LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 21, 2016) — Allison Connelly, director of the Legal Clinic and James and Mary Lassiter Professor of Law, is the recipient of the 2016 Duncan Teaching Award at the University of Kentucky College of Law.
Every year, a UK Law faculty member is recognized for excellence in the classroom, courtesy of the Robert M. and Joanne K. Duncan Faculty Improvement Fund — established in 1982 to promote outstanding teaching performance at the college.
Connelly joined the faculty in 1996 as the first director of the College’s Legal Clinic. Prior to joining UK Law, she spent 13 years as a state public defender representing individuals unable to afford legal counsel at all levels of the criminal justice system, including death penalty cases. She rose through the ranks to become the only woman ever named Kentucky’s Public Advocate, the head of Kentucky’s statewide public defender system.
Connelly teaches litigation skills, criminal trial process and legal writing, and is the director of the Kentucky Legal Education Opportunity (KLEO) Summer Institute. According to her students, Connelly’s classroom teaching is terrific. Her students enjoy her, both inside and outside the classroom. They describe her teaching as “great” and truly enjoy the clinic experience. She often receives ratings of “outstanding” from students.
Founder of the Kentucky Intrastate Mock Trial Competition, Connelly is also the coach of the college’s highly successful trial teams, which include 11 nationally ranked trial teams in the last 19 years. She has received numerous awards for teaching and public service, including the Kentucky Bar Association’s 2015 Donated Legal Services Award, the 2011 Kentucky Bar Association’s Service to Young Lawyers Award, the 2011 NAACP Empowerment Award and the 2009 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from UK in 1980 and her juris doctor from the UK College of Law in 1983.
“Professor Connelly is fully engaged in the academic welfare of her students and has done an admirable job in supporting them both inside and outside of the classroom,” said David A. Brennen, dean at UK Law.