Killenbeck Inducted as Life Member of American Law Institute
Professor Mark Killenbeck speaking at the American Law Institute Life Member Induction, along with William J. Perlstein, Life Class Committee member and senior deputy counsel at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (left) and John Beisner, Life Class Committee chair, ALI Council member and partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLC in Washington, D.C.
Mark R. Killenbeck, the Wylie H. Davis Distinguished Professor of Law, was inducted as a Life Member of the American Law Institute after 25 years of service to the organization. The ceremony was held during the organization’s 96th Annual Meeting, May 20-22, in Washington, D.C.
The American Law Institute is an independent organization that works to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. It elects members based on their professional achievements and demonstrated interest in advancing the law and the legal profession.
“This is a tremendous milestone in an already remarkable legal career,” said Margaret Sova McCabe, dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law. “Professor Killenbeck’s commitment to the law is exceptional, and it is complemented by his dedication to students – not only law students, but also undergraduates in the Honors College.”
The institute’s membership is limited to 3,000 individuals (not including life, honorary, and ex-officio members), and includes eminent judges, lawyers and law professors from the United States and foreign countries.
The highly-selective election process begins with a confidential nomination by current member, supported by two additional members. The strongest nominees are those who have demonstrated excellence in the law, are of high character, will contribute to the work of the Institute and are committed to its mission. Killenbeck was elected to membership in 1994 and was the first individual in the history of the University of Arkansas School of Law to be elected while serving as a member of the faculty.
Killenbeck was also asked to serve as a member of the committee that developed the Class of 1994 Life Member Gift.
“Mark is an active member of the ALI who for the past 25 years has been dedicated to our mission. He was an obvious choice for the 1994 Life Member Class Committee,” said Richard L. Revesz, ALI director and Lawrence King Professor and Dean Emeritus of the New York University School of Law. “We are enormously grateful for his extraordinary efforts in making this campaign a success. The funds raised will be used to support important aspects of the Institute’s mission – including our travel assistance programs and the Early Career Scholars Medal and annual conference – and to cover some of the costs associated with maintaining the high quality of our Restatements of the Law and other influential works.”
Members participate in the institute’s work by: attending the institute’s annual meetings; submitting written comments on draft projects; serving as a reporter, adviser or consultant on an Institute project; being a speaker, lecturer or author for American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE); or otherwise advancing the Institute’s work or objectives.
Killenbeck teaches Constitutional Law, The First Amendment and American Legal History in the School of Law. In the fall semester of 2018, he taught “Free Speech,” an Honors College Signature Seminar. He will teach a second Signature Seminar, “Church and State,” in the spring semester of 2020.
“The ability to speak one’s mind, even though it may not always be in good taste, is an essential attribute of liberty. We are free to both enlighten and offend,” Killenbeck said. “That’s why it’s so much fun.”
He has written numerous books, chapters, articles and papers, with a special focus on federalism, American constitutional history, and affirmative action and diversity. His monograph, M’Culloch v. Maryland: Securing a Nation, was the first book-length treatment of that important case.
Killenbeck’s assessment of the Supreme Court’s 2003 affirmative action decisions, Affirmative Action and Diversity: The Beginning of the End? Or the End of the Beginning?, was published by the Educational Testing Service in their Policy Information Perspective series.
His articles have appeared in the Supreme Court Review, Journal of Supreme Court History, California Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Vanderbilt Law Review and Hastings Law Journal. His work has also appeared in The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions, the Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States and Social Consciousness in Legal Decision Making: Psychological Perspectives.
Killenbeck has been invited to speak at the United States Supreme Court three times. In May 2012, he delivered a Leon Silverman Lecture, “A Prudent Regard to Our Own Good? The Commerce Clause, in Nation and States.” In October 2014, he provided the introduction and expert commentary for a Frank C. Jones Reenactment of the oral argument in M’Culloch v. Maryland. In October 2019, he will deliver a second Leon Silverman Lecture, on notable concurring opinions that effectively served as dissents.
Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law
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