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2023-24 Faculty Teaching Awards

May 16, 2024

Penn Carey Law sign - Golkin entrance

Congratulations to all recipients of Penn Carey Law teaching awards this year!

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is pleased to announce teaching awards for the 2023-2024 academic year.

“Teaching is at the very center of everything we do here,” said Dean and Bernard G. Segal Professor of Law Sophia Z. Lee. “By honoring the awardees below, we recognize and appreciate the hard work and enthusiasm that all of our faculty bring to their classrooms.”

Our 2023-2024 award recipients are as follows (in alphabetical order by winner):

Kamil Ali-Jackson, Lecturer in Law Kamil Ali-Jackson, Lecturer in Law

Kamil Ali-Jackson, Lecturer in Law, wins the Adjunct Teaching Award for her In-House Counsel course, which exposes students to a variety of matters and issues handled by an in-house counsel corporate generalist.

What the students said:

  • Prof. Ali–Jackson has a remarkable ability to spark curiosity and inspire independent thinking in the subject matter. Her engaging teaching style not only makes learning enjoyable but also encourages students to explore topics beyond the classroom.”

  • “Prof. Kamil always came to class energized and excited. Her excitement about the subject matter and the interesting stories she would tell about her experiences as general counsel sparked my interest and kept me engaged and excited. I always looked forward to coming to class.”

  • “Very good at stimulating interest and eliciting questions from students. Overall, she is an excellent lecturer and public speaker (I hope to be as good as her one day!).”

headshot of Sean Burke Sean Burke, Adjunct Professor of Law

Sean Burke C’95, G’95, Adjunct Professor of Law, also wins the Adjunct Teaching Award for his Labor Law course, which surveys the legal relationship between employers and employee unions, as well as employees engaged in collective activity.

What the students said:

  • Prof. Burke is phenomenal; he easily takes simple concepts and brings them to the forefront of labor law.”
  • “Prof. Burke has done an exceptional job with this. I really appreciated the blend of caselaw, history, and theory that he assigned. It never felt overwhelming and nothing felt extraneous. He did a great job making connections and giving us a thorough theoretical baseline for the materials we covered.”
  • “Prof. Burke’s enthusiasm for the material shines through his teaching and makes for an engaging and enjoyable classroom experience. He grapples with all sides of a complex debate and is very interested in student input.”

Jean Galbraith, Professor of Law and Deputy Dean Jean Galbraith, Professor of Law and Deputy DeanJean Galbraith, Professor of Law and Deputy Dean, receives the Harvey Levin Memorial Teaching Award, selected by vote of the JD class of 2024. This is Galbraith’s third Harvey Levin Memorial Teaching Award, having also received it in 2017 and 2020.

What the students said:

  • I had Prof. Galbraith for contracts my first year, and she was equally as interesting and insightful in this class. She does an excellent job fleshing out the arguments and policy considerations on all sides of the argument and keeping the class interested and engaged.”

  • “Prof. Galbraith is particularly skilled at drawing students into the conversation and digging deep into varying opinions and justifications. She also encourages independent thought and real engagement with the materials and subject matter, which creates a highly engaged classroom.”

Cara McClellan, ARC Justice Clinic Director Cara McClellan, ARC Justice Clinic DirectorCara McClellan GEd’12, Director of the Advocacy for Racial and Civil (ARC) Justice Clinic and Practice Associate Professor of Law, receives the new Regina Austin Award for Innovation in Teaching for her outstanding instruction in the Advocacy for Civil and Racial Justice Clinic, weaving together lectures and guest speakers with clinical case work and extensive skills training.

What the students said:

  • “Prof. McClellan certainly encourages independent thought and allows students to be in the driver’s seat with their cases. Working on my case file throughout the semester, I felt like Prof. McClellan was a sage colleague that we collaborated with and not a dogmatic supervisor that we took orders from.”

  • “I love that we got to work with/support local efforts happening in Philly. I learned a ton about the past, present, and future of the city and how to thoughtfully contribute to efforts to improve it.”

  • “Prof. McClellan’s lectures were insightful and her guest speakers were genuinely inspiring from the perspective that the guest lecturers provided invaluable insight into how they are doing ‘the work’ in their career.”

  • [Strengths of the course were:] balance of seminars and case work, very interesting case assignments, opportunities to add discrete projects if work was slow, care not to overload us with too much work, helpful simulations (client intake interview and oral argument).”

Michael Morse C'13 Michael Morse C’13, Asst. Prof. of Law

Michael Morse C’13, Assistant Professor of Law, receives the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching for his exceptional teaching of Civil Procedure and Election Law in his first year at the Law School.

