Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law Robert K. Walsh of the Wake Forest University School of Law received the Robert J. Kutak Award at the American Bar Association’s annual meeting in San Francisco.
Each year, the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar gives its national award to the person who “meets the highest standard of professional responsibility and demonstrates substantial achievement towards increased understanding between legal education and the active practice of law.”
The award was presented to Walsh at a reception and ceremony on Aug. 6. Those in attendance at the award ceremony included Judge Dave DeRamus, Allan Head, N.C. Bar President Gene Pridgen and Dean Blake Morant.
“This award is a humbling honor,” Walsh said in a press release. “It is very meaningful to me because of the man it honors, the wonderful achievements of its past recipients, and the source of the award, an organization for which I have the highest respect.”
Walsh was also recently elected as an honorary academic bencher of the Honorable Society of Inner Temple. The Inner Temple is one of the four inns of court in London. Benchers are senior respected judges and practicing barristers of high achievement and constitute the governing body for each inn. Walsh is only the second bencher in the United States and the first academic bencher outside of the United Kingdom.
Walsh was dean of the Wake Forest University law school from 1989 to 2007. He is a past chairperson of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. He has chaired the section’s two major committees, the Accreditation Committee and the Standards Review Committee. He co-founded the ABA’s Seminar for New Law Deans, which was held at Wake Forest for its first decade.
Walsh is currently the president of the American Inns of Court Foundation Board of Trustees, being the second non-judge president of the organization in its 30-year history. He also has been a board member of the National Association of Law Placement Foundation Board of Trustees and the ABA Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative Advisory Council.
Allan B. Head, executive director of the North Carolina Bar Association, is the 2010 recipient of the National Association of Bar Executives Bolton Award for Outstanding Bar Leadership. The Bolton Award is NABE’s highest accolade and recognizes the exceptional professionalism and achievement of a bar executive, according to a press release.
The executive director and treasurer of the NCBA since 1981, Head received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1969. Following four years of military service as a lawyer assigned to U.S. Army Security Agency in Kassel and Augsburg, Germany, he returned to the United States in 1973 and joined the NCBA. Head also has served as a director of the Wake County Bar Association since 1974 and as its treasurer since 1981.
Head was instrumental in launching successful programs such as the Lawyers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of North Carolina, the Lawyer Referral Service and the Health Benefit Trust.
Also active within the ABA, he has most recently served as a member of the organization’s Hurricane Katrina Task Force and as chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Bar Activities and Services.
Head has chaired NABE’s leadership development task force, chief staff executives committee and chief staff executives retreat and was installed as president in 2006-2007, having held offices that include president-elect, vice president, treasurer, board member and executive committee member.
Philip Miller, a partner at Blanchard, Miller, Lewis and Isley in Raleigh, was selected to chair the NCBA Litigation Section at the organization’s annual convention in June. He will head the Litigation Section, which has 2,400 members from across the state, until June 2011.