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California Western Professor Emeritus Janet Weinstein Honored with National Award from AALS

Professor Emeritus Janet Weinstein

California Western School of Law Professor Emeritus Janet Weinstein has been selected for the highly prestigious 2016 Father Robert Drinan Award, one of 17 awards for excellence in education given by the Association of American Law Schools.

The Drinan award, named for the late Jesuit priest, U.S. Representative, attorney, and human rights activist, honors law professors and legal scholars for achievements in pro bono and public service opportunities.

Weinstein, who retired in 2015, had a deep commitment to pro bono service, expanding access to justice and developing innovative clinical education programs—she was a pioneer in creating experiential programs that give law students hands-on legal experience.

“Heartfelt congratulations to Janet, who, like Father Drinan, has modeled her own life on the attributes of humility, dignity, hope, and tireless devotion to making this world a better place for all,” said Associate Dean Linda Morton, who nominated Weinstein for the award.

Among her many achievements, Weinstein is a co-founder of the Community Law Project, which brings free legal services to disadvantaged neighborhoods and also allows law students to serve real-world clients.

She also developed the Clinical Internship Program, which gives students experience working in law firms and other legal offices, and the STEPPS Program, which allows students to work together in a simulated law firm while supervised by working attorneys.

“I was pleased, but not surprised, when we heard that Janet had been selected to receive this award,” said Vice Dean for Academic Affairs Barbara J. Cox. “Throughout her career at California Western, Janet kept her focus on educating our students about their pro bono obligations as lawyers to help serve the underserved. But unlike many people, Janet always did this same work herself. Her career is an example of public service in support of training law students how to work with clients in need and this award is richly deserved.” 

“I am honored and humbled to be included in the amazing group of people who have previously won this award,” said Weinstein. “I know that neither they nor I had any award in mind when we pursued our passions to make this a more just society. It's particularly moving to receive an award named for Father Robert Drinan, who, in every way, reflected the best of humanity.”

California Western congratulates Janet Weinstein on this great honor.