Recognizing Distinguished Faculty

August 25, 2022

Richmond Law is pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Distinguished Educator Award and Distinguished Scholar Award.

Professor Julie McConnell received the 2022 School of Law Distinguished Educator Award. McConnell teaches and directs the Children’s Defense Clinic. Students in the clinic provide holistic, client-centered representation at trial-level for indigent children charged with delinquency or truancy offenses, or who are seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. The clinic also represents individuals who were originally sentenced as minors and are seeking sentence reductions or parole release for good behavior. Recently, she and her clinic students assisted several fully rehabilitated individuals in earning early release from incarceration. The community has recognized McConnell with numerous awards, including the 2022 Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities.

Professor Joel Eisen received the 2022 School of Law Distinguished Scholarship Award. Eisen is a nationally recognized scholar on energy law and policy. Since 2010, he has published at least one major article every year, often in the nation’s top law reviews. He authored a book in 2021 titled “Advanced Introduction to Law and Renewable Energy,” and co-authors a leading energy law casebook. His work has been widely cited and he is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and symposia around the country and abroad. He also calls on his expertise in testimony before the Virginia General Assembly and state and federal energy agencies.

Eisen is a former Fulbright Professor and a prior recipient of the University of Richmond Distinguished Educator Award.

“I am delighted to celebrate these wonderful faculty colleagues,” said Dean Wendy Perdue. “The work that they both do has an enormous impact both on students and on the broader world. Professor McConnell and her students literally transform lives and Professor Eisen’s work explores solutions to our pressing need for clean and renewable energy. Richmond Law is enormously fortunate to have these two exceptional people on our faculty.”

McConnell and Eisen were recognized during the university’s Colloquy, which marked the official beginning of the academic year.

Congratulations to the recipients!