Dean Treanor and Dean of Students Bailin Honored

November 5, 2012 — Our deans are extraordinary—and now, even more people outside the Law Center community are aware of it. On Friday, November 2, Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor and Dean of Students Mitchell Bailin each received the 2012 David S. Stoner Uncommon Counselor Award in recognition of their efforts to raise mental health awareness among law students.

 The Stoner award—given annually “to a member or members of the legal profession who exhibit extraordinary compassion and concern for their co-workers, family, friends and community”—was presented to the Georgetown Law deans by the Dave Nee Foundation at their annual gala in New York City.

In the wake of the 2005 suicide of Fordham Law student Dave Nee, Treanor, then dean of Fordham Law School, led that community by providing support and comfort and prioritizing mental health awareness and suicide prevention programs. He also played an important role in the creation of the Dave Nee Foundation and has remained a strong advocate of the organization since its inception.

“Bill Treanor not only served as a rock on which we in the Fordham Law community could lean, he was incredibly supportive and compassionate to Dave's friends and family,” Wynne Kelly, president of the Dave Nee Foundation, has said. "Dean Treanor continues to be invested in mental health issues among law students and encourages awareness and treatment.”

Bailin, meanwhile, was instrumental in the founding of Georgetown Law’s nationally recognized programs Lawyers in Balance (LIB), which teaches law students stress reduction, resilience and mind-body wellness techniques, and Search Before the Search, which emphasizes reflective, values-driven decision-making among first-year J.D. students. He also provides academic and personal counseling to more than 200 J.D. students annually.

Law school administrators regard Bailin’s team as the “gold standard” for mental health awareness, according to the Foundation. He has played a key role in expanding the clinical staff in Georgetown's on-campus counseling center; in educating the faculty and staff to identify and refer students in distress; and in organizing a student task force on mental health awareness and education. Bailin was also recognized for the personal relationships he has fostered with his students. 

“Without Mitch, we probably wouldn’t have Lawyers in Balance here,” said LIB facilitator Michael D. Goldman, director of the Law Center’s Campus Ministry. When Goldman learned of a mind-body program at Georgetown’s medical school approximately seven years ago, many expressed interest in developing something similar at the Law Center — but nothing moved forward until Bailin came on board. “He was excited, and essentially used the influence of his office and made it happen,” Goldman said.

The Lawyers in Balance program and Dean Bailin were featured in the National Law Journal in September.

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