Cynthia Nance, the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law and former dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law-Fayetteville, will receive the 2012 ABA Spirit of Excellence Award at the ABA Midyear Meeting in New Orleans in February.
Sponsored by the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the award celebrates the accomplishments of lawyers who promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. In making the announcement, commission chair Reginald M. Turner, noted that “Nance is a trailblazer, becoming both the first female and first black female dean of a college or school in the history of the University of Arkansas”.
As dean of the law school from 2006 to 2011, Nance strengthened pro bono activities among the student body and helped the law school increase its minority enrollment to more than 20 percent. Throughout her career, she has served as a mentor to women. Her work to promote diversity in the legal profession has been recognized by the American Association for Affirmative Action, the University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society, and the Arkansas Black Democratic Caucus. Professor Nance is a recipient of a Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Individual Achievement Award and the inaugural 2010 Judge Andree Layton Roaf Award.
Within the ABA, Nance serves on the Section’s Law School Administration Committee and has served as a co-chair of the Equal Opportunity in the Law Committee of the Section of Labor and Employment Law and as an at-large member of that Section’s Council.