Befort Earns Minnesota Justice Foundation Outstanding Service Award
NOVEMBER 11, 2008—Stephen F. Befort ('74), the Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, & Bennett Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, has been selected the 2008 recipient of the Minnesota Justice Foundation (MJF) Outstanding Service Award in the Law Professor category.
The award goes to a professor who is a public interest advocate both inside and outside the classroom. Advocacy must be demonstrated through activities such as building public interest law into coursework and creating extracurricular pro bono opportunities for students.
The Law Professor category was added to the Outstanding Service Awards in 2006 when MJF realized it had been missing an important partner. “Our mission is to instill a pro bono ethic in law students,” says Executive Director Janine A. Laird, “and we wanted to acknowledge that professors play an important role in reinforcing that value.” The other five Outstanding Service Award categories are Advocate, Direct Legal Service, Distinguished Service, Law Student, and Private Practice Lawyer.
Befort was the director of the Law School’s clinical program from 1982 to 2002, during which “he helped to build one of the largest and best clinical programs in the country,” said current clinic director Professor Jean Sanderson in nominating Befort for the award. “Steve personally supervised hundreds of students in the U. of M.’s Civil Practice Clinic and Public Interest Law Clinic programs and provided high quality legal services to countless disadvantaged clients in Minnesota.”
Laird adds: “Steve has been a staunch supporter of MJF and its mission and a great role model for students.”
Befort joined the Law School in 1982. He teaches labor law, employment law and discrimination, public employment, comparative labor and employment, and disability in the workplace. He serves on the Minnesota State Bar Association's Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee and the University's Public Service Committee, and he was one of the initial members of the Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice Committee.
The Outstanding Service Awards will be presented at MJF’s 26th Anniversary Awards Celebration Nov. 20, 2008, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at International Market Square, 275 Market St., Minneapolis. Roderick Palmore, general counsel at General Mills Inc., will give the keynote address, calling for increased racial diversity at corporate law departments and law firms.
In association with the Awards Celebration, MJF is sponsoring a CLE program in the afternoon, entitled “Diversity: From Pipeline to Practice,” which will address current diversity and ongoing efforts in law schools, law firms, and public and corporate law sectors. It will take place Nov. 20, 2008, 2-5 p.m., at Robins Kaplan Miller and Ciresi, on the 28th floor of 800 La Salle Ave., downtown Minneapolis. MJF has requested 2.25 elimination of bias credits.
Contact Pat Harrigan at 612-625-1584 or firstname.lastname@example.org
for reservations or go to www.mnjustice.org
for more information on both events.