The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Professionalism has recognized Elon University School of Law’s Leadership Program with the leading national award recognizing excellence in legal professionalism programming.
On August 9 at the ABA annual meeting in San Francisco, Calif., Faith Rivers James, Professor of Law and Director of Leadership Programs at Elon Law, received the 2013 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award on behalf of Elon Law. The award was presented by Frederick S. Ury, Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism.
The ABA’s statement about Elon Law’s Leadership Program follows:
“The Elon Law School Leadership Program is a recipient of 2013 Gambrell Award in recognition of its innovative, deeply committed and highly effective approach to leadership training of law students. The Elon program has proven to be a professionalism education model of distinction, delivering a comprehensive, organic and hands-on indoctrination on leadership of self, leadership of teams, and leadership of the community. The program enlists prominent and highly qualified leaders of the legal community to share lessons and examples of leadership.
“First- and second-year students at Elon take required leadership courses during a two-week winter term. The program employs a variety of teaching methods to help students understand the connection between law and leadership, facilitate professional development, and prepare graduates to assume leadership roles in law firms, in professional associations, and in their communities. The Elon University School of Law Leadership Program embraces leadership as a critical lawyering skill, as it prepares law students for the responsibility and demands of leadership in professional, political, and community endeavors. Leadership is a precious and essential commodity within the bar in these challenging times, and Elon Law School is commended by the Standing Committee on Professionalism for its exemplary program of leadership education for law students.”
The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards are bestowed annually by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. The Awards honor excellence and innovation in professionalism programs by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions and other law-related organizations.
Law school dean George R. Johnson, Jr. said the award was significant to members of the Elon Law community.
“The recognition of Elon’s leadership program by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism is especially gratifying. It validates the founding ideas that gave birth to the law school and it also recognizes the extraordinary efforts of the faculty and students over the past seven years to build a program of innovation and excellence,” Johnson said.
Faith Rivers James, professor of law and director of leadership programs at Elon Law, thanked the Standing Committee on Professionalism.
“We are truly honored to receive the leading national award recognizing excellence in legal professionalism programming,” Rivers James said. “Through the law school’s leadership program, we seek to prepare graduates to be not only successful lawyers who can excel at the highest levels of the profession, but also leading contributors to the well-being of the communities where they will live and work. The ABA’s recognition of the value of leadership education in law schools and of our approach to leadership development means a great deal to all of us at Elon Law.”
The Gambrell Awards were established in 1991 and are named for E. Smythe Gambrell, ABA and American Bar Foundation president from 1955 to 1956. Gambrell founded the Legal Aid Society in Atlanta, where he practiced law from 1922 until his death in 1986. Elon Law’s June 27 announcement of the Leadership Program’s selection as a 2013 recipient of the Gambrell Award is available here.