2017 Robert F. Drinan Award

2017 Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service

Myles V. Lynk

During the 2017 ABA Midyear meeting in Miami, the Section presented the 2017 Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service to former Section Chair Myles V. Lynk. He was selected for his longstanding commitment to advancing civil rights and for his outstanding service to the Section and ABA generally


Myles V. Lynk is the Peter Kiewit Foundation Professor of Law and the Legal Profession at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, where he teaches legal ethics, business organizations and civil procedure. Before going into academia, Myles practiced law in New York, NY, and Washington, DC. While in practice in the District of Columbia he was a founding member of the District of Columbia Conference on Opportunities for Minorities in the Legal Profession and served on the District of Columbia Courts' Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts. Myles was President of the District of Columbia Bar during its 25th anniversary year and served on the Executive Council of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. Myles has served on the Governing Board of the Council on Legal Education Opportunity ("CLEO"), as Treasurer and a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and as Treasurer and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Women's Legal Defense Fund (now the National Partnership for Women and Families).

Myles served on the Section Council for five years and as Section Chair in 2013-2014. During his term he led our Section's collaboration with the ABA's Commission on Homelessness and Poverty and created a new Section Committee on Economic Justice to address issues of economic inequality. He also instituted the process that resulted in the change of the Section's name from Individual Rights and Responsibilities to Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ), one of the most significant developments in the Section’s history. Myles' longstanding commitment to civil rights and to the Section is reflected in his service as co-chair of the Section's Committee on Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity in 2001-02 when the Committee led the ABA's efforts to respond to potential hate crimes against Arabs and Arab-Americans in the wake of 9/11, and sponsored a program at the ABA Annual Meeting on the changing meaning of "race" in America's increasingly diverse society, and in his service as a co-chair of the Section's 2002 Thurgood Marshall Dinner Committee.

This commitment is also reflected in his significant service throughout the ABA, including as a member of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Coalition for Justice and the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants. In 2005-2006, Myles served on the ABA's Hurricane Katrina Task Force and was the sole ABA representative at the "summit" of legal services providers in Baton Rouge, LA, on September 15, 2005, which laid the foundation for the legal services community's response to Hurricane Katrina. Myles also has been active in the ABA's House of Delegates ("HOD") where he has worked closely over many years with the delegates from CRSJ and was elected by the members of the Minority Caucus of the HOD to two terms as Secretary and two terms as Chair of the Caucus.

Perhaps most important, from 2014 to 2016, as Chair of the Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Myles worked with CRSJ and others to successfully lead the hard-fought and groundbreaking effort to add an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination provision to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Myles is a recipient of the Association's Spirit of Excellence Award.