Elon Law professor honored for promoting diversity in legal education

The Association of Legal Writing Directors presented Associate Professor Tiffany Atkins L’11 with its 2022 ALWD Diversity Award during a July conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by the Legal Writing Institute.

An Elon Law faculty member has been honored for her success in advancing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in American legal education.

Associate Professor Tiffany Atkins L’11 was bestowed with the 2022 ALWD Diversity Award by the Association of Legal Writing Directors during a July conference organized by the Legal Writing Institute.

The ALWD Diversity Award honors a person who has made significant accomplishments in the area of DEI or has demonstrated a strong commitment to promoting DEI. ALWD created the award in 2020 “in furtherance of its continued commitment to contributing to a legal writing discipline that is equitable and inclusive.”

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Over the past year, Atkins has been a prominent voice in support of the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. She has been a resource for journalists covering the nomination and confirmation of Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court of the United States, and she published a column in USA TODAY about the historical significance of Jackson’s nomination.

At Elon Law, Atkins has organized a Black History Month writing competition for students, and she regularly helps to plan and lead an annual Donning of the Kente ceremony during Commencement week for graduates who celebrate their African heritage.

Atkins’s 2020 journal article “#ForTheCulture: Generation Z and the Future of Legal Education” appeared in the Michigan Journal of Race and Law where she called on the legal academy to begin “getting serious” about diversity by creating a stronger culture of inclusion and activism.

“It’s an honor to receive the 2022 ALWD diversity award in recognition of my efforts to promote DEI through my writing, activism, and service,” Atkins said. “I’m grateful to the ALWD community for this recognition and hope my work inspires others to attune themselves to the ongoing work of racial equity and inclusion.”

It is the second year in a row that Atkins has been honored by the Association of Legal Writing Directors. She received the organization’s 2021 Outstanding Service Award in recognition of her work co-chairing the organization’s Biennial Leadership Academy Subcommittee.

Atkins graduated from Elon Law in 2011 as the recipient of the David Gergen Award for Leadership and Professionalism. She taught in the Legal Method & Communication Program from 2016-2018, then spent a year at Wake Law’s Legal Analysis, Writing and Research program before rejoining the Elon Law faculty.

She is a member of the law school’s Antiracism Working Group and the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, a community of law teachers, law school administrators, librarians, academic support experts, students and affiliates “working for more than 40 years to improve the legal profession, the law academy and expand the power of law to under-served communities.”

Prior to her entry into legal education, Atkins worked for several years in Greensboro at Legal Aid of North Carolina. She is a graduate of UNC Greensboro’s Political Science and African-American Studies programs.