What the students said:

  • “Prof. Morse was fantastic. His expertise and deep passion for the class material was evident and made each class interesting and engaging. Prof. Morse did an excellent job of contextualizing each case and of highlighting connections between cases. Prof. Morse also fostered independent thought throughout the course by asking questions and hypotheticals, and by thoughtfully building on students’ answers to emphasize key points about the underlying policy or doctrine behind a case. Thanks in large part to Prof. Morse’s teaching, I feel like this class improved my ability to think critically about litigation strategy in the election law context.”

  • Prof. Morse was great at asking critical questions beyond the material of the case, and about how it might extend or apply to new facts or issues, and asking about the future of the doctrine. He also encouraged us to ask comparative questions with other jurisdictions, questions about how one might challenge the laws, historical questions about powers or changes in constitutional interpretation, etc. If he didn’t know, he would frequently look it up and start next class with an answer.”

  • “Prof. Morse is super engaging for material that (personally) I think is pretty dry. I was told to be scared of civil procedure, and while I do find the material really hard to wrap my head around, I think Professor Morse has made it significantly easier to understand than I expected.”

  • “Prof. Morse is really passionate about teaching and came to class prepared and excited to teach. His love for the material made me really interested in a subject that I otherwise would not have been. He is thoughtful and engaging. He encouraged questions and made sure that the questions were answered in a meaningful and understanding way. He also took time to know individual students and engage with us inside and outside the class.”

Elizabeth Pollman, Professor of Law ​Elizabeth Pollman, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for Law & Economics, receives the LLM Teaching Award, selected by vote of the LLM class of 2024. She previously received the LLM Teaching Award in 2021 and the Harvey Levin Memorial Teaching Award in 2022.

What the students said:

  • “Prof. Pollman’s exceptional knowledge in her field greatly enhances her ability to stimulate interest in the subject matter. Her expertise engages students effectively and fosters an environment that encourages independent thought and a deeper understanding of the topics discussed. Having the opportunity to take a Corporations class with her is a genuine pleasure, offering a valuable and enriching educational experience.”

  • “Prof. Pollman does an incredible job of organizing very complex material into digestible chunks.”

  • “Prof. Pollman demonstrates a commendable attitude toward her students, marked by empathy, respect, and a genuine interest in their academic and personal growth. Her student–centric approach creates a supportive and nurturing learning environment. Prof. Pollman’s accessibility outside of class is particularly noteworthy. Her approachability and commitment to student success reflect her deep dedication to teaching and mentorship.”

  • “Prof. Pollman is really excellent. She clearly knows both the actual practice side of M&A and the underlying law. I felt like I learned a ton about how securities regulations overlap with M&A and state corporate law too, which I really appreciated.”

Jessica Simon C’95, Jessica Simon C'95, Associate Director of Legal Practice Skills Jessica Simon C'95, Associate Director of Legal Practice Skills and Director of Academic Support, receives the Experiential Teaching Award for her superb teaching of Legal Practice Skills.

What the students said:

  • Prof. Simon is a perfect balance of professorial intensity and genuine care for her students both in and outside the classroom. She is flexible, understanding, and clearly invests so much time and effort in her teaching.”

  • “Prof. Simon is a master orator! It’s got to be hard to make 2 hours of writing engaging and she does a great job.”

  • “Prof. Simon was an excellent teacher, conveying a new way of thinking, writing, and speaking in a very straightforward manner. She provided helpful insights and examples to underscore some more conceptual lessons.”

  • “Prof. Simon was always very energetic and engaging, as well as willing to engage in modern advancements/applications of legal writing which always kept class interesting and spurred critical thinking.”

Karen M. Tani L'07, PhD'11, Seaman Family University Professor Karen M. Tani L'07, PhD'11, Seaman Family University Professor

Karen M. Tani L’07, PhD’11, Seaman Family University Professor, receives the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course for her exceptional Torts course, taught last fall out of her own co-authored and open-access casebook.

What the students said:

  • Prof. Tani does a good job of stimulating interest in tort law by asking us to consider the policy rationales behind the doctrines we learn and by inviting students to think through those rationales in class by giving their take on these issues.”

  • “Prof. Tani introduces a notable focus on policy and the goals of tort law in her instruction. Thinking that way has actually helped me in my other classes, where I can apply similar reasoning to ponder the “goals” of various other types of law. She gives us opportunities to talk with people who sit by us and have unmoderated discussions about various hypotheticals. I think Professor Tani does a great of connecting tort law to the rest of the legal field and encouraging us to consider rationale for policies on our own.”

  • “Prof. Tani clearly knows a lot about Torts & created an environment that encouraged us to question the material, think about alternatives, and explore torts more deeply.”

  • “At the start of the course, I didn’t even know what a tort was and now [I’m] super interested in the topic.”

Learn more about our outstanding faculty at Penn Carey Law.