Jan. 4, 2019 - Two members of the University of Houston Law Center faculty received accolades for their excellence in legal scholarship this week at the Association of American Law Schools annual meeting in New Orleans.
The AALS honored Professor Michael A. Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law & Governance, with the Triennial Award. The lifetime achievement award recognized Olivas' decades of service to legal education and the legal profession.
"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,
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.
"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.
Click here to listen to Olivas' award presentation beginning at the 9:34 mark.
Professor James D. Nelson won the AALS' Scholarly Papers Competition for his article, "Corporate Disestablishment." 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 later this year.
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.
"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."
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.
"I am delighted that AALS recognized Professor Nelson's outstanding legal scholarship," Baynes said. "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."