AALS Honors Two UConn Law Faculty Members

Associate Professor Jessica de Perio Wittman was honored for her work in technology competency and legal ethics. Associate Professor Anna VanCleave won an award for her paper on Prison Banking,

Associate Professor Jessica de Perio Wittman, left, and Associate Professor Anna Van Cleave.

The Association of American Law Schools will honor two UConn Law faculty members, associate professors Jessica de Perio Wittman and Anna VanCleave, with separate awards at the organization’s annual meeting this week.

The association’s Section on Technology, Law and Legal Education has announced that de Perio Wittman has won the inaugural Technology & Ethics Award with Associate Dean Kathleen (Katie) Brown of Charleston School of Law. The prize recognizes contributions to scholarship, teaching, or innovative projects at the intersection of technology and ethics.

De Perio Wittman and Brown have collaborated on several papers concerning technology competency and legal ethics. They include “Navigating Legal Ethics and Law School Curricula: Attempting to Find Technology Competency Without a Compass,” in the University of St. Thomas Law Journal.

“I’m deeply honored and humbled to be a recipient of the inaugural Technology and Ethics Award by the AALS Section on Technology, Law, and Legal Education,” de Perio Wittman said. “This recognition underscores our responsibility as law professors to navigate the ethical implications of technology within legal education while equipping students for the challenges of contemporary legal practice.”

In addition to her teaching, de Perio Wittman serves as director of the Thomas J. Meskill Law Library. She has held many leadership positions within the American Association of Law Libraries and speaks frequently on topics related to cybersecurity and teaching legal technology.

VanCleave, director of the Criminal Defense Clinic at UConn Law, will be honored for winning the 2024 Junior Scholars Paper Competition of the association’s Section on Criminal Law. Her paper, “Prison Banking,” is a work-in-progress exploring the inherent conflicts of interest and other problems involved in prison management of incarcerated individuals’ money through inmate trust accounts.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition,” VanCleave said. “I feel incredibly lucky to have so much great support from the law school in this and other research endeavors.”

A former public defender, VanCleave also served as director of the Liman Center at Yale Law School, where she co-taught seminar courses on poverty and inequality in legal systems and the criminal justice system, experiential research projects, and the Capital Punishment Clinic.

“I’m delighted to see two of our remarkable faculty recognized by their peers for their outstanding scholarship,” Dean Eboni S. Nelson said. “These honors not only highlight the brilliance and impact of their current work but signify their future contributions to important developments of the law.”

Both awards will be presented this week at the association’s 2024 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.