Six Vanderbilt Law professors–Christopher Serkin, Daniel Sharfstein, Kevin Stack, Yesha Yadav, Ingrid Wuerth and Debra Lee–received 2020 Hall-Hartman Awards for Outstanding Teaching from the Vanderbilt Bar Association.
Hall-Hartman Awards are based on a student poll administered by the VBA. The annual awards, which recognize excellent teaching of both first-year and upper-level classes, are given to one professor in each of Vanderbilt’s three first-year sections and to two professors who taught upper-level courses, with separate categories for large classes with 30 students or more and classes with fewer than 30 students.
Hall-Hartman Awards are a longstanding Vanderbilt tradition recognizing faculty whose teaching is deemed outstanding in each first-year student section and for large and small upper-level elective courses. The awards are named in honor of former professors Donald J. Hall and Paul Hartman, both of whom spent their academic careers at Vanderbilt and were revered for their teaching.
“These awards are hard to win because we have so many outstanding teachers on our faculty, so they are coveted,” Dean Chris Guthrie said. “Professors cherish this recognition because it comes directly from the students they’ve taught this year.”
Kevin Stack, who holds the Lee S. and Charles A. Speir Chair in Law, was recognized for first-year teaching by Section A of the Class of 2021. He teaches Civil Procedure and Regulatory State. He co-authored, with Vanderbilt colleagues Lisa Bressman and Edward Rubin, The Regulatory State, the textbook for Vanderbilt’s first-year course. Professor Stack has served as a member of the Council of the Administrative and Regulatory Practice Section of the American Bar Association and is a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States. This is the second year in a row in which he has been recognized for first-year teaching.
Christopher Serkin, associate dean for academic affairs, who holds the Elizabeth H. and Granville S. Ridley Jr. Chair in Law, was recognized for first-year teaching by Section B. He teaches Property. Professor Serkin is the author of The Law of Property, a Concept and Insights book published in 2012, and a co-editor of a leading casebook, Land Use Controls (4th edition, 2013) with Robert Ellickson, Vicki Been and Roderick Hills. Professor Serkin has previously been recognized by VLS students for both first-year and upper-level teaching.
Daniel J. Sharfstein, professor of law, who co-directs the George Barrett Social Justice Program, was recognized for first-year teaching by Section C. He teaches Property. Professor Sharfstein is a legal historian who has previously received Hall-Hartman Awards for both first-year and upper-level teaching.
Yesha Yadav, a Chancellor Faculty Fellow in the 2019-21 cohort, was honored in the Hall Division, which recognizes faculty for upper-level teaching in a class with 30 students or more. She teaches Corporate Bankruptcy, Securities Regulation and the Financial Markets: Past, Present and Future Seminar. This is the second time Professor Yadav has been recognized for upper-level teaching.
Ingrid Wuerth, who holds the Helen Strong Curry Chair in International Law, was honored in the Hartman division, which recognizes faculty for outstanding upper-level teaching in a seminar or small-classroom setting. She teaches Foreign Affairs, International Protection of Human Rights, Public International Law and Transnational Litigation. A leading scholar of foreign affairs and international law in domestic courts, Professor Wuerth directs Vanderbilt’s International Legal Studies Program. This is her seventh Hall-Hartman Award.
Debra Lee was honored for outstanding teaching as an adjunct professor of law for teaching Professional Responsibility for LLMs. Professor Lee has taught English as a Second Language to legal professionals for more than 20 years. She is a co-author of American Legal English: Using Language in Legal Contexts (2nd edition), with Susan Barone, director of the Vanderbilt University English Language Center, and Charles Hall, an associate professor at Al Faisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She co-developed and has taught the English Language Center’s Summer English Language Program for incoming VLS LL.M. students since 2004.