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Law Professor Jeffrey Jones Honored with Leo Levenson Teacher of the Year Award

May 29, 2018

Associate Professor of Law and Philosophy Jeffrey D. Jones was honored with the 2018 Leo Levenson Teacher of the year Award at commencement on Saturday, May 19. Jones earned a PhD in philosophy from University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed postdoctoral studies at Boston University’s School of Law and BU’s then Institute on Race and Social Division. He received his JD at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Jones teaches employment law, disability law, property law, property transactions, and a number of jurisprudence courses. He also teaches a course on law and social justice in Lewis and Clark’s Department of Philosophy. Recently, he has become interested in new media for legal scholarship, and launched the podcast and blog space Legalcide.

Iram Riaz ’18 presented the award to Jones. “Professor Jones respects every student and creates a comfortable classroom environment in which students can express their opinions and learn from others,” she said. “He challenges students to think outside of the conventional mindset and encourages students to set goals, not just for ourselves, but for the future of the entire legal profession.”

Jones thanked his mentor, the Honorable Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Darleen Ortega, his fellow faculty and the class of 2018. “I’m so moved and humbled that our graduating class bestowed this award upon me. Perhaps more so than any other class, I’ve come to know this class the best. And I’ve found them to be a class of leaders and innovators – and, most relevant here, deep thinkers and agitators – for the values that Lewis and Clark stands for.”

He said that he has learned from his students as well. “This class challenged [Lewis and Clark Law Professors] to ask difficult questions and to have hard conversations about our institution. Questions and conversations that may have once been optional for law professors, but which are now matters of professional competence – no different than teaching and scholarship.”

Riaz commented on how Jones has become an inspiration for minority law students. “Minority law students have a special struggle to fit in during law school but with faculty members like Professor Jones supporting us and pushing us to persevere, the journey doesn’t seem as daunting,” she said.

“Law school chips away pieces of our personalities, but Professor Jones gave me an important piece of advice that I will always keep with me: we will feel pressure to be someone outside of ourselves but it’s very hard to have a long, healthy career putting away pieces of ourselves for the sake of others,” said Riaz.

Dean Johnson congratulated Professor Jones on the award. “This is a coveted award among our faculty, and I commend Jeff on this recognition by students for his teaching abilities as well as his commitment to innovations in legal education. He is a valued member of our team here at Lewis & Clark Law School,” she said.

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