Associate Dean Joan Howland Receives ABA's Prestigious Kutak Award

Joan S. Howland, associate dean for information and technology and Roger F. Noreen Professor of Law, has been named the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Robert J. Kutak Award. 

The American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar and the national Kutak Rock law firm established the Robert J. Kutak Award in 1984. The Kutak award is awarded annually to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the collaboration of the academy, the bench, and the bar.

"Our deepest congratulations to Associate Dean Joan Howland for receiving one of the ABA's most prestigious and highest honors; this is a well-deserved recognition of her immense contributions to the legal profession," said Garry W. Jenkins, dean and William S. Pattee Professor of Law. "Joan Howland's lifelong commitment to leadership and service--through her many contributions to the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education, the Association of American Law Schools, and the American Association of Law Libraries--has advanced efforts to bring together the academy, bench, and bar in numerous ways. We are enormously grateful to have her as Minnesota Law's  associate dean and head law librarian."

In nominating Howland for the award, Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio observed: “Dean Howland’s contributions to legal education have been immeasurable in every sphere of her involvement. The Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has especially benefited from [her] wise counsel, astute observations, and diplomatic manner during her past service as chair of the section and during her current service as the section delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. She is also a quintessential professor, scholar, and law school administrator, and has used her legal and technological skills as one of the nation’s leading law librarians to assist legal aid programs providing services to underrepresented groups.”

Howland teaches a course on Magna Carta and the evolution of Anglo-American law and a course on the intersection of law, the legal profession, and legal education. She has also taught law and business at the Carlson School of Management. Her scholarship focuses on American Indian law and culture, information technologies, thoroughbred horse racing and equine law generally, legal education, organizational management, legal research methodologies, and law librarianship. 

Howland has served on the editorial board of the American Journal of Legal History. She served on the Section’s Accreditation Committee from 2001-06 and on the Council from 2006-16, including a term as chair from 2014-2015. She was a member of the section's Law Libraries Committee from 1992-94 and co-chaired that committee from 1994-96.

In 2020, Howland was elected to serve a second three-year term as the section's representative to the ABA House of Delegates. 

Howland will be honored at an upcoming reception in conjunction with the section’s council meeting.

Full Release:

Joan Howland
Roger F. Noreen Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Information and Technology