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Jeffrey Jones Honored With Leo Levenson Award

Professor Jeffrey Jones Credit: Nina JohnsonThe Class of 2018 presented the 2018 Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching to Jeffrey D. Jones, associate professor of law.

Jones teaches employment law, disability law, property law, property transactions, and jurisprudence courses. He also teaches a course on law and social justice in Lewis & Clark’s undergraduate Department of Philosophy. Recently, he developed an interest in new media for legal scholarship, prompting him to launch the podcast and blog space Legalcide.

Iram Riaz ’18 presented the award to Jones at the commencement ceremony. “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, 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 one the best. 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 & Clark stands for.”

Professor Jones 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.” Iram Riaz ’18

He said that he has learned from his students as well. “The Class of 2018 challenged Lewis & 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 that are now matters of professional competence—no different than teaching and scholarship.”

“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 if we are putting away pieces of ourselves for the sake of others,” said Riaz. She commented on how Jones has become an inspiration for minority law students. “We 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.”

Leo Levenson (1903–1981), for whom this award is named, was a distinguished attorney, Oregon State Bar member, and highly respected instructor who taught at the law school for many years.

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