Business law professor Robert Bird has been awarded one of the highest honors in his field by his colleagues, who recognized him for outstanding research and professional contributions to the discipline.
The Academy of Legal Studies in Business, the leading academic organization for the research and teaching of law in business schools worldwide, recently presented him with the Kay Duffy Award for Extraordinary Service to the Academy. The award represents the highest recognition of service and professional contribution a faculty member can receive. Award winners must demonstrate long-term service and professional contribution that are impactful and enduring across a variety of stakeholders.
Candidates are selected by the organization’s president and executive secretary in consultation with the executive committee. Neither applications nor nominations are permitted. The award is only granted when a meritorious candidate has a broad consensus of support, and the organization can wait for years without presenting the award to anyone.
Matthew Phillips, president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business and a professor of law and ethics at Wake Forest University, said the award is well deserved.
“Robert serves in deep and broad ways: he is the most articulate advocate for the place of law and ethics in the modern business curriculum and also an indefatigable mentor to scholars around the continent,’’ he said. “He seems to be an endless source of energy and generous support.’’
Dan Herron, professor emeritus at Miami University and executive secretary of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, agreed.
“Robert Bird is a leader in the discipline and one of the most impactful advocates for the profession of business law,” Herron said. “He was most deserving of the Kay Duffy Award in recognition of his exemplary, long-time service.”
Bird, who is the Eversource Energy Chair in Business Ethics at UConn, previously served as president of the Academy of Legal Studies in Business, led the organization’s premier academic journal, the American Business Law Journal, as editor-in-chief, and delivered the ethics section keynote address at the 2017 Academy of Legal Studies in Business annual conference.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of an in-person conference in 2020, Bird created a new, unprecedented online event in just four months. He also has mentored dozens of junior faculty, published numerous influential articles, and led a taskforce to promote the organization’s premier journal more broadly.
That isn’t the only honor that Bird has received. Earlier this month, he was presented a Best Conference Paper Award for his work titled, “Law and Strategy: A Citation Analysis of a Robust and Evolving Literature.” The paper tracked the impact of key law and strategy articles in order to better understand the reach of the literature, highlight potential frictions, and develop opportunities for further research.
The paper was unanimously selected by the judges as the winner of the award at the Mid-Atlantic Academy of Legal Studies in Business in early May. Papers are submitted to a double-blind panel of three judges, who select a winner based upon the quality of scholarship, novelty of ideas, and the comprehensiveness of research.
“Professor Bird’s work on law and strategy provides important insights that will likely influence the literature, and it was well-deserving of the best paper award,” said Dan Cahoy, the Robert G. and Caroline Schwartz Professor of Business Law at Pennsylvania State University.