Dean Lawson Receives 2023 AALS Clyde Ferguson Award

UW News

Seattle, WA  Jan 5, 2023 --- The American Association of Law Schools (AALS) has recognized Dean Tamara F. Lawson, Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Washington with the 2023 AALS Clyde Ferguson Award for Excellence in Public Service, Teaching and Scholarship. The award ceremony will take place during the Section on Minority Groups at the AALS annual meeting on Thursday, January 5, 2023 from Noon to 1:00 pm in the Marriott Grand Ballroom 2, San Diego, California.

"I am honored and humbled to receive this award. I entered legal education because I believed I could help move the legal profession to better reflect and represent all Americans. That belief continues to guide our work at the University of Washington School of Law," said Lawson.

The Clyde Ferguson Award for Excellence in Public Service, Teaching and Scholarship is named in honor of Professor C. Clyde Ferguson, Jr. – the second tenured African American on the Harvard Law School faculty. The award is conferred upon an outstanding legal educator, who during their career has achieved excellence in the areas of public service, teaching and scholarship. The Award is particularly aimed at recognizing those who have provided support, encouragement and mentoring to colleagues, students and aspiring legal educators.

“Dean Lawson is deeply committed to educating law school students and advancing legal education in service of the public good, which is an important aspect of our mission as a public university and school of law. This recognition is a well-deserved reflection of her outstanding commitment to preparing students for careers with impact across all sectors of our society,” said Ana Mari Cauce, President, University of Washington.

Lawson was the first tenured woman of color at St. Thomas University (STU) – Miami School of Law and the first woman of color to serve as dean. In August 2022 she became the first woman of color to be appointed dean at the University of Washington School of Law.

Lawson is a widely respected leader and currently serves on the AALS Deans Steering Committee; the AALS Executive Committee for the Section on Women in Legal Education; the Law School Admissions Council Board; and the Board for the Society of American Law Teachers. She previously chaired the AALS Sections on Women in Legal Education, Evidence, and Law and Humanities.  She currently serves as Chair of the Law Professors Division for the National Bar Association, the largest organization for Black attorneys. Lawson also founded the Associate Deans of Color Annual Retreat, which has helped many participants to build the skills needed to become deans at law schools throughout the United States.