(Year denotes end of Council member's current term.)
Maureen A. O’Rourke
Dean & Professor
Boston University School of Law
Maureen A. O’Rourke is dean, professor of law, and Michaels Faculty Research Scholar at Boston University School of Law. She joined the faculty in 1993 after working in the legal department at IBM Corp. She became interim dean in 2004 and has been dean since 2006. Dean O’Rourke is a co-author of the casebook Copyright in the Global Information Economy, a recipient of Boston University’s highest teaching award, chair of the Marist College Pre-Law Advisory Board, a member of the AccessLex Institute Board of Directors, and past chair of the AALS Sections on the Law School Dean and Computers & The Law. Dean O'Rourke has served on the Council since 2010. She received her B.S. summa cum laude from Marist College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Chair Elect (2018)
Dean Emeritus and Professor
Saint Louis University School of Law
St. Louis, Missouri
Jeffrey Lewis joined Saint Louis University School of Law as dean in 1999 and served in that capacity for 11 years. He returned to full-time teaching in 2010 with the title of dean emeritus and professor. He began his law teaching career in 1970 at the University of Akron School of Law. He served on the law faculty at the University of Florida from 1972 to 1999, and during his tenure at Florida he served as associate dean for seven years and dean for eight years. Dean Lewis earned both his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Duke University.
Dean Lewis teaches Evidence, Remedies and a seminar entitled Famous Trials. Over his career he has also taught Civil Procedure, Federal Courts and Conflict of Laws.
In 2012, Dean Lewis received the Section’s Robert J. Kutak Award, which is given annually to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the collaboration of the academy, the bench, and the bar. He is also the recipient of the Outstanding Professor Award at the University of Florida College of Law.
Dean Lewis has been active with the American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools throughout his career. He previously served on the Council from 1999 to 2004. He also chaired the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Review Committee, served on the AALS Accreditation Committee, and chaired or served as a member of more than 20 ABA/AALS site evaluation teams.
Vice Chair (2018)
Of Counsel, Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
Buffalo, New York
Diane F. Bosse practices law in Buffalo, New York. She was appointed to the New York State Board of Law Examiners in 1998, and has been its chair since 2001. She served on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners from 1999 to 2008, serving as its chair in 2006-2007. Ms. Bosse is a past president of the Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York and a past member of the boards of directors of the Bar Association of Erie County and of the Western New York Trial Lawyers Association.
For the Section, Ms. Bosse served on the Accreditation Committee for six years (2007-2013), including two as committee chair, on the Standards Review Committee for three years (2004-2007), and on the Bar Admissions Committee for two years (2002-2004).
Ms. Bosse is an elected member of the American Law Institute. She has received the Award of Merit from the Bar Association of Erie County, the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Public Service from the University at Buffalo Law Alumni Association, the Award for Excellence in Public Service from the New York State Bar Association, the Chair’s Award from the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the Lamplighter Award from the Eighth Judicial District Gender & Racial Fairness Committee. She was honored in 2006 as the Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Defense Trial Lawyers of Western New York. Mr. Bosse was named the Bar Association of Erie County Lawyer of the Year for 2014, and in 2016 was named to the New York Law Journal's inaugural class of Top Women in Law. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Dean Emeritus and Professor
University of Puerto Rico School of Law
Before becoming the eighth president of the University of Puerto Rico in November 2001, Antonio García-Padilla had been dean of the school of law for 15 years. He is the president of the Puerto Rico Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation. Earlier in his career he served as law clerk to Judge Stephen G. Breyer, now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, then serving as a circuit judge in the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and to Justice Angel M. Martín of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico.
Dean García-Padilla has served on the Section’s Accreditation Committee and currently serves as a member-at-large on the Council. He has also served as a member of the council of the American Law Institute. Dean García-Padilla received his law degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law in 1978 and a master’s in law from Yale Law School in 1981.
