Sept. 7, 2018 — The Association of American Law Schools is honoring University of Houston Law Center Professor Michael A. Olivas with its lifetime achievement award for his decades of service to legal education and the legal profession.
Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance, is the recipient of the 2018 AALS Triennial Award, which one executive board member called "a law professor's Hall of Fame."
"Being a law faculty member at UHLC all these years has been an honor, and has enabled me to serve this institution I love, and to which I have dedicated my career," Olivas said. "We all live to serve our students, and to advance scholarship in our fields, and I have never looked back. There is so much work to do, and so many legal needs. This opportunity for service has always animated and inspired me, as corny as that sounds."
Olivas served as president of the association in 2011 and has served on numerous committees during his 38-year career in legal education. He is renowned as a scholar in the fields of higher education and immigration law, and has worked on legislation in the interest of social justice when the two intersect. A prolific writer, he has written, edited or contributed chapters to 37 books. He also has served as a legal consultant and expert witness more than 20 times, has provided legislative testimony on the state and federal level more than 10 times, and has submitted amicus briefs on 23 cases in state and federal courts.
"Michael Olivas is most deserving of this award," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "He is an exemplary academic citizen. Over the course of his career, he has been an outstanding teacher, scholar and humanitarian.
"The most notable aspect of his career is that he has put his scholarship to work in achieving groundbreaking and innovative change in the areas of admissions like University of Texas's top 10 percent plan and in immigration with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The only surprise is that he didn't receive the award earlier."
Olivas joined the Law Center faculty in 1982 and teaches courses in Business Law & Immigration, Higher Education Law, and Immigration Law and Policy. From February 2016 until May 2017, Olivas also served as the President of the University of Houston-Downtown on an interim basis.
The award will be presented at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Thursday, January 3, 2019.
Click here to read the AALS profile on Olivas.