PUBLISHED:April 21, 2010

Duke Law's outstanding and noteworthy achievements

The Duke Bar Association has honored Professor Barak D. Richman with its 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award. Richman and other winners of the DBA’s annual awards for outstanding contributions to student life and the greater community were honored during a packed lunchtime ceremony.

Richman, who also teaches antitrust and health law, won specific praise for teaching first-year contracts. Presenter Todd Miller ’11 said it was his favorite first-year class. “And it’s not because I’m gung-ho for promissory estoppel,” he said. “It’s because the professor was simply amazing.”

Miller and co-presenter Joanna Darcus ’12 praised Richman’s energetic use of the Socratic method, his preparation, and his ability to vigorously engage students without embarrassing them. After her first contracts class with Richman, Darcus recalled, “I walked out thinking, ‘Yes, this is what law school is supposed to be.’”

The assembled students and faculty gave a surprised Richman a lengthy standing ovation.

“I’m very touched and enormously appreciative,” Richman said. “The law school classroom lets me intellectually engage, and often clash, with some very smart and very creative students. I think I get more out of it than they do.”

The DONE awards, created by the DBA in 2007 to honor "Duke's Outstanding and Noteworthy Endeavors,” also honored individual students and student organizations.

“Our strength is the strength of so many individual contributions” said Leigh Llewelyn ’12, DBA academic chair and emcee of the event. “That’s what we’re honoring here today.”

The award for Greatest Contribution to Civic Discourse was given to the Christian Legal Society for their ongoing speaker series.

The Street Law program won the award for Greatest Service to the Outside Community for their legal education outreach programs.

Duke Law’s Drama Society was named Most Active in Law Student Life for its various productions. Presenter Justin Becker ’12 called its annual variety show “the one night we get to forget we have these things called finals coming up.”

Sarah Rutledge ’10, student director of the Innocence Project, won the award for Outstanding Student Organization Leader. Rutledge was recognized for her focus on volunteer training and her reorganization of the Law School’s largest student group.

The award for Outstanding Contribution to the Duke Law Community was given to David Mansfield ’10; his many endeavors include service as managing director of the Innocence Project and work with the AIDS Legal Project and the Moot Court Board.