Post Date: June 15, 2006
Professor Richard Fallon is this year’s winner of the prestigious Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, an honor bestowed each spring by the Harvard Law School graduating class. The award recognizes teaching ability, attentiveness to student concerns and general contributions to student life at the law school.
Class Marshall Michael Thakur introduced Fallon at the school’s Class Day exercises and noted a series of scholarly writings and accomplishments, including the fact that Fallon was recently inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. “All that, and he has a pretty good hook shot on the basketball court,” said Thakur. “But we honor him today not as an athlete or even as a scholar — we honor him as a teacher.”
“There is nothing that could make me feel better or more honored than to get this award from you,” said Fallon to the graduating class. Quoting a range of sources, including John Kenneth Galbraith, Groucho Marx, Woody Allen and others, Fallon went on to give the graduates seven specific pieces of advice to guide them in the years to come.
A specialist in constitutional law and federal courts, Fallon has taught courses that include constitutional law and the Public Law Workshop, an innovative seminar designed for students considering careers in legal education.
Fallon joined the Harvard Law faculty in 1982 and received tenure in 1987. In 2004, he was named the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law, the chair once held by professors John Hart Ely and Laurence Tribe.
Established in 1992, the Sacks-Freund award is named in honor of the late Harvard Law School Professors Albert Sacks and Paul Freund. Recent award winners have included Martha Minow, William Stuntz, Laurence Tribe and Lani Guinier.