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New England Law | Boston Dean John F. O'Brien Receives American Bar Association's Kutak Award

BOSTON, Aug. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Bar Association has honored New England Law | Boston Dean John F. O'Brien with the Robert J. Kutak Award, given annually to an individual who has contributed significantly toward increased cooperation among legal education, the practicing bar, and the judiciary. Dean O'Brien was honored at a special reception August 8 during the ABA annual meeting at the Hilton Boston Back Bay.

The ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and Kutak Rock LLP, a national law firm, established the award in 1984, and most recipients have been members of the Section and active participants in its work. "Dean O'Brien's leadership has been invaluable, particularly in recent years as legal education has undergone significant change. With his experience and perspective, he has made a profound positive contribution to the legal profession for which we're very grateful," said Gregory Murphy, chair of the Kutak Award Committee.

Dean O'Brien has been dean of New England Law since 1988 and has the longest continuous service at a single institution of any law school dean in the country. In 2012, he was named one of the most influential people in legal education in a nationwide survey conducted by the National Jurist.

"For nearly three decades, Dean O'Brien has been a valued and influential leader both here at New England Law and nationally in the field of legal education," said Martin C. Foster '80, chairman of the Board of Trustees. "Building bridges among legal education, the profession, and the courts, he has helped break new ground and fostered stronger bonds within the legal community. On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the entire New England Law community, I congratulate Dean O'Brien on this well-deserved award."

Dean O'Brien has fostered collaboration among the bench, bar, and legal academy in many ways. New England Law is recognized nationally for attracting a broad range of distinguished visitors, including Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr., and Associate Justices Harry Blackmun, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony M. Kennedy, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas; Dr. Hans Blix; Attorney General Janet Reno; and United States Senator John F. Kerry. Several of the justices have taught classes at New England Law.

Under his leadership, New England Law established and operates three centers that allow students to work with faculty to provide public service and collaborate with local bar associations and agencies. To promote connections between the bar and the academy, New England Law also sponsors memberships for its students in the Boston Bar Association.

New England Law was founded in 1908 to provide opportunities in law to women who were largely excluded from the profession at the time. Under Dean O'Brien's leadership, the school has expanded its historic mission of providing opportunities to diverse populations and collaborates closely with the Boston Lawyers Group, which is dedicated to identifying, recruiting, and advancing attorneys of color. 

SOURCE New England Law

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