Immediate Past Chair: Gregory G. Murphy (2018)
Gregory Murphy has been practicing law in Montana for over 34 years. After being awarded a B.A. with high honors at the University of Montana, he earned a J.D. at Notre Dame Law School where he was a Thomas and Alberta White Scholar and served as associate editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. After graduation, he served a law clerkship with a U.S. Court of Appeals judge before returning to Montana to practice law.
Mr. Murphy has long been active in bar admissions and legal education. He has served as chair of the Montana Board of Bar Examiners, chair of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and chair of the Multistate Bar Examination Committee. For approximately a decade he served on the Multistate Performance Test Drafting Committee. He has served on and chaired numerous other committees and boards. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Uniform Bar Examination Committee.
In addition to serving on the Council, Mr. Murphy’s Section activities include serving as chair of the Accreditation Committee. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has received numerous awards for his leadership and service in bar admissions and his community. In 2015, Cornell University Law School invited him to serve as its Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence for the fall term.
David Byers (2019)
Administrative Director of the Courts
Arizona Supreme Court
David Byers is the Arizona Supreme Court’s Administrative Director of the Courts. He is responsible for a overseeing the operations of the Arizona Court system with over 10,000 employees and a total budget of $740M. The system also operates both juvenile and adult probation programs and 13 juvenile detention centers. Mr. Byers began his career with the court in 1978 as the first director of the Foster Care Review Board. Before being appointed administrative director by the Arizona Supreme Court in 1992, Mr. Byers was the director of the Program Services Division, director of Adult and Juvenile Probation, and deputy director of the Arizona Supreme Court.
Mr. Byers has also served as chairman of the $34B Arizona State Retirement System; and is currently a member of the State Bar of Arizona, the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission, the Arizona Prosecuting Attorney’s Advisory Council, the Governor’s Drug and Gang Policy Council, and the Department of Justice Global Advisory Committee. He is the founder and first president of the National Association of Foster Care Reviewers, and cofounder of the Arizona Friends of Foster Care Foundation.
Mr. Byers earned a B.A. from Northern Iowa University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University. He was honored with the 2012 Gabe Zimmerman Leadership Award, the 2013 Warren E. Burger Award, the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, the Arizona Supreme Courts Distinguished Service Award, the State Bar’s Award of Appreciation, and the Cedar Falls, Iowa 1970 Man of the Year Award.
Roger J. Dennis (2019)
Dean Emeritus & Professor Emeritus
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
Roger Dennis was the founding dean of the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University in Philadelphia. He was formerly the provost at Rutgers University-Camden as well as the dean at the Rutgers-Camden School of Law. He clerked for Judge Richard McLaren of the U.S. District Court in Chicago before working in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and practicing at Skadden Arps in Washington, D.C. Dean Dennis has published widely with a particular focus on the application of modern financial theory to corporate law, strategic corporate behavior, and securities regulation. His teaching currently focuses on the federal regulation of the purchase and sale of securities, the raising of capital, and the operation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in light of changing economic and political environments.
Dean Dennis is a member of the board of the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and past chair of the board of the United Way of Camden County. He was selected for membership on the national United Way Membership Accountability Committee. He also serves as a trustee of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS), board chair of the Greater Delaware Valley Chapter of NMSS, and on the advisory board of the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia.
He earned a B.S. in speech from Northwestern University and is a magna cum laude graduate of Northwestern University School of Law where he was selected for the Order of the Coif. Dean Dennis has held an elected seat in the American Law Institute since 1991 and has served in leadership positions on numerous committees of the ABA’s Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as well as the Association of American Law Schools.
Robert Glidden (2020)
Robert Glidden was president of Ohio University from 1994 until his retirement in 2004, and served as interim president of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 2010-2011. From 1979 to 1994 he was at Florida State University, as professor and dean of the School of Music (1979-1991) and then as provost and vice president for academic affairs (1991-1994). During his career, he has been a member of the faculties at Wright State University, Indiana University, the University of Oklahoma, and he was dean of music at Bowling Green State University in the late 1970s. A native of Iowa, he took his academic degrees, all in music, from the University of Iowa: the B.A. in 1958, the M.A. in 1960, and the Ph.D. in 1966.
