The Michael A. Olivas Award for Outstanding Leadership in Diversity and Mentoring in the Legal Academy was established in 2023 to recognize individuals who exemplify Olivas’s devotion to mentoring junior and aspiring faculty from underrepresented communities and promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity in the legal academy.


Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Boston University School of Law

Professional headshot of Dean Onwuachi-Willig

Dean Onwuachi-Willig has led Boston University School of Law since 2018. She is a prominent legal scholar and expert in critical race theory, employment discrimination, and family law. Her articles have appeared in leading law journals such as the Yale Law Journal, Harvard Law Review, Virginia Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Vanderbilt Law Review, and more. Onwuachi-Willig was a co-recipient of the AALS Impact Award in 2020 and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) M. Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award in 2022 for her work on the AALS Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project

Michael Pinard

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Professional headshot of Professor Pinard

Professor Pinard has taught at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law since 2002. His scholarship is focused broadly on race and the criminal legal system, including criminalization; policing; incarceration; criminal records; and the interconnected harms of the criminal and civil legal systems. Pinard is well known for his work to improve the criminal justice system nationally and locally. In 2011, Pinard was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House for his work on behalf of individuals with criminal records. Currently, he serves as a commissioner with the Maryland Access to Justice Commission and a member of the Maryland Equitable Justice Collaborative..


Kevin R. Johnson

University of California, Davis School of Law

Professional headshot of Dean Johnson

Dean Johnson has led UC Davis School of Law since 2008. During his time as dean, the school has drawn national accolades for its majority-minority faculty and overall emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In 2020, Johnson introduced a Racial Justice Speaker Series that draws leading scholars from throughout the country.