Professor Jessica Rubin will receive the 2020 Perry Zirkel '76 Distinguished Teaching Award.
Rubin is the director of the Legal Practice Program and of the Animal Law Clinic at the UConn School of Law. She is a widely recognized expert in animal law and was instrumental in creating Desmond’s Law, which allows Connecticut courts to appoint advocates, including law students under the supervision of an attorney, in animal cruelty cases.
The teaching award was established in 2016 through the generosity of Perry Zirkel, who graduated from the UConn School of Law in 1976. He became a professor of education and law at Lehigh University and served as dean of the university's College of Education.
Alumni are invited to nominate faculty members for the award and a committee of graduating students chooses three to five finalists. The entire graduating class is invited to vote to choose the winner. Past winners are Professor Alexandra Lahav in 2019, Associate Dean Paul Chill in 2018, Professor Richard Pomp in 2017 and Professor Jeremy McClane in 2016.
The award will be presented in conjunction with commencement. Although the traditional ceremony has been canceled, the law school is exploring alternative ways of celebrating the event.