President Glidden was active in higher education accreditation for nearly 40 years. In the early 1970s, he was executive director of the National Association of Schools of Music and National Association of Schools of Art in Washington. He was chairman of the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation in the mid-1980s and in 1996-1998 and was founding chair of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). He served on the CHEA board until 2004 and was a member of the ABA Accreditation Committee from 2009 to 2015.
Donald Guter (2020)
President & Dean
South Texas College of Law Houston
Donald J. Guter is the president and dean of South Texas College of Law Houston (STCL Houston). Prior to joining STCL Houston, he was dean of Duquesne University School of Law from 2005 to 2008. Dean Guter served in the U.S. Navy for 32 years, retiring in 2002 as a Rear Admiral, Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC). He climbed the ranks of the JAG corps serving as trial counsel, legislative counsel, special counsel to the Chief of Naval Operations, and ultimately became the 37th Judge Advocate General of the Navy from 2000 to 2002. He has since served as the CEO for the Vinson Hall Corporation, the executive director of the Navy Marine Coast Guard Residence Foundation, and was chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel from 2007 to 2011. Dean Guter received his J.D. from Duquesne University in 1977, and his B.A. from University of Colorado in 1970.
James Hanks (2020)
Partner, Venable LLP
Jim Hanks represents publicly- and privately-held corporations and other entities in a wide variety of general corporate law and governance matters. Mr. Hanks been a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, a visiting senior lecturer at Cornell University’s business school, and an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School, teaching courses in mergers and acquisitions, securities regulation, and corporate law and governance. In addition, he has taught classes in corporation law at various law schools in the U.S., Guatemala, the Republic of Georgia, and South Africa, and at the Institute of Law in Beijing. For many years, Mr. Hanks also has been a visiting professor at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg, Germany. Since 2015, he has been Distinguished Visiting Professor from Practice at the University of Maryland School of Law.
For the Section, Mr. Hanks has served on the Standards Review Committee and on the Accreditation Committee, and on several site evaluation teams. He has also been active in the ABA Section of Business Law and is a member of The American Law Institute. He earned an A.B. from Princeton University; an LL.B. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where he was an editor of the Maryland Law Review; and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. For a year after receiving his LL.B., Mr. Hanks was law clerk to Judge Charles Fahy of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
James M. Klein (2018)
Distinguished Visiting Professor
Charleston School of Law
James Klein began his academic career more than 45 years ago as a clinical professor at the University of Toledo College of Law. While at the University of Toledo, Professor Klein served as associate dean for academic affairs and as the college of law’s interim dean for two years. During this time, he was on the Ohio Deans Council and was involved in bench and bar committees statewide and in Toledo. In 2008-2009, he was the law school’s representative on the Ohio State Bar Association Task Force on the Education of Lawyers.
Professor Klein’s university activities included serving as the NCAA faculty athletic representative for 17 years and membership on many university committees. In 2007, he was appointed to a university professorship. Upon his retirement in 2009, he was awarded emeritus status. Currently, Professor Klein is a visiting professor at Charleston School of Law where he directs the externship program. While on leave in spring 2015, Professor Klein served as a Fulbright Specialist and taught a graduate school law course on American Judicial Process and Civil Procedure at the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.
From 1997 to 2003, Professor Klein served on the Accreditation Committee and has served on numerous law school site evaluation teams. He has also served on the Section's Nominating Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Accreditation Consistency Committee. Professor Klein earned an A.B. degree from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.
Leo P. Martinez (2018)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Leo P. Martinez is the Albert Abramson Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He served as UC Hastings’ Academic Dean for twelve years and he served as the acting chancellor and dean of the college in the 2009-2010 academic year.
Professor Martinez is a past president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He has chaired or served on more than two dozen ABA law school site evaluation visits and he has assisted more than ten law schools in their strategic planning. He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), he is one of the academic Advisers on the ALI’s Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance project, and he was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education.
