Professor Rubin Honored for Community Work

Professor Jessica Rubin with students at Starr Hall arch
Professor Rubin Honored for Community Work
November 8, 2017
Hartford, CT

UConn Law Professor Jessica Rubin will receive a 2017 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Public Engagement, honoring her work with international lawyers and her leadership in the fields of negotiation and animal advocacy. 

The award will be presented at a ceremony on Nov. 14, 2017, in the Great Hall at the Alumni Center at the university's main campus in Storrs.

Rubin, who teaches animal law, was instrumental in the passage and implementation of Desmond's Law, which allows judges in Connecticut to appoint lawyers and supervised law students to act as advocates for justice in cases of animal abuse. She and her students have served as advocates in several cases of animal cruelty and neglect since the groundbreaking law took effect in 2016. She has also worked with the UConn School of Social Work and the State Division of Criminal Justice to develop a program to diagnose and treat animal cruelty offenders.

As director of the law school's Legal Practice Program, Rubin also recognized a need for practical training in negotiation skills. She created a Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Society for students, which sent teams to three national competitions in its first year. She also organized two competitions that brought 150 participants from the United States and Canada to UConn Law and, with the UConn School of Business, founded the annual UConn Business Law Negotiation Competition, which brings the university's law students and business graduate students together to hone their negotiation skills. 

In addition, Rubin taught in South Korea in 2016 and in Turkey in 2013 and 2014, where she worked with human rights activists from Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia under the auspices of the Open Society Foundation.

“Jessica is a leader in building local, national and global communities around the goals of justice and education,” Dean Timothy Fisher said. “The UConn Law community is grateful for her work and proud of her accomplishments.”

The other award recipients this year are Emily Keller, an advanced degree student in the School of Dental Medicine; Patricia Bellamy, a staff member with Husky Sport; the Integrated Pest Management team, a collaboration between UConn Extension and the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture; Dr. Kenneth Noll, a professor and microbiologist in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology; and Jenna Stone, an undergraduate student who serves as a coordinator for the Jumpstart CoP within Community Outreach program.