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Dean Blake D. Morant Wins Equal Justice Works’ Prestigious John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award

Dean Blake D. Morant

Blake Morant is one of the nation’s best known and respected legal educators and scholars. He has served in numerous leadership positions in the American Association of Law Schools and the American Bar Association, and he regularly speaks across the country and abroad on legal education, diversity, as well as topics relating to his scholarly interests.

Wake Forest University School of Law Dean Blake D. Morant has been selected for the prestigious Equal Justice Works’ John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award.

This award honors a law school dean who has successfully demonstrated leadership in building an institution that nurtures and fortifies a spirit of public service during his tenure at an Equal Justice Works participating member law school.

“The Student Executive Board of the Pro Bono Project chose to nominate Dean Morant for this award in part because of his significant role in supporting the establishment of the Pro Bono Project and Public Interest Initiative last year combined with his other many accomplishments in other areas across the law school and the profession,” said board member Craig Principe (’12).

“Receipt of this award recognizes not only Dean Morant’s achievements, but also the accomplishments of all the students, faculty, administrators and staff who do so much to contribute to the law school’s public service initiatives.  This award belongs to the entire law school community.”

With the blessing and support of Wake Forest University President Nathan O. Hatch and law school associate deans Ann Gibbs, Suzanne Reynolds and Ronald Wright, a nomination package was prepared by Principe, the Pro Bono Project’s public relations coordinator.  The package, which chronicled the many achievements of Dean Morant’s administration, included letters of support from President Hatch and Deans Gibbs and Reynolds.

Some of Dean Morant’s key accomplishments highlighted in the nomination package included:

  • establishing a vision for the law school that incorporates a strong commitment to pro bono service, public interest careers and community outreach;
  • creating field work opportunities for students through the establishment of Community Law and Business Clinic, the Innocence  and Justice Clinic and the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Externship program;
  • promoting community outreach and public service careers through the establishment of the Pro Bono Project, the Public Interest Initiative, and the Public Interest Retreat and the hiring of a Director of Outreach;
  • and promoting scholarship in the area of public interest law through the establishment of the Journal of Law and Policy.

The past five recipients of the Outstanding Law School Dean Award are among some of the fields’ best known and most respected law school deans: Larry Kramer of Stanford Law School in 2009, Elena Kagan of Harvard Law School in 2008, Karen Rothenberg of the University of Maryland School of Law in 2007, Katharine Bartlett of Duke University School of Law in 2006, and Gene R. Nichol of University of North Carolina School of Law in 2005.

Dean Morant will receive the award at the Equal Justice Works Awards Dinner on Oct. 21 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building in Washington, D.C.   At least 800 people are expected to be in attendance, many from big law firms and corporations, as well as 150 present and former Equal Justice Works fellows.  Tickets for the dinner celebration are available at http://www.equaljusticeworks.org/dinner10/tickets.html.

The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice.  The Washington, D.C.-based organization provides leadership to ensure a sustainable pipeline of talented and trained lawyers involved in public service.