Southwestern Dean Emerita Susan Prager Receives Bernard E. Witkin Medal

A legal education trailblazer, Prager served as Southwestern's first female and 11th Dean and President during 2013-2021.

Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES


San Diego & Los Angeles, California, Nov. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southwestern Law School Dean Emerita Susan Westerberg Prager recently received the Bernard E. Witkin Medal, awarded annually by the California Lawyers Association to a legal community member who has helped shape the legal landscape through an extraordinary body of work.

Past Witkin Medal winners include Justice Anthony Kennedy, James Brosnahan, Herma Kay Hill, Erwin Chemerinsky, Jesse Choper, Gerald Gunther, and Southwestern alum Justice Stanley Mosk '35. 

A legal education trailblazer, Prager served as Southwestern's first female and 11th Dean and President during 2013-2021. She joined Southwestern after serving as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of American Law School (AALS). Prager previously served in several leadership positions, including 16 years as Dean of UCLA School of Law and President of Occidental College.

Early in her career, Prager worked for California's U.S. Senator and minority whip Thomas Kuchel, Congressman Pete McCloskey, and California Assemblyman John Veneman from Modesto. She completed her J.D. degree at UCLA School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review.

After practicing law on the east coast, Prager returned to her alma mater in 1972 as a member of the UCLA law faculty and later Dean. She was the first female law dean in the University of California system and when appointed, was one of only two women law school deans in the country. Her 16-year deanship is the longest tenure of any law dean in UCLA history. Dean Prager was also the first UCLA graduate to serve in that post.

While at UCLA, Dean Prager became the second woman ever elected president of the AALS. She also served on the governing boards of the Law School Admission Council and the Council of the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

She was a trustee of Stanford University for 14 years and has been a board member of the Pacific Mutual Holding Company (Pacific Life), the Access Group, and the American Council on Legal Education. She also served as a member of the California Commission on Campaign Financing and the California Community Colleges Commission on Innovation. An outspoken advocate for intellectual and racial diversity throughout her career, Prager counseled community groups and legislators and testified before congressional subcommittees to advance anti-discrimination. 

You can read Prager's full biography on Southwestern's website.

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Southwestern Dean Emerita Susan Westerberg Prager

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