Professor Emma Coleman Jordan to be Honored by American Bar Association

March 4, 2015 —

Professor Emma Coleman Jordan Professor Emma Coleman Jordan

Georgetown University Law Center Professor Emma Coleman Jordan has been selected as a 2015 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award. The award will be presented on August 2 during the ABA annual meeting.

“This is an extraordinary honor, and Emma well deserves this recognition.  She is a great leader in legal education, a scholar whose contributions have been profound, and a powerful voice for social justice," said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. “On behalf of the Georgetown Law community, I extend my warmest congratulations to her on receiving this award.” 

Established by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1991, the Brent Award “recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers.” It is named after Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America, arriving in the colonies in 1638. Previous recipients include Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Georgetown Law Professor and D.C.  Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. 

Jordan is best known for establishing the field of economic justice in legal theory and for her work in financial services and economic equality. She released the second edition of her textbook, Economic Justice: Race, Gender, Identity and Economics, in 2011. Her forthcoming projects concern economic justice and the role of the Federal Reserve in creating inequality before, during and after the financial crisis of 2008.  An example of her recent work is “The Federal Reserve and A Cascade of Failures: Economic Inequality, Cognitive Narrowness, and Financial Network Theory.” At the Law Center, she teaches courses in federal regulation of banking: modern financial institutions and change; commercial law: payments and secured transactions; and contemporary issues in economic justice. 

Before coming to Georgetown, Jordan taught for 12 years at the University of California, Davis. She began her teaching career at Stanford Law School as a teaching fellow. She has been active in the financial services field through her entire career.  She was founder of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Financial Institutions and Consumer Financial Services, chair of the Financial Institutions Committee of the California State Bar, drafter of the statute to regulate bank check holding practices and co-counsel in class actions challenging bank stop payment fee charges. 

Jordan is a past president of the both the AALS and the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). She was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 1984. She graduated first in her class at Howard University School of Law, serving as editor-in-chief of the Howard Law Journal. Jordan was a White House fellow in 1980-1981, serving as special assistant to the attorney general of the United States.  

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