Professor Martinez is a co-author of a leading insurance law casebook, a co-editor of a four-volume insurance treatise, and the author of many articles on tax, insurance law, and legal education that have appeared in journals ranging from the Stanford Law Review to the Tulane Law Review to the Yale Law and Policy Review to the China EU Law Journal. He has lectured on legal education, tax, and insurance law throughout the United States and throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.
Professor Martinez has been honored with Annual Latino/a Law Professors Award in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the Latino/a community in general and Latino/a law professors in particular,” he has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus by UC Hastings Law Raza Law Students Association, and he was recognized in 2011 for leadership in the legal arena and in the public interest with the Public Advocates Voices of Conscience Award. In 2010, in recognition for his service, the Hastings Board of Directors approved the establishment of the $100,000 endowed Leo P. Martinez student scholarship.
Mary Campbell McQueen (2020)
National Center for State Courts
Mary C. McQueen has served as president of the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) since August 2004. Previously, Ms. McQueen served as Washington State court administrator from 1987-2004 and director of judicial services for the Washington State Office of the Administrator for the Courts (1979-1987), president of the Conference of State Court Administrators (1995-1996), and chair of the Lawyer’s Committee of the American Bar Association/Judicial Division. She is a member of the Washington and U.S. Supreme Court Bars.
Ms. McQueen has served on numerous ABA committees and task forces including the Standing Committee on State and Federal Courts, the Commission on the Future of Legal Services, and the newly created ABA Center for Innovation. In her capacity as president of NCSC, Ms. McQueen coordinates major national initiatives for the Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ) including the review of model rules and policies on admission to the bar, legal education requirements and professional ethics for lawyers and judges. She serves as Secretary General of the International Organization on Judicial Training (IOJT) consisting of 80 country members. Ms. McQueen holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.
Cynthia Nance (2018)
Dean Emeritus and Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law
University of Arkansas School of Law (Fayetteville)
Cynthia Nance served as the dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law from 2006 through 2011, and is both the first African-American and first woman to serve in that position. She earned a B.S. magna cum laude from Chicago State University, an M.A. in finance from the University of Iowa, and a J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law.
Professor Nance is the Eighth Circuit member of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and represents the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section in the ABA House of Delegates. Nance is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and was elected in November 2016 to its Board of Governors. She is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and The Labor Law Group, and serves on the Arkansas Advisory Committee to the United States Civil Rights Commission. The Arkansas Supreme Court appointed Professor Nance to the Arkansas Judges and Lawyers Assistance Committee in 2012, and she remains a member of that group as well as the Arkansas Bar Association’s Leadership Academy and Law Review Committees, and the Commission on Diversity
The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Professor Nance is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a 2017 recipient of the Arkansas Bar Association Presidential Award of Excellence and 2017 Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Guiding Star of Public Service Award, an American Bar Association Fellow, and a 2012 recipient of the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award. She is the recipient of the Arkansas National Bar Association affiliate’s inaugural Judge Andree Layton Roaf Award. She was also honored as the Arkansas Bar Association Outstanding Lawyer-Citizen and the University of Arkansas Alumni Association's Faculty Distinguished Achievement Award for Public Service. She’s been recognized as a Northwest Arkansas Woman of Distinction and a Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King Individual Achievement Award recipient. She has been honored as one of 25 Minority Trailblazers and 20 Women of Influence by Arkansas Business. In 2009, the University of Arkansas' chapter of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) was renamed the Cynthia E. Nance Chapter of BLSA.
The Honorable Jequita H. Napoli (2018)
Cleveland County District Court
Judge Napoli was appointed as the special district judge in Cleveland County (Norman), Oklahoma in 1996 and is recognized as a judicial leader on issues of mental illness and domestic violence. She served for eight years as a member of the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners, including a term as chair. During her tenure on the Oklahoma Board, Judge Napoli worked to enhance the close relationships between the Oklahoma Bar Association, the Oklahoma judiciary, and the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners.
From 2007 to 2015, Judge Napoli served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates and in 2008-2009 was selected by Carolyn Lamm, then-president of the ABA, to serve on the ABA Task Force on Law School Accreditation. She served six years, from 2004 to 2010, on the Accreditation Committee, and served on the Foreign Programs Subcommittee from 2008 to 2012, including two terms as chair (2008-2009 and 2011-2012).
