Abel, Handler Win Inaugural Law and Society Association Legacy Award

May 10, 2019
UCLA School of Law emeritus professors Richard Abel and Joel Handler
Abel (left) and Handler

UCLA School of Law emeritus professors Richard Abel and Joel Handler are among the first winners of the Law and Society Association’s Legacy Award. They will be honored at the LSA meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 30.

LSA established its Legacy Award to recognize the lifetime achievement of the most significant members of its founding generations. Between 1989 and 1993, Abel and Handler served consecutive terms as president of LSA, which was founded in 1964 as the leading “interdisciplinary scholarly organization committed to social scientific, interpretive, and historical analyses of law across multiple social contexts.”

LSA President Kim Lane Scheppele, the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Sociology and International Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, noted that UCLA Law was a trailblazer in sociolegal studies and has been the longtime home of leading scholars in the field. The Legacy Award continues a decades-old association between LSA and the school, whose faculty member Laura Gómez also served as LSA president.

Abel, the Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, has taught law and social change and served as the faculty director of UCLA Law’s public interest program. His latest books are Law’s Wars: The Fate of the Rule of Law in the U.S. “War on Terror” and Law’s Trials: The Performance of Legal Institutions in the U.S. “War on Terror.” He has been a member of the UCLA Law faculty since 1974.

Handler, the Richard C. Maxwell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, joined the UCLA Law faculty in 1985 and is a renowned scholar of poverty and social welfare, having published nearly two dozen books and many more articles or chapters on the topics. He has taught seminars on Law and the Poor and Comparative Welfare States and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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