University of Pittsburgh School of Law Professor Bernard J. Hibbitts has been awarded the John D. Lawson Award from the Canadian American Bar Association (CABA). The award recognizes native Canadians who have excelled in the practice of law and/or made an outstanding contribution to the law or legal scholarship in the United States.
A professor of law at Pitt since 1988, Hibbitts is the publisher and editor-in-chief for JURIST, the law student-generated legal news service that he established in 1996. Prior to joining the faculty of Pitt’s School of Law, Hibbitts served as a law clerk for the Supreme Court of Canada.
A legal historian, Hibbitts’ teaching and research interests focus on the history of law in Western culture. He is especially interested in how communication technology in both print and electronic media has shaped legal education and practice. Hibbitts’ scholarly work has been published in such highly respected legal publications as the Law Library Journal, the McGill Law Journal, the New York University Law Review, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, and the University of Toronto Law Journal, among others.
In the official announcement for the John D. Lawson Award, CABA President Sarah Robertson wrote: “Professor Hibbitts exemplifies the dedication to legal scholarship through academic achievement and innovation in teaching and communication that the John D. Lawson Award recognizes.”
Hibbitts’ other honors include the University of Pittsburgh’s Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995 as well as the School of Law’s Excellence-in-Teaching Award in 1993. He also has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions for his work with JURIST.
A former Rhodes Scholar, Hibbitts earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Jurisprudence from Oxford University in 1983 as well as a Master of Arts degree from Oxford in 1989. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University in 1984 as well as Master of Laws degrees at both the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and Harvard University’s Harvard Law School in 1986 and 1988, respectively. Hibbitts also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at Dalhousie University in 1980 as well as a Masters of Arts degree in international affairs at Carleton University in 1981.
Established in 2010, the John D. Lawson Award is named for the noted legal practitioner, educator, and judge, who also was a founding member of the Association of American Law Schools. Past recipients of the award include former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Jonathan Anschell, executive vice president and general counsel for CBS Broadcasting Inc.