The Federalist Society presented its annual Paul M. Bator Award on Saturday, February 26 to Brian Fitzpatrick, an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University Law School. The award was presented at the group's annual Student Symposium by Joe Bingham, a student at the University of Chicago who served on the selection committee. The Bator Award recognizes a young academic – under the age of forty – who has demonstrated excellence in legal scholarship, a commitment to teaching, a concern for students, and who has made a significant public impact.
"Professor Fitzpatrick epitomizes each element of the Bator Award," said Bingham on behalf of the Federalist Society. "His excellence in legal scholarship is evident not only in his work's quality, but also in its breadth." Professor Fitzpatrick's research has focused on class action litigation, federal jurisdiction and procedure and judicial selection. His work has been published in such high profile publications as the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies and the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.
Bingham also praised Fitzpatrick's excellent teaching skills and commitment to his students. In 2009, Fitzpatrick won the Hall-Hartman Outstanding Professor Award from Vanderbilt, which recognizes excellence in classroom teaching. "Professor Fitzpatrick also epitomizes the fair-mindedness and rigorous consistency to which the Federalist Society properly aspires, sticking to principle even when it is not in the political interests of his team," said Bingham.
"It is difficult for me to overstate how much of an honor and privilege it is to win this award," said Fitzpatrick. "But I am grateful to the Federalist Society for the support and confidence it has shown in me today, as well as throughout my entire academic career."
The Paul M. Bator Award was established in 1989 in memory of Professor Paul M. Bator, a renowned scholar and teacher of federal courts and constitutional law. Professor Bator taught at Harvard Law School from 1959 to 1982 and from 1983 to 1985, and at the University of Chicago from 1985 until his untimely death in 1989. He also served as Principal Deputy Solicitor General in 1982 and 1983.
Professor Fitzpatrick earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated summa cum laude. He graduated first in his class from Harvard Law School and subsequently clerked for the Honorable Diarmuid O'Scannlain on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court. Following his clerkships, Professor Fitzpatrick practiced appellate and commercial litigation at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C. and served as Special Counsel for Supreme Court Nominations to U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
Click HERE for more information about the Bator Award.
Click HERE for a list of past Bator Award recipients.