Michael I. Meyerson, DLA Piper Professor of Law at the UB School of Law, is the recipient of the President’s Faculty Award for 2020. This meritorious award is the highest that UB’s president, Kurt L. Schmoke, may bestow upon a member of the faculty. The decision is based on letters of nomination from the deans to a selection committee in the Office of the Provost.
A faculty member since 1985, Meyerson teaches Contracts, Constitutional Law and American Legal History. He is widely recognized as an outstanding teacher, scholar and contributor to the life of the law school and university community.
In his nomination letter for the award, UB Law Dean Ronald Weich wrote: “Professor Meyerson relies on core principles of quality teaching, such as thorough preparation, clarity, organization, and respect for students. He teaches with a rigor that inspires and does not alienate.
“Importantly, despite teaching more students than nearly any other member of the School of Law faculty (due to the nature of what he teaches), Professor Meyerson provides students with numerous formative assessment opportunities with meaningful feedback throughout the semester. These efforts are appreciated by Professor Meyerson’s students, as reflected in his very strong teaching evaluations.”
One of Meyerson’s greatest contributions to UB Law was the creation, with colleague Prof. F. Michael Higginbotham, of the Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence. This nationally recognized program provides students from Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with the preparation they need to gain admission and achieve success in law school and beyond.
Meyerson spends many hours working with students to help them perform well on the LSAT, and the academic support continues once they are students at UB Law. “Indeed, this past year the first-time bar passage rate for the 11 Angelos Scholars who took the bar exam was 82%,” Weich noted, “far exceeding the School of Law average and the national average for African-American students.”
In addition, the dean continued, Meyerson has worked to improve the quality of teaching overall at UB Law. His service on the Excellence in Teaching committee, which includes leading annual teaching workshops, provides faculty with the latest research on legal pedagogy and student success. He also has been a strong advocate for greater and more meaningful assessment of students.