Sarat to Receive Service Award from Law and Society Association

On May 29, Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and associate dean of the faculty, will receive the Ronald Pipkin Service Award from the Law and Society Association (LSA). The award recognizes Sarat, who has previously served as the LSA’s president and a member of its board of trustees, for having “demonstrated sustained and extraordinary service to the Association.”

The LSA is one of the leading professional associations for scholars interested in interdisciplinary legal studies and legal sociology, acting on a “common commitment to developing theoretical and empirical understandings of law.” It publishes the Law & Society Review, holds an annual academic conference, sponsors educational workshops and maintains a large number of specific research topic networks that function throughout the year. Its yearly awards include an undergraduate paper prize, and since 1989, five of those prizes have gone to Amherst College students, all of whom were nominated by Sarat.

Austin Sarat amid white architectural columns

“I am flattered and grateful for this recognition of whatever role I’ve played in developing the health and well-being of scholarship in interdisciplinary legal studies,” said Sarat. “It means a lot to me because I respect enormously the Law and Society colleagues that I’ve met and worked with over the years.”

Sarat, who has taught at Amherst since 1974, is best known for his scholarship on capital punishment and its socio-legal implications, and for his work on the development of legal study in the liberal arts. His noted books include Mercy on Trial—winner of the 2006 James Boyd White Prize— and Gruesome Spectacles: Botched Executions and America’s Death Penalty, which was co-authored with four Amherst students and published this spring by Stanford University Press.