Professor Joan S. Howland is the 2021 Robert J. Kutak Award Recipient

2021 Robert J. Kutak Award Recipient

2021 Robert J. Kutak Award Recipient

Professor Joan S. Howland

Joan S. Howland
Roger F. Noreen Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Information and Technology
University of Minnesota Law School
Minneapolis, MN

Joan Howland is the Roger F. Noreen Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Information and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School. Professor Howland teaches a course on Magna Carta and the evolution of Anglo-American law and a course on the intersection of law, the legal profession, and legal education. Professor Howland has also taught law and business at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship focuses on American Indian law and culture, information technologies, thoroughbred horse racing and equine law generally, legal education, organizational management, legal research methodologies, and law librarianship. She has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Legal History.

She served on the Section’s 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. In 2020, Professor Howland was elected to serve a second three-year term as the Section's representative to the ABA House of Delegates.

Throughout her career, Professor Howland has been active in the Association of American Law Schools (AALS), the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) , the American Indian Library Association, the Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries, and the American Library Association. She is a member of the American Law Institute. Professor Howland is the recipient of numerous awards including the AALL Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for her work in promoting access to technology and information among indigenous populations in remote areas of South America. She also has received the AALS Section on Law Libraries and Legal Information award for outstanding contributions to teaching and scholarship. She has been elected to the AALL Hall of Fame and has received the University of Minnesota President's Award for Outstanding Services. 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.

In nominating Professor Howland for the award, Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr., Section Nominating Committee Chair, stated: “Dean Howland’s contributions to legal education have been immeasurable in every sphere of her involvement. The Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has especially benefited from Joan’s wise counsel, astute observations, and diplomatic manner during her past service as Chair of the Section and during her current service as the Section Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. She is also a quintessential professor, scholar, and law school administrator, and has used her legal and technological skills as one of the nation’s leading law librarians to assist legal aid programs providing services to underrepresented groups. Joan Howland is richly deserving of the Kutak Award.”

Professor Howland will be honored at an upcoming reception in conjunction with the Section’s Council Meeting. The Kutak Award is presented annually to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the collaboration of the legal academy, the bench, and the bar. The award was established in memory of Mr. Kutak, a respected Omaha lawyer, who was committed to legal reform and a strong advocate for legal education.