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Dean Emeritus Leo P. Martinez is the 2024 Robert J. Kutak Award Recipient

2024 Kutak Award Recipient

2024 Kutak Award Recipient

Leo P. Martinez

Leo Martinez is Dean Emeritus and Albert Abramson Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California College of the Law San Francisco. He is currently a Managing Director at Andersen, the tax and financial services firm.

Professor Martinez is a past Chair of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He is a past President of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). He has chaired or served on more than thirty law school site evaluation visits, and he has assisted more than a dozen law schools in their strategic planning. He is currently Vice-Chair of the WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC).  He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), he was 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 that issued its final report in 2014. He received Public Advocates’ Voices of Conscience Award in 2011, he was elected an honorary fellow of the American College of Coverage Counsel in 2017, and he was presented with the Visionary Award by the then UC Hastings Board of Directors in 2018.

Professor Martinez has lectured and written extensively on legal education and on his chosen fields of tax and insurance law throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. He is a co-author of a leading insurance law casebook now in its ninth edition, 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 including the Stanford Law ReviewTulane Law ReviewRutgers Law ReviewYale Law and Policy ReviewChina EU Law JournalABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Journal, and Global Jurist.

Outside of academia, Professor Martinez has been an active participant in local and national non-profit organizations that seek to improve the world. He has chaired the boards of five different non-profit organizations including KQED, Inc., Public Advocates, Inc., the St. Francis Hospital Foundation, Public Media Company, and, most recently, the Public Media Venture Group (a consortium of more than 25 public television stations). His past affiliations include a 14-year stint on the Access Group (now AccessLex) board of directors, a 10-year term as a member of the board of CollegeTrack, a Bay Area-based organization that provides mentoring for high school students living in low-income and underserved areas, and a 6-year term as a member of the University of Kansas (his alma mater) Chancellor’s Advisory Board.

Kutak Award Committee Chair Rebecca Hanner White remarked: “I am delighted that Leo Martinez is the 2024 recipient of the Kutak award.  Leo’s service to the academy and to the legal profession have enhanced and made both stronger. As his nominator, Dean Mary Crossley said in her nomination letter, ‘sustained engagement with the practicing bar…sets Leo apart as an academic,’ aptly noting that Leo has ‘contributed to the integration of the values and activities of the three central pillars of the legal profession—the bench, the bar, and the legal academy.’ For example, Leo has served as Advisor to the American Law Institute’s Restatement on the Law of Liability Insurance, as a law school professor, as a law school Dean, and as an active and committed participant in the law school accreditation process. Leo has served as both the President of the AALS and on its Executive Committee, and as the Chair of the Council on the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar and on its Executive Committee. His impact cannot be overstated. Simply put, his leadership and contributions to legal education and to the profession make Leo Martinez the ideal recipient of this important honor.” 

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. Mr. Martinez was presented with the award at the Section’s May 2024 Council and Kutak Award Dinner in Chicago.

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