On September 8, 2017, the D.C. Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society presented the annual Rex E. Lee Advocacy Award to Professor Michael McConnell, former judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The Rex E. Lee Advocacy Award is presented annually to one of the country’s most outstanding advocates whose life and legal practice reflect the values exemplified by the award‘s namesake, Rex E. Lee. Lee, a former U.S. Solicitor General, university president, and founding dean of the BYU law school, was known for his dedication to appellate advocacy. The National Law Journal describes the award as a coveted prize with an “honor roll … that reads like a who’s who among the nation’s top appellate lawyers.”
The award was presented at a luncheon at the Washington, D.C. Mayflower Hotel featuring Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, as the keynote speaker.
Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor and Director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 2002 to the summer of 2009, he served as a Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
McConnell has held chaired professorships at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah, and visiting professorships at Harvard and NYU. He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, especially church and state, equal protection, and the founding. In the past decade, his work has been cited in opinions of the Supreme Court second most often of any legal scholar.
He is co-editor of three books: Religion and the Law, Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought, and The Constitution of the United States. McConnell has argued fifteen cases in the Supreme Court. He served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. and is Of Counsel to the appellate practice of Kirkland & Ellis.