Professor Willajeanne F. McLean, an internationally recognized expert in intellectual property and European law, has won the 2019 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association.
McLean joined the UConn Law faculty in 1991 and served as interim dean from 2012 to 2013. The law school named her a distinguished professor of law in 2016. Before joining the faculty she practiced privately with the now dissolved boutique firm Darby & Darby, primarily in trademark law. Her scholarship has focused on intellectual property and European law.
The Tapping Reeve award, named for the Connecticut lawyer who founded one of the nation’s first law schools, honors a member of the Connecticut bar "who has contributed greatly to the legal education of his or her colleagues" as a faculty member, adjunct instructor or clinical instructor at UConn School of Law, Yale Law School, Quinnipiac School of Law or Western New England University School of Law.
"Professor McLean's rigorous scholarship has earned the admiration of her colleagues and of her peers around the world," Dean Timothy Fisher said. "She brings that rigor into the classroom with a deep concern and respect for her students that makes her a tremendously effective and supportive teacher."
Before earning her JD from Fordham University School of Law, McLean earned a BA in French literature and European history from Wellesley College, received a BS in microbiology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and worked in a research lab at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute. She also holds an LLM in European community law from the Free University of Brussels.
At UConn School of Law, McLean directed international exchange programs for more than a decade. She has been a visiting professor at Exeter University, Fordham University School of Law, the University of Iowa College of Law and Northeastern University School of Law and was a Fulbright Fellow at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland. She has given guest lectures at the Free University of Berlin, University of Mannheim, University of Tilburg, Université Paul Cézanne d'Aix-Marseille, the Intellectual Property Law Institute of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, and Beijing Normal University.
The Connecticut Bar Association will present the Tapping Reeve award, at a dinner on April 11, 2019, in Southington. The celebration will include recognition of five UConn Law graduates: former Judge Anne C. Dranginis '72 will receive the John Eldred Shields Distinguished Professional Service Award, Mark Dubois '77 will receive the Edward F. Hennessey Professionalism Award, Justine C. Rakich-Kelly will receive the Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award, Melanie Dykas ’10 will receive the Young Lawyers Section Vanguard Award, and Jane I. Milas '86 will be among the recipients of The Honorable Anthony V. DeMayo Pro Bono Award.
Previous winners of the Tapping Reeve award include UConn Law Dean Emeritus Phillip I. Blumberg and Professor Jon Bauer, director of the law school’s Asylum and Human Rights Clinic.