the legal profession can serve those in need,” said Susan Schechter, Field Placement Program Faculty Co-Director, University of California, Berkeley School of Law. “In these dire times with so many people lacking access to justice, it is critical that law schools train, support, and inspire our students and our law school communities to step up, step in, and meet our professional and moral obligations to do pro bono work. We are grateful to AALS for acknowledging our section, and we look forward to continuing to highlight the important pro bono work done within law schools.”
Over the last year, the AALS Section on Property Law developed several new programs. The section highlighted junior faculty by providing them a “works-in-progress” space to present their research and to receive feedback from more senior faculty. The section also launched informal discussions amongst junior and senior faculty members to help build connections. In addition, a program was offered at the AALS Annual Meeting to share ideas about how faculty could incorporate issues of race, class, and indigenous people to their lessons to provide a more impactful experience for law students.
“The Section on Property Law is honored to receive this recognition of our efforts this past year,” said John Infranca, Chair of the Section and Professor at Suffolk University Law School. “This year we introduced a number of new programs to support and to strengthen the bonds between members of our section. In the spring, we introduced a series of lunch discussions on pedagogy and developments in the law. We also launched a new mentorship program and held our first section pedagogy program at the Annual Meeting. I am very grateful to the many section members who came forward to plan and facilitate these programs.”
AALS sections provide opportunities for law school faculty and staff to connect on issues of shared interest. Each section is focused on a different academic discipline, affinity group, or administrative area. For a full list of sections, visit www.aals.org/sections.
The Association of American Law Schools (AALS), founded in 1900, is a nonprofit association of 176 member and 19 fee-paid law schools. Its members enroll most of the nation’s law students and produce the majority of the country’s lawyers and judges, as well as many of its lawmakers. The mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve its many communities—local, national and international.