Miami Law Faculty - Highly Regarded by Peers - Elected to Leadership Roles at AALS

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Professors Iglesias, James and Stewart

Professor Elizabeth Iglesias, Professor Osamudia James, and Associate Dean Kele Stewart

The Association of American Law Schools elected Miami Law’s Kele Stewart, Osamudia James and Elizabeth Iglesias to leadership roles at their recent annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Stewart, the associate dean for experiential learning, professor of law, and co-director of the Children & Youth Law Clinic, will serve on the executive committee of the Section on Clinical Legal Education for three years.

James, a professor of law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, was elected to the executive committee of AALS’s Minority Groups Section.

Iglesias is the newly elected chair of the Section on Civil Rights.

Founded in 1900, the mission of AALS is to uphold and advance excellence in legal education. In support of this mission, AALS promotes the core values of excellence in teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and diversity, including diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints, while seeking to improve the legal profession, to foster justice, and to serve its many communities–local, national, and international.

“That Associate Dean Stewart and Professors Iglesias and James have assumed these important leadership positions atop the preeminent learned society for legal education reflects how highly they are regarded by their peers across the nation. Their elections are yet another example of how many Miami Law faculty colleagues not only are engaged in, but also setting the agenda for, the work and conversations at the cutting edge of innovation towards the future of law, law practice, and legal education,” said Miami Law Dean and M. Minnette Massey Professor of Law Anthony E. Varona. “Having representation and leadership of this caliber will be of tremendous benefit to their respective AALS sections."

The Section on Clinical Legal Education promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among members of the Section and makes recommendations on matters concerning clinical legal education.

Stewart, who has been associate dean for experiential education at Miami Law for three years and has long been active in the national clinical education community, was previously on the board of the Clinical Legal Education Association. Stewart, a 2011 Fulbright Scholar, was an attorney at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School, where she did voting rights advocacy and supervised law students in NYU's public policy clinic before joining the faculty. She also worked in private practice doing commercial litigation at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and White & Case.

“The Clinical Section is a vibrant, supportive and engaged national community of clinical law professors,” said Stewart. “I am excited to serve on the executive committee, which plays a key role in developing programming, recommendations, awards and other activities related to clinical teaching and scholarship, and the professional development of clinical professors.”

The Section on Minority Groups carries forward the work of the association by providing a common meeting ground as a means of effecting communication and collaborative action among law teachers and administrators interested in problems and programs relating to minority persons in the legal profession.

James, who writes and teaches in the areas of education law, race and the law, administrative law, and torts, explores the interaction of law and identity in the context of public education. She is a co-recipient of the 2014 Derrick A. Bell, Jr. Award, served as vice dean from 2016 to 2019, and was honored with the Miami Law Hausler Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2017.

“I’m excited to engage in service work that benefits not only minority professors,” she said, “but law professors across the academy.”

The Section on Civil Rights promotes the communication of ideas, interests, and activities among members and makes recommendations on matters of interest in the teaching and improvement of the law relating to civil rights. The section takes a broad and inclusive approach to the promotion of civil rights scholarship, pursuing joint program development with other Sections including the Sections on Aging and the Law, Family and Juvenile Law, Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Minority Groups, Labor Relations, Criminal Justice, Africa Law Section, and the European Law Section, among others.

Iglesias is the co-Founder of Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory, Inc., an organization dedicated to the progressive transformation of law and legal institutions through legal scholarship, community building, and advocacy. She teaches courses in constitutional law, international criminal law, international economic law, law and political economy and has published extensively in the fields of labor and employment, law and political economy, international economic law, criminal law, as well as critical race theory, critical race feminism, and LatCit theory.

“I’m delighted to take a leadership role in the Civil Rights Section of the AALS,” Iglesias said. “The essence of civil liberty is the right of citizens to enforce their rights under the rule of law. The Civil Rights Section is committed to making civil liberty a reality.”

In related AALS news, the organization reelected Varona to the executive committee of the Teaching Methods Section. Vice Dean for Intellectual Life Lili Levi chaired the Communications/Media Section at the annual meeting, and Dean of Students Janet Stearns chaired the Student Services Section at the conference.