Call for Nominations – Deborah L. Rhode & Father Robert Drinan Awards


Please consider nominating a law school faculty member, Dean, staff member – or yourself! – to be recognized for their pro bono contributions.

The AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities will present two awards at the AALS An­nual Meeting in January 2021. The purpose of these awards is to honor those who have dedicated significant efforts toward increasing access to justice through the law school environment and to inspire similar efforts from others. The intent is to honor those who personally design and manage pro bono programs, those leaders in legal education who promote these programs, and those who personally give of their time and talents in pro bono service.

Nominations are due August 24.

The Deborah L. Rhode Award will be awarded to a full-time faculty member or Dean who has made an outstanding contribution to increasing pro bono and public service in the law school setting through scholar­ship, leadership, or service.

The Father Robert Drinan Award will be presented to a professional faculty or staff member at a law school who has forwarded the ethic of pro bono service through personal service, program design or management.


  • Nomination deadline is August 24, 2020
  • Nominations of others or oneself may be made by any member of AALS.
    • Re-nomination of persons who have been previously nominated but not selected is encouraged.
    • See list below of prior awardees.
  • Email a nomination letter (no longer than 5 pages) to Kiva Zytnick, Secretary of the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities, at [email protected]. Nomination letters may be accompanied by no more than three letters of support.
    • Please use a descriptive subject line such as “Nomination of xxx by xxx for the Rhode Award,” or “Letter of support for nomination of xxx for Father Drinan Award from xxx.”
    • Optimally the nomination and letters of support will be submitted together as one PDF.
  • Contact Kiva [email protected] with questions.

Thank you from the Awards Selection Subcommittee!

Sande Buhai (Chair, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles); Susan B. Schechter (Chair-Elect, University of California, Berkeley School of Law); Kiva K. Zytnick (Secretary, The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law); Kelli Neptune (Howard University School of Law); Gregory Zlotnick (St. Mary’s University School of Law)

AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service OpportunitiesRecipients of Deborah L. Rhode and Fr. Robert Drinan Awards

2001: Deborah Rhode (Stanford) and Father Robert Drinan (Georgetown)

2002: Vanessa Merton (Pace) and John Kramer (Georgetown)

2003: John Feerick (Fordham) and Thomas Maligno (Touro)

2004: Howard Lesnick (Pennsylvania) and Sudha Shetty (Minnesota)

2005: Mark Sargent (Villanova) and Ellen Chapnick (Columbia) & Sandy Buhai (Loyola-LA) (shared)

2006: Efren Rivera Ramos (Puerto Rico) and Wally Mlyniec (Georgetown)

2007: David Kairys (Temple) and Anthony Alfieri (Miami)

2008: Philip G. Schrag (Georgetown) and Michael Millemann (Maryland)

2009: Katherine “Shelley” Broderick (UDC) andEve Biskind-Klothen (Rutgers-Camden)

2010: David Logan (Roger Williams) and Fred Rooney (CUNY)

2011: Linda Morton (Cal Western) and Peter Knapp (William Mitchell)  

2012: Claudio Grossman (AUWCL) and Christine Smith (UNLV)

2013: Douglas Blaze (TN) and Sandy Ogilvy (Catholic)

2014: Matthew Diller (Cardozo) and Linda McGuire (Iowa)

2015: Gerald Lopez (UCLA) and William P. Quigley (Loyola, New Orleans)

2016: Jim Rosenblatt (Mississippi College of Law) and Janet Weinstein (California Western School of Law)

2017: Jennifer Gundlach (Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University) and Paolo Annino (Florida State University College of Law)

2018: Angela Drake (University of Missouri School of Law) and Thomas Schoenherr, (Fordham University School of Law)

2019: Vivian Neptune-Rivera (University of Puerto Rico School of Law) and Louis Rulli (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

2020: Aviam Soifer (University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law) and Laurie Barron (Roger Williams University School of Law)