April 20, 2021 - University of Houston Law Center faculty members Renee Knake Jefferson and David Kwok were announced as recipients of the Faculty Fellows Awards on Monday. The 2021-2022 Faculty Fellows Awards are presented by the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Leadership and Ethics at the Hobby School of Public Affairs.
Knake Jefferson, the Joanne and Larry Doherty Chair in Legal Ethics and Director of Law Center Outcomes and Assessments, was selected for her research projected, "Mentored: The Ethical Obligations of Leaders." Knake Jefferson's work was inspired by her mentor and friend, the late Deborah Rhode, who was the second tenured female law professor at Stanford Law School and the most-cited legal ethics scholar in the nation.
Her resulting article on the ethics of mentoring will include an analysis of the ethical obligations of leaders to mentor, examples of good and bad mentoring, and implications for women, especially female minorities, seeking mentorship in pursuit of leadership roles.
“I’m honored to be selected as a recipient of the Rockwell Fellows Award,” Knake Jefferson said. “It is inspiring and humbling to receive an award named after a pioneering female leader who was a mentor to many and whose generosity will now support a research project dedicated in the memory of my mentor, who passed away in January of this year. In this way, both women continue to mentor and I hope to pass this on to others.”
Kwok, who teaches and writes in the areas of white collar crime, whistleblowers, public policy, and law and the social sciences, was picked for his submission titled, "Anomalous Fraud Punishment." Kwok's project builds on his previous work on white collar crimes, and explores the complex relationship between ethics and civil and criminal laws regarding fraud.
The goal of the project is to systematically identify anomalies in the hierarchy of fraud and punishment and to answer the question: “Are there significant areas in which the punishment regime deviates from the standard expectation?” His research will also result in an article on anomalies in which fraud is regulated and deterred.
"I am delighted at the privilege to work with the Hobby School as a Rockwell Fellow in the upcoming year,” Kwok said. “Elizabeth Rockwell's priorities of honesty, trust, and open communication are sorely needed in today's polarized environment. I can think of no better partner in studying the challenges of fraud and deception through the interplay of legal regimes, ethics, and leadership."