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Monday, September 26, 2022 11:00am, EDT

Professor Emeritus Frank Askin Honored with "Great Teacher" Award

The Society of American Law Teachers has recognized recently retired Rutgers Distinguished  Law Professor, Frank Askin with a Great Teacher Award.

Askin, who retired in July and retains the title Professor Emeritus, will be honored at the society’s annual dinner in January in San Francisco.

Professor Jon Dubin, Associate Dean for Clinical Education, made this announcement to the faculty at Rutgers Law School:

“Frank joins a long line of his contemporaries (and others) who received this award and were/are fellow travelers in the struggle to make law schools and legal education more democratic, inclusive and supportive of the advancement of social justice including Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Derek Bell, Norman Dorsen, Haywood Burns, Herma Kay Hill, Thomas Emerson, Cruz Reynoso, Anthony Amsterdam, Sylvia Law, Charles Black, Barbara Aldave,  Chancellor Phoebe Haddon, Steve Wizner, last year's winners Jeanne Koh Peters and Sue Bryant, and many more.”  

Dubin’s nomination letter recognized Askin for his 50-year career as an activist law professor, civil rights lawyer, founder of perhaps the nation’s first, large- case, Constitutional Rights Clinic, and mentor to many young civil rights and public interest lawyers who were inspired to or advanced in their work through participation in Askin’s Clinic such as the current CEO’s of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Vince Warren 93’ and New York Civil Liberties Union, Donna Lieberman 73’.  Askin’s work includes:  

  • Chairing a committee in the 60s to create a pioneering Affirmative Action program for Rutgers Law School called the Minority Student Program.
  • Serving on another committee shortly thereafter to recommend and then help launch and implement an extensive, in-house community-based, clinical program at Rutgers Law School, which became one of the nation’s largest.
  • Handling and clinically supervising law student work on civil rights cases successfully challenging government surveillance of anti-war protestors, NJ State Police profiling of drivers for traffic stops, systemic racial discrimination in Newark’s police and fire departments, denial of free speech and expression in suburban quasi-public spaces, and denial of voting access for low income and disenfranchised voters.

 “Frank has been a mentor to all of us in the public interest legal advocacy community for generations,” said Rutgers Law School Co-Dean Ronald Chen ’83. “We were fellow members of the National Board of the ACLU and law partners in the Constitutional Rights Clinic.”

This spring, Askin was the recipient of the Rutgers Medal and the clinical wing of the law school was renamed after him and his wife Marilyn.

In addition, Askin has a long history with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). He was a founding member of the society, served on its founding board of governors and was a former treasurer. He also headed and coordinated the society’s involvement with the Alliance for Justice’s First Monday program.

According to its website, the Society of American Law Teachers is committed to advancing teaching excellence, social justice and diversity. It is a community of progressive law teachers, law school administrators, librarians, academic support experts, students and affiliates. SALT has been working for more than 40 years to improve the legal profession, the law academy and expand the power of law to underserved communities. SALT engages in work within and beyond the law school to advance social justice.