Distinguished Faculty Award


The Distinguished Faculty Award recognizes a current Nebraska Law faculty member whose teaching supports the College’s mission to develop inclusive leaders and whose research, writing and service solves problems or advances justice.


  • Each year all faculty members are considered through information provided by their yearly submission of the Annual Report to the Dean. 
  • No individual can win the award more than once every five years.

Cash prize and medal awarded at the Dean's Advisory Board Awards banquet.

Most Recent Winner

Professor Richard A. Leiter

Richard Leiter is the Director of the Schmid Law Library and Professor of Law. Although he assumed his current position in 2000, he had worked on the UNL law library staff years ago (1986-1988) as Public Services Librarian. He earned his undergraduate degree (with honors) in 1976 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, his J.D. in 1981 from Southwestern University School of Law, where he was an editor of the law review, and his MLIS in 1986 from the University of Texas at Austin.

Professor Leiter has written widely on law library, legal research, and legal information technology issues. His most recent book, National Survey of State Laws, now in its eighth edition, is widely held by library reference collections and was named An Outstanding Resource by the New York Public Library. The seventh edition, published by WM S Hein & Co., Inc was released in January 2016 along with a database that contains all editions. In 2003 it won the prestigious Andrews Bibliographical Award from the American Association of Law Libraries and has been cited three times by the United States Supreme Court. He also recently published Landmark Supreme Court Cases, 2d Editions, which he co-authored with his friend and mentor, Professor Roy Mersky of the University of Texas Tarlton Law Library. He also has published, with Roy Mersky, two editions of a reader on law librarianship called, Spirit of Law Librarianship.

Richard Leiter portrait.
Previous Winners
  • 2023: Jessica A. Shoemaker
  • 2022: Robert C. Denicola
  • 2020/21: Harvey Perlman
  • 2019: C. Steven Bradford
  • 2018: Eric Berger
  • 2017: Anna W. Shavers
  • 2016: Sandra Zellmer
  • 2015: Brian D. Lepard
  • 2014: Richard E. Moberly
  • 2013: Kevin Ruser
  • 2012: Matthew P. Schaefer
  • 2011: Craig M. Lawson
  • 2010: Steven L. Willborn
  • 2009: Martin R. Gardner
  • 2008: John P. Lenich
  • 2007: Colleen Medill
  • 2006: William H. Lyons
  • 2005: Robert F. Schopp
  • 2004: Roger W. Kirst
  • 2003: Josephine R. Potuto
  • 2002: Robert C. Denicola
Katie Pfannenstiel portrait
Contact Katie with Questions

Katie Pfannenstiel
Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Event Planning