Morris Collin Appointed by AALS

Willamette University College of Law Professor Robin Morris Collin has been appointed by the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) as a member of their prestigious membership review committee. AALS, a private organization of American and Canadian law schools, is a highly selective organization that bases membership of law schools on American Bar Association (ABA) acceptance, faculty commitment to scholarship and research, successful preparation of law students for bar exams and other rigorous qualitative standards. Willamette University College of Law has been an AALS member since 1946.

"AALS is an organization of law schools, not individual professors or universities," explains Professor Morris Collin, who also chairs this year's AALS section on remedies, is a member of the professional responsibility executive committee and serves on the planning committee for the "Workshop on Legal Ethics in a New Millennium" for the mid-year AALS meeting. "Every seven years the membership committee reviews each school's continuing commitment to the standards which initially earned them membership."

The membership committee meets twice a year to discuss the institutions that are up for review. Teams of five to seven professionals, including American Bar Association members, visit the schools and write reports. The AALS committee then reviews the ABA report and the AALS report to determine the school's continued eligibility. "The standards are tough and membership isn't easy," says Morris Collin. "Failure to meet the standards of AALS could result in penalties from probationary status to suspension of membership."

As an organization, AALS is the premier forum for professional legal educators to exchange ideas through annual meetings, conduct hiring conferences and a busy schedule of professional legal development workshops and conferences through out the year.

Willamette law dean Symeon Symeonides says of Morris Collin's appointment, "This important appointment reflects Professor Morris Collin's hard work and commitment to AALS. She's to be congratulated."

The appointment, says Morris Collin, brings exciting opportunities. "This is a wonderful way to see what the best law schools in the United States and Canada are doing in curriculum, faculty support and fiscal structures," says Morris Collins. "It's a unique opportunity to gain insight into the best law school organizational wisdom. I hope to bring energy, integrity, creative ideas and a commitment to what makes law schools great to my work on the committee."

Morris Collin, who is an African American woman, says AALS has the power to shape institutional and organizational expectations. "This is a chance to make sure that the great American experiment in democratic legal education truly reflects the idea that we can achieve the ideals of justice for all people and full participation in the rights and privileges of citizenship. In 1990, when the organization was formed, the rights, privileges and norms assuring such access did not exist. I hope to continue the work of transformation within the organization, and through it, influence law schools."