Dean Robert K. Walsh
2017 A. Sherman Christensen Award
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA—Robert K. Walsh has been selected to receive the prestigious 2017 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award. The award will be presented at the organizations’s annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States, which will be hosted by Associate Justice Elena Kagan on October 21, 2017.
Walsh is Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at Wake Forest University School of Law, a position he has held since 2007. He served the law school as dean from 1989 to 2007. He has also taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law and Villanova Law School. Before joining Wake Forest University, Walsh was in private practice at Friday, Eldredge & Clark in Little Rock, where he was a partner in the litigation department. Early in his career, Walsh was an associate at the firm of McCutchen, Black, Verleger & Shea in Los Angeles.
The A. Sherman Christensen Award is bestowed upon a member of an American Inn of Court who, at the local, state, or national level has provided distinguished, exceptional, and significant leadership to the American Inns of Court movement. The award is named for the founder of the first American Inn of Court, and is funded by an endowment established by LexisNexis.
Walsh was instrumental in increasing the participation of law schools, faculty, and students in the Inns of Court movement over two decades. He received a grant of $100,000 in 1993 to expand the Inns mission to law schools. At Wake Forest, he created a model of direct affiliation of the Inn with the law school, which has since been successfully adopted by other Inns.
He served as a member of the American Inns of Court Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2008, and as president from 2008 to 2010. He was elected in 2010 as an Honorary Academic Bencher of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, the first academic bencher outside the United Kingdom. Also in 2010, Walsh received the Robert J. Kutak Award from the American Bar Association, acknowledging his high standards of professional responsibility.
A summa cum laude graduate of Providence College, Walsh earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor of the Harvard Journal of Legislation.