CAMDEN, NJ — Kimberly Mutcherson, co-dean of the Rutgers-Camden Law School, joined four other professors nationwide in receiving the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Inaugural Impact Award, the university announced Thursday.
Mutcherson, 48, earned a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 1997 and co-founded the Women of Color Coalition. She received the award for her Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project (LDACP) - an online hub that provides the public with resources and information having to do with racism in law and legal education.
“It’s a process of engaging our law school community in some really tough conversations about ways in which we have contributed to creating an environment where our Black, Latinx, and first-generation students might feel that the way that we teach doesn’t reflect their experiences,” Mutcherson said in a statement. “There’s a conservative streak in law schools – not politically, but we’ve been doing things the same way for a very long time. We need to understand that, regardless of the topic, there is an element of race in everything that we teach.
Mutcherson, who lives in Collingswood, was awarded alongside Danielle Holley-Walker (Howard University School of Law), Danielle Conway (Penn State Dickinson Law), Angela Onwuachi-Willig (Boston University School of Law), and Carla Pratt (Washburn University School of Law). An online ceremony to commemorate the winners will be held Jan. 5.
“I am honored to join my fellow deans in receiving this new award, and I applaud the AALS for recognizing the gravity and significance of this moment in our nation’s history,” she added. “We are part of the largest group of Black women to be law deans at one time, and we felt that this is a moment where our positions allow us to create and curate an ongoing conversation through the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project.”
Mutcherson was the first female LGBT individual to be named as a law dean at Rutgers in 2019. In addition to serving as the editor for, “Rewriting Reproductive Justice: Feminist Judgments and Reproductive Justice” (Cambridge University Press), she will soon release a book she co-authored called, “Assisted Reproductive Justice” (University of California Press).
“The AALS thanks these five law school leaders for creating the Law Deans Antiracist Clearinghouse Project and is pleased to honor their efforts with the inaugural AALS Impact Award,” says Darby Dickerson, AALS president and dean of UIC John Marshall Law School. “These remarkable women conceptualized and created this phased guide to help law schools develop a sustainable anti-racist agenda and provide resources and steps for each phase of the process. Given the project’s impact, they are the perfect inaugural recipients.”