Professor Ashley Deeks of the University of Virginia School of Law has been named a recipient of the American Law Institute’s Early Career Scholars Medal.

The award recognizes law professors whose work is relevant to public policy and has the potential to influence improvements in the law. The medalists are selected every other year and presented the award at the Institute’s Annual Meeting.

University of Minnesota law professor Francis X. Shen is this year’s co-recipient.

“Ashley and Francis are two early-career law professors who are already making a tremendous impact on the way we think about some of the most important and current legal topics of our day,” said Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, who serves as the chair of ALI’s Early Career Scholars Medal Selection Committee. “I am thrilled, on behalf of ALI, to award the Early Career Scholars Medal to these extraordinary professors.”

Wood added, “Ashley’s work on national security, international law, and foreign relations has earned her national recognition.”

Deeks is currently on leave from the Law School to serve as White House associate counsel and deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council.

She joined the Law School in 2012 as an associate professor of law after two years as an academic fellow at Columbia Law School. She served as the inaugural director of UVA Law’s National Security Law Center last year.

Before turning to academia, Deeks served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where she worked on issues related to the law of armed conflict, the use of force, conventional weapons and the legal framework for the conflict with al-Qaida. She also provided advice on intelligence issues. In previous positions at the State Department, Deeks advised on international law enforcement, extradition and diplomatic property questions. In 2005, she served as the embassy legal adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, during Iraq’s constitutional negotiations.

Deeks, the E. James Kelly, Jr.–Class of 1965 Research Professor of Law, has been a prominent commentator on national security law issues during her time as a professor, including as contributing editor of the Lawfare blog.

She also has been a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law; on the boards of editors of the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of National Security Law and Policy, and the Texas National Security Review; a senior fellow at the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare; and a faculty senior fellow at the Miller Center. She is a member of the American Law Institute.

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and otherwise improve the law. The organization includes judges, lawyers and law professors from the United States and abroad, selected on the basis of professional achievement and demonstrated interest in improving the law.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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