For 12 years, she served on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), including a term as chair in 2002-2003. Judge Napoli presently serves as chair of the NCBE Technology Committee and previously served as the chair of NCBE’s Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination Committee, overseeing the MPRE, the examination on professional ethics that is administered in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and a number of American territories. Judge Napoli earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with distinction from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma College of Law.
Charles Ray Nash, Ed.D. (2018)
Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs
The University of Alabama System
Charles R. Nash has served as vice chancellor for academic affairs for The University of Alabama System since 1992. As the senior academic officer in the system, he is the chief liaison to academic, institutional research, and planning officials at The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. He advises the chancellor on all academic policy matters and provides primary leadership in program planning, development, and review. Additionally, he is the liaison officer for the UA System to the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education, and the Alabama Commission on Higher Education. In 2009, his duties were expanded to include student affairs functions for The University of Alabama System.
Dr. Nash holds a bachelor’s degree from Jackson (Mississippi) State University, a master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a doctoral degree from Mississippi State University; and has studied at Southeastern Louisiana University (graduate study), Stanford University (distance learning), and Harvard University (IEM), and the Oxford Roundtable.
Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. Nash served as associate executive director (vice president) for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He has also held the position of dean of the school of education at Armstrong Atlantic State University (Georgia) and director of special studies and assistant vice chancellor for academic development for the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. He began his career teaching junior high school science and served as a high school assistant principal and as an elementary school principal.
Dr. Nash recently completed a six-year term on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and serves on the executive committee of the National Alliance of State Science and Mathematics Coalitions, the Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee, the Access to Justice Commission of the Alabama Supreme Court, the governing board of the A+ College Ready Advanced Placement Program for Alabama, and the New York Academy of Sciences/SUNY STEM Advisory Committee. For the Section, he has served on the Accreditation Committee (AC) and on the AC’s Foreign Programs subcommittee.
In 2009, Dr. Nash was inducted into the McComb, Mississippi High School Hall of Fame and was chosen as Citizen of the Year in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. In 2010, he was named a Pillar of the Community of West Alabama. He was presented the first Friend of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, and Technology Initiative Award and the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award. In September 2013, Dr. Nash was inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame.
Raymond C. Pierce (2018)
Chief Education Officer
The Global Teaching Project
Raymond Pierce joined The Global Teaching Project in February 2016. Previously, he was a partner with the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough where he was a member of the firm's corporate, banking, and education practice groups. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Pierce served as dean and professor of law at the North Carolina Central University School of Law where he led the school in achieving several top national rankings and directed the school's successful effort toward obtaining membership with the Association of American Law Schools.
Prior to joining North Carolina Central University School of Law, Mr. Pierce was a partner in the national law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP, representing clients in the steel, energy, construction, and banking businesses. From 1993 to 2000, he served in the administration of President Bill Clinton as the politically appointed deputy assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education where he managed the enforcement of federal civil rights laws in education and the development of federal education policy. Mr. Pierce was also a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council committee that developed the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Zone economic development initiative.
Mr. Pierce is a director of M&F Bank and M&F Bancorp where he serves on the audit and corporate governance committees.He earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law where he was later inducted into the school's Society of Benchers.
The Honorable Mary R. Russell (2018)
Supreme Court of Missouri
Mary R. Russell, a seventh-generation Missourian, was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004. In July 2013, she was elected chief justice by her colleagues for a two-year term. She continues to serve as a member of the court. She was raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, near Hannibal and was educated in the Hannibal public schools. She attended Truman State University, graduating summa cum laude with both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts. She earned a J.D. from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law.
Upon graduation from law school, Justice Russell clerked for the Honorable George Gunn of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She then practiced law in Hannibal with the law firm of Clayton and Rhodes until her appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, in 1995. At the court of appeals, she served as chief judge from 1999 to 2000. She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2004.
