Bar Association Recognizes UConn Law Professor and Graduate

Professor Emeritus James H. Stark will be granted the Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award, while graduate Lucy Potter '84 will receive the Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award.

James Stark sits on a desk at the front of a classroom.

James Stark leads an evidence class in Starr Hall at the law school on Dec. 9, 2015. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

The Connecticut Bar Association will recognize UConn School of Law Professor Emeritus James H. Stark and graduate Lucy Potter ’84 at its annual awards dinner.

Stark, who is the Roger Sherman Professor of Law Emeritus and Oliver Ellsworth Research Professor, will receive the 2024 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award. It is given annually to a bar association member who has demonstrated sustained commitment and made significant contributions to the cause of legal education in the state and has earned the distinction of being a legal educator of the highest quality as a teacher, scholar, or both.

Stark joined the UConn Law faculty in 1979 and is a nationally esteemed figure in the fields of clinical legal education and mediation.

He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1990 to 1993 and oversaw major revisions to the curriculum, including the creation of the first-year Legal Practice program. Stark also founded the Mediation Clinic in 1994, which was UConn Law’s first move into the field of alternative dispute resolution.

“I’m truly humbled to be added to the list of distinguished legal educators who have previously won this award,” Stark says. “Looking back at my transition from teaching litigation to teaching mediation, I think that this award says something about the shift towards alternative dispute resolution that has occurred over the past 30 years in our profession. I’m immensely grateful for this and for any small part I’ve had the opportunity to play in fostering innovation and growth in the field of law.”

In addition to his work at UConn Law, Stark has served as an editor of the Clinical Law Review, as chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinics, and as the reporter to the Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice Mediation Standards Committee. He currently serves as a volunteer mediator and arbitrator in the Connecticut Bar Association’s Lawyer-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program and is a Scholar-in-Residence at the International Academy of Mediators.

“On behalf of UConn Law, I congratulate Professor Stark on this well-deserved honor,” Dean Eboni S. Nelson says. “We are grateful for his decades of service to the law school and beyond, and his tremendous impact on the field of alternative dispute resolution.”

Potter will receive the 2024 Charles J. Parker Legal Services Award, which is presented to members of the bar association who have a deep and abiding interest in and dedication to the delivery of legal services to the disadvantaged in Connecticut.

Potter served as a lawyer at Greater Hartford Legal Aid for 38 years, focusing on representing individuals in disputes with the Department of Social Services. Her work has helped to reshape the way the department assists its beneficiaries.

She has been a leading advocate in drafting and implementing state and federal benefits legislation.

“We congratulate Attorney Potter on this richly deserved recognition,” Nelson says. “She epitomizes our alumni’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of residents of our state.”


The Connecticut Bar Association will present the awards at its Celebrate with the Stars awards dinner on April 3, 2024.