UH Law Center Prof James Nelson wins AALS award for paper on the limits of corporate religious liberty

University of Houston Law Center Professor James D. Nelson 
University of Houston Law Center Professor James D. Nelson

Nov. 13, 2018 — University of Houston Law Center Professor James D. Nelson is the winner of the Association of American Law Schools' annual Scholarly Papers Competition for his article, "Corporate Disestablishment."

"I am honored to receive this award," Nelson said. "I am also very grateful to the University of Houston Law Center for its support and to the AALS Committee for making the selection."

In his paper, Nelson identifies and defends a set of legal principles limiting corporate religious liberty in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. The paper is scheduled for publication in the Virginia Law Review in 2019.

"I am delighted that AALS recognized Professor Nelson's outstanding legal scholarship," said Dean Leonard M. Baynes. "His high caliber research and scholarship was something that the faculty and I recognized when he was hired. He is a great exemplar of the terrific scholarship taking place at the University of Houston Law Center. As dean, I cannot be any more proud of Professor Nelson's success."

"Professor Nelson's article is a fascinating and original examination of religious freedom in the context of corporations," said David Fagundes, Baker Botts LLP Professor of Law and Assistant Dean for Faculty Development. "His selection for this prestigious honor reflects the importance of Professor Nelson's contributions to the academic dialogue about the role of corporations in contemporary America."

Nelson shared the award with Maureen E. Brady from the University of Virginia School of Law for her work titled, "The Forgotten History of Metes and Bounds." Their papers were chosen from among 55 submitted by recent faculty appointees.

Nelson, who joined the Law Center faculty in 2015 as an assistant professor of law, teaches Business Organizations and a seminar titled, "The Modern Corporation and Society." He earned a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2009 and a B.A. from UVA in 2006.

The co-winners will be honored at the AALS annual meeting Jan. 3 - 6, 2019, in New Orleans.

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