Professor Heather Gerken has been named the 2002-2003 Sacks-Freund award winner. Presented each year on Class Day, the Sacks-Freund award recognizes teaching ability, attentiveness to student concerns, and general contribution to student life at Harvard Law School.

“Professor Gerken exemplifies the excellence that this award recognizes. She is an outstanding scholar, teacher and person,” said Joi Chaney, a 2003 class marshal. “Having Professor Gerken as your professor is an educational experience that will reaffirm your decision to go to law school, and make you proud to say you went to Harvard Law School.”

An expert in election law, voting rights and democratic theory; Gerken gained national prominence during the 2000 presidential election controversy when she frequently served as a television and print legal analyst.

“I am humbled and a bit flummoxed given the astonishing professors that you all passed up to give me this award,” Gerken said in her acceptance speech. “I worry a bit sometimes that my students engaged in the old fashioned election law practice of ballot box stuffing which I want to assure the parents that I did not teach in my class.”

Gerken noted that the award was especially meaningful since it was presented by the class of 2003 who, like her, arrived on campus in the fall of 2000.

A 1991 graduate of Princeton University, Gerken earned her J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1994.

Established in 1992, the award is named in honor of the late Harvard Law School Professors Albert Sacks and Paul Freund. Recent award winners have included Laurence Tribe, Charles Ogletree and Lani Guinier.