Clinical Professor Joan H. Strand Becomes Professor Emeritus

GW Law conferred the status of professor emeritus on Professor Joan H. Strand, director of the Civil and Family Litigation Clinic of The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics, during the 2011 Commencement ceremony on May 15, 2011. Professor Strand will retire next month after 32 years of exemplary service to GW Law. Named in 2008 “one of the 90 greatest Washington lawyers of the last 30 years” by the Legal Times, Professor Strand has enjoyed a highly accomplished career as a legal educator and public servant.  

“Joan Strand leaves a legacy of service and excellence,” Interim Dean Gregory E. Maggs commented. “Her presence among the GW Law community and the DC legal community will not be forgotten.”

Professor Strand’s association with GW Law began well before she became the director of the Civil and Family Litigation Clinic. After receiving a B.A. and a J.D. from GW, she became a clinical supervisor for GW Law students participating in the Civil Division of the DC Law Students in Court program (1975-1979). In January 1979, she came to GW Law to direct the Civil and Family Litigation Clinic.
As she served students and clients, Professor Strand provided extraordinary leadership to the DC legal community, including serving as president of the DC Bar (1999-2000) and as a member of the DC Bar Board of Governors for several terms. In addition, she served three terms on the DC Bar Foundation. In 2005, she was appointed by the DC Court of Appeals to the first term of the DC Access to Justice Commission, helping to improve access to justice for DC’s underrepresented populations. She has served as a member of the judicial conferences of the DC Court of Appeals and the DC Circuit and as a board member for various organizations. Her awards over the years are numerous and represent her far-reaching reputation for her work and service.

Professor Strand also has taught continuing legal education courses to train private lawyers in handling pro bono family law matters. She has co-chaired the Family Law section of the DC Bar and served on various family law-related committees and task forces, including the DC Bar’s Family Law Task Force and its Children’s Initiative Committee.

She has left an indelible mark on the GW Law community through her tireless efforts and her commitment to excellence. Her work has provided an important example of a professional life dedicated to public interest law.


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