BYU Law Professor Assumes AALS Presidency
This past week at the Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools, H. Reese Hansen, a professor at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, assumed his role as president of the AALS. Hansen, who has served as president-elect during 2009, is the first BYU faculty member to serve as president of this organization.
“Reese’s election is a remarkable individual achievement and a significant milestone in the history of our law school,” said James R. Rasband, dean of the J. Reuben Clark Law School. “It is the culmination of years of service within the legal academy and an indication of the respect with which Reese is held by his colleagues within the academy. There are few, if any, law faculty in the country who have such a comprehensive understanding of legal education. We are proud of Reese and are confident that he will be an influence for good as he takes on this new challenge.”
The AALS is a non-profit educational association of 171 law schools representing over 10,000 law faculty in the United States. The Association encourages collaboration with law professors and focuses on improving the legal profession through legal education. One way they accomplish this is through their Annual Meeting, the largest gathering of law faculty in the world, which was held this past week in New Orleans.
Hansen’s nomination to serve as president of the AALS is consistent with the recent counsel he gave to members of the BYU Law School Alumni Board and J. Reuben Clark Law Society Leadership on Oct. 1, 2009. “Your education obligates you to use your skills in helping, and healing, and connecting and building,” he said.
Hansen is Howard W. Hunter Professor of Law at the BYU Law School and a leading scholar in the fields of trust law, probate law and wills and estate planning. He joined the faculty of the BYU Law School in 1973 after practicing law in Salt Lake City. Hansen served as acting dean of the BYU Law School from 1989 to 1990, and dean from 1990 to 2004. He has also served as trustee of the Law School Admission Council and director of Law School Admissions Services, Inc.
Susan Westerberg Prager, AALS executive director and chief executive officer, said of Hansen, "Reese Hansen is an extraordinary person. He is not only a careful analyst and a remarkably dedicated and generous person; but, he also has superb judgment, a quality that is truly invaluable. Reese has the ability to work effectively with people of a wide range of perspectives, which is so important, not only in the context of the AALS executive committee, which is a highly collaborative institution, but in our discipline of law and in the world."
Written by Douglas Haycock