Justice Russell is active in many professional and legal organizations around the state and country, including the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges; Missouri Lawyers Trust Account Foundation; a commission to select a federal judge for the Eastern District of Missouri in 1993; the ABA House of Delegates; Young Lawyers Council of The Missouri Bar; numerous Missouri Bar committees; the Missouri Press-Bar Commission; and the Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee and Appellate Practice Committee. She is a past co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) and has served as chair on other committees in BAMSL.
She also has served on a variety of statewide boards and commissions including the board of governors of Truman State University (president, 1996), Missouri State Senate Reapportionment Commission in 1991, the Missouri Council on Women’s Economic Development, and the Missouri Job Development and Training Council.
Justice Russell is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2016 Honorable Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence award from the Missouri Bar, Women’s Justice Award, the Faculty/Alumni Award from University of Missouri–Columbia, the Citation of Merit Award from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law, the Distinguished Alumni Award–Truman State University, the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Equal Justice Award, the Lasting Legacy award from Missouri CASA, the Soroptomist International Women Helping Women Award, the Jefferson City Rotarian of the Year, Zonta Woman of Achievement in Jefferson City, the Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club Appreciation Award and the Kirkwood Citizen of the Year. She is also named in the 2015 Ingram’s 50 Missourians You Should Know. She is a Henry Toll Fellow, a member of the Missouri Academy of Squires and a member of the Rollins Society of the University of Missouri.
Phyllis D. Thompson (2020)
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
Phyllis Thompson was appointed to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals by President George W. Bush in 2006. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served for several years on the court's Committee on Admissions, grading the written component of the District of Columbia bar examination and conducting character and fitness reviews. As a judge on the court, she now serves as liaison judge to the Committee on Admissions. Since 2014, she has also served on the board of trustees of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Her board of trustees committee assignments include chairing the Editorial Advisory Committee (which oversees The Bar Examiner publication) and serving on the Multistate Bar Examination Committee.
Judge Thompson received her J.D. with high honors in 1981 from George Washington University Law School, where she was elected to Order of the Coif and was a Notes Editor of the law review. She received a master's degree in religion from Princeton University in 1976 and a B.A. in anthropology in 1974 from George Washington University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa during her junior year and was valedictorian of her graduating class.
Joseph K. West (2019)
Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Duane Morris LLP
Joseph K. West is a partner in the trial group at Duane Morris, LLP. He also serves on the firm’s partners board and is also the firm's Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. He handles complex litigation matters and advises global companies on a wide array of matters. His clients currently include the Dubai-based Al Ahli Holding Group; Mercedes Benz-USA, Altria, Discover Financial Services, Inc. and Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Mr. West was formerly Associate General Counsel - Head of Global Outside Counsel Management at Walmart Stores Inc. where he was responsible for managing the company's relationships with all of its outside law firms worldwide, including oversight of over 600 law firms and a budget of over $300 million. He was also a member of Walmart’s Class Action – Complex Litigation Group wherein he helped manage a number of groundbreaking matters including the largest class action matter in U.S. history.
A nationally recognized expert on diversity and inclusion, Mr. West previously served as CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA), a national advocacy group that conducts research and training on corporate diversity and inclusion issues. He has lectured and written extensively on this issue and currently represents, trains and advises numerous publicly traded companies, their boards and CEOs on issues related to diversity and inclusion and the compliance, risk management and corporate strategies associated with this important and growing area of concern. Mr. West was recently elected to the board of directors of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
Mr. West was appointed by ABA President Paulette Brown to the ABA Commission on Diversity and Inclusion 360. He was a member of the ABA Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education, and has served on the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. He was also a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel's ACC Value Challenge Steering Committee and formerly served on the Arts Council of New Orleans and the Walton Arts Center Corporate Leadership Council. Additionally, former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco appointed him to chair the Louisiana State Museum Board.
He is a graduate of Tulane Law School and formerly served as an adjunct professor of trial advocacy at Tulane. He currently lectures at the George Mason Antonin Scalia School of Law on corporate leadership and diversity and was recently retained by the school to help develop the first of its kind curriculum in corporate diversity and inclusion.
