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Dean Blake D. Morant nominated as president-elect for American Association of Law Schools

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.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wake Forest Law Dean Blake D. Morant has been nominated as president-elect of the American Association of Law Schools by the Executive Committee. 

The nomination will be presented for approval at the Second Meeting of the House of Representatives at the AALS Annual Meeting in New York on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

“The Committee received a number of nominations for the three positions to be filled,” R. Lawrence Dessem,  chair of the  Nominating Committee for 2014 Officers and Members of the Executive Committee, wrote in a memo. “Many candidates had impressive scholarly, service, and teaching credentials and would have been worthy nominees, which made the selection process difficult.  The individuals we recommend are not only accomplished teacher-scholars, each has also been a highly capable volunteer in the service of the AALS.”

Dean Morant, who is currently serving as a member of the AALS Executive Committee, received his B.A. with high distinction and Phi Betta Kappa honors from the University of Virginia (1975) and his J.D. three years later, also from the University of Virginia.  He was a Ribble-Kennedy and Earl Warren scholar at the School of Law.  Dean Morant has published extensively on topics including contract theory, media law, and administrative law and was the first American to deliver the Annual Thomas More Commemorative Lecture at St. Dunstan’s Church, Canterbury, England.  From 1979-1985 Dean Morant served as a member of the U.S. Army JAG Corps, earning the Meritorious Service Medal, First Oak Leaf Cluster.

Morant first tested himself as a teacher as an adjunct at American University Washington College of Law, while he was practicing law at Braude, Marguiles, Sacks and Rephan.  He began full-time law teaching at the University of Toledo College of Law, where he was recognized with five awards for outstanding teaching and established himself as a scholar.  He moved to Washington and Lee in 1997 where he served as a Roy L. Steinheimer, Jr. Professor of Law and as Director of the Frances Lewis Law Center.  He then became Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  Wake Forest identified Morant as a faculty member with a record of excellence in teaching, research and service to assume the deanship in 2007.  Morant’s academic career has included visiting professorships at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Alabama School of Law, where he occupied the John S. Stone Visiting Chair.  In 2001, he was a Visiting Fellow at University College, Oxford University.  His teaching and writing have concentrated on contract theory, media and first amendment law, and administrative law.

Dean Morant has been active in the AALS throughout his career in law teaching.  He will soon complete two years of service on the AALS Executive Committee.  His other AALS service includes the Committee on Libraries and Technology (2011-13) and the Advisory Committee on ABA Accreditation Standards.  He served on the AALS Nominating Committee (2009), the Professional Development Committee (2005-2007), and the Journal of Legal Education Editorial Board (2000-2002).  He has served on two Planning Committees as well, one for the AALS Workshop on Family Law and Family Courts in a Time of Change (2007) and another more directly in his field of expertise for the Conference on Exploring the Boundaries of Contract Law (2004).  Dean Morant is a frequent speaker at AALS programs, most recently at the Faculty Recruitment Conference and the Workshop for New Law School Teachers.

In addition to his work with the AALS, Dean Morant’s professional service includes: Co-Chairing the ABA Deans Workshop (2011), and Chairing the ABA Section on Legal Education’s Committee on Diversity.  He was a member of the Virginia Supreme Court’s Task Force which did a study of gender bias in the courts.  He recently served as Vice President of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Dean Morant was inducted into the Raven Society, an award bestowed by the University of Virginia alumni.  In 2010, he received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Pepperdine University and was honored with the 2010 John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award from Equal Justice Works.  Last year, Dean Morant was honored by the Judge Advocates Association and Foundation with the Chief Justice John Marshall Life Achievement Award.

Most recently, Dean Morant was appointed to the Federal Judicial Center Foundation Board by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Morant’s five-year term began Oct. 24, 2013.

Members of the AALS Nominating Committee were: Dessem; W. H. Knight (Joe), Jr., Seattle University; Mary Elizabeth Magill, Stanford University; Rachel F. Moran, University of California, Los Angeles,(immediate past chair); and Jennifer L. Rosato, Northern Illinois University.  (Kif Augustine Adams, Brigham Young University, was unable to participate as she had begun a Fulbright fellowship in China.)

“The Nominating Committee is proud to recommend these four individuals, whose careers exemplify dedication to teaching and scholarship, while at the same time reflecting high levels of superb service to AALS and to other institutions.  Each nominee has also demonstrated collegial and collaborative qualities that the Committee believes will serve the AALS and its membership well.”