Post Date: June 8, 2005 — 2 p.m.

Professor Martha Minow is the winner of the prestigious Sacks-Freund Teaching Award, an honor bestowed each year on a member of the Harvard Law School faculty by the graduating class. Presented at Class Day—the day before commencement—the Sacks-Freund award recognizes teaching ability, attentiveness to student concerns, and general contributions to student life at the law school.

“Martha Minow is regarded by students as the best that Harvard Law School has to offer,” said G.L. Black, a class marshall who introduced Minow at the Class Day ceremonies. He added that she received the award in part “because of her dedication to all students.”

In addition to her teaching, this year Minow led a series of campus-wide events on the subject of international justice. Speakers in this series—primarily leading practitioners in international law—covered subjects such as the Nuremberg Trials, the International Criminal Court and the current situation in Afghanistan.

“It is a privilege to teach here, and I can’t believe they pay me for it,” said Minow, who added that receiving the award is “a great honor.” Minow went on to urge the graduating class to “think like lawyers,” but also to think like themselves. “Ask, as you work, can I look myself in the mirror, what would my friends and family say, how do I want my life, my career, my judge, my firm, my organization–my nation–to be viewed?”

Appointed to the Harvard Law faculty in 1981 and tenured in 1986, Minow is an expert in an array of legal subjects ranging from civil procedure to human rights to legal education. At the request of Dean Elena Kagan, she is currently leading an effort to evaluate the state of the legal curriculum and propose new approaches to the teaching and study of law.

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 William Stuntz, Heather Gerken, Laurence Tribe, Charles Ogletree and Lani Guinier.

Related links:

Archived webcast of 2005 Class Day.

Martha Minow’s faculty web page.