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June 11, 2021

Jeffrey Jones Named 2021 Leo Levenson Professor Posthumously

The legacy of Professor Jeffrey Jones expands with the 2021 Leo Levenson Award and the first annual student “Nicely Done” award.


Professor Jeffery D. Jones’ legacy continues to expand in the wake of his passing, most recently with two significant honors. The 2021 law school graduates conveyed the 2021 Leo Levenson Award of Excellence to him posthumously and the Student Bar Association established the ‘Nicely Done!’ Award recognizing his contributions to, and impact on, students.

The Jeff Jones “Nicely Done!” Award is a new annual SBA award given in memory and honor of the late Professor Jones. In the true spirit of Professor Jones, the award will be given to students who demonstrate a commitment to empathy, inclusivity, and accountability, and any LC Law Student is eligible. The recipient will receive $500.00 as an acknowledgement of the SBA’s appreciation of the recipient’s presence and continued efforts to make our community a more inclusive and equitable place.

As the first annual SBA Award, the award emphasizes that it is one created for students, by students, in order to ensure Professor Jones’ teachings live on in students who will not have the privilege of attending his classes. The awarding committee will include the esteemed Tamara Jones and prior students of Professor Jones. In future years, the committee will also include the prior year’s recipient.

Professor Jones was posthumously honored with the 2021 Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching at commencement on Saturday, May 22. The graduating class votes and selects the Leo Levenson Award recipient, honoring a full-time professor whose teaching has had a particular impact on the class. Professor Jones previously won the award in 2018. Professor Jones passed away December 2020.

In presenting the award, SBA 2020-21 President Amanda Pham Haines acknowledged the impact Professor Jones had on the Lewis & Clark Law community. “Professor Jones was a dynamic educator and compassionate human being,” said Haines. “He taught us the foundation and then planted seeds of confidence, which he watered with supportive emails and smiles. He did this regardless of what battles he was facing. Both in his life and in his legacy, Professor Jones found ways to encourage students continuously and enthusiastically to be better versions of ourselves.”

Professor Janet Steverson received the Leo Levenson Award on behalf of Professor Jones. “Professor Jones cared deeply for his students. [He] put his heart and soul in teaching and mentoring. I am sad that future students will miss out on all that [he] had to offer. We, in turn, will pass his teachings on with all those with whom we come into contact.”

“Professor Jones was, and is, an institution. There are no words big enough to capture his influence,” said Haines.

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.