Section Representative to the ABA House of Delegates
Joan Howland (2020)
Associate Dean & Professor
University of Minnesota Law School
Joan Howland is the Roger Noreen Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Information and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Howland teaches a course on American Indian legal history and a course on Magna Carta and the evolution of Anglo-American law. Her scholarship focuses on American Indian law and culture, information technologies, business management, thoroughbred horseracing and equine law generally, legal research methodologies, and law librarianship. She served on the Accreditation Committee from 2001 to 2006 and on the Council from 2006 to 2016, including a term as chair from 2014-2015. Professor Howland was a member of the Section's Law Libraries Committee from 1992 through 1994 and co-chaired that committee from 1994 through 1996.
Professor Howland is active in the Association of American Law Schools and is the current chair of the Committee on Law Libraries and Technology. She is also active in the American Association of Law Libraries, the American Indian Library Association, and the American Library Association. She is a member of the American Law Institute. In addition to a JD, Professor Howland earned master’s degrees in history, library science, and business administration. Prior to joining the faculty at Minnesota, she held administrative positions in the law libraries at U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and Stanford.
The Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr. (2018)
Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio Cleveland, Ohio
Judge Oliver was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by President William Clinton in 1994, and served as that court’s Chief Judge from 2010 to 2017. Judge Oliver holds a B.A. from the College of Wooster, an M.A. in political science from Case Western Reserve University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. From 1975 to 1976, Judge Oliver was a law clerk for the late Judge William H. Hastie of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Oliver was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio, where he served as chief of the Civil Division and chief of Appellate Litigation. From 1982 to 1994, he was a professor at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and served as associate dean from 1991 to 1994. Judge Oliver currently serves as a member of the teaching faculty of the Harvard Law School Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop.
He is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Wooster and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the New York University Black, Latino, Asian Pacific American Law Alumni Association and was inducted into the Case Western Reserve School of Law Society of Benchers. He is a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Foundation, and the Board of Trustees of the College of Wooster. Judge Oliver has served on the Judicial Conference of the United States, and on its Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and its Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules. He was a member of the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar from 1996 to 2005 and from 2011 to 2015, including a term as chair from 2013 to 2014. He has also served on the Accreditation Committee, the Standards Review Committee and numerous site visit teams. Judge Oliver previously served as co-chair of the ABA Litigation Section’s Minority Trial Lawyer Committee. He currently serves as a special advisor to the African Law Initiative Council.
Law Student Division Member
Samuel M. Chang (2018)
University of California, Hastings College of the Law
Samuel Chang has served as Student Body President of the Associated Students of UC Hastings since May 2016. As a member of the ABA’s Law Student Division, he served as Circuit Governor for the 14th District from February 2016 to February 2017. Mr. Chang currently serves as the chair of the LSD’s Education Cost Committee. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of California-San Diego in June 2014.
Board of Governors Liaison
E. Fitzgerald Parnell, III (2018)
Poyner Spruill LLP
Charlotte, North Carolina
Jerry Parnell is of counsel to the North Carolina law firm Poyner Spruill and concentrates his practice in litigation, primarily legal malpractice defense. He graduated from the college of engineering of North Carolina State University and from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He clerked for Chief Justice William H. Bobbitt of the North Carolina Supreme Court and served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Mr. Parnell has been active in bar and civic work including serving as the president of the North Carolina State Bar, the mandatory bar of that state, the state delegate for North Carolina in the House of Delegates, state chair of the Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, and the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He helped found the North Carolina Federal Bar Advisory Council, the NC Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the NC Equal Access to Justice Commission, Federal Defenders of Western North Carolina, Inc., and the Judicial Response Committee.
Mr. Parnell's past board services include Legal Services of Southern Piedmont, NC Association of Defense Attorneys, a trustee of NC IOLTA, and Moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission for the Presbytery of Charlotte. He currently serves as a member of the board of the UNC Law Alumni Association and as a member of the Board of Governors committees on finance and audit. In addition to North Carolina bar memberships, he is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, the National Conference of Bar Presidents, and the Southern Conference of Bar Presidents.
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