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Robert Lawson Enters UK's Hall of Distinguished Alumni

Robert Lawson, professor in the UK College of Law, was recently inducted into the University of Kentucky Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Berea Alumnus Robert Lawson enters UK's Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

The University of Kentucky Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni was established in 1965 in celebration of the university’s centennial year. Every five years the University of Kentucky Alumni Association recognizes a select group of outstanding alumni and honors them with induction into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni. Less than one percent of UK alumni have received this honor.

“I know what this university does,” Lawson said. “I know what it stands for and what it means to the young people who find their way here. I know what a really good place it is and what truly remarkable work it does every day of every year.”

Lawson has been a faculty member of the UK College of Law for over 40 years, serving as dean from 1971-73 and 1982-88. He served for two years in the 1990s as a special assistant to President Charles Wethington and, on other occasions, served in a variety of roles for other university presidents.

Lawson is best known among Kentucky’s lawyers and judges for efforts to improve the state’s laws and the application of those laws. He is the principal author of the state’s laws on crime and punishment and the principal drafter of the Kentucky Rules of Evidence. He is author of a book on Kentucky evidence law that is used by all of the state’s judges and most of the trial lawyers. This book has played a role in the decision of more than 300 cases by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. He is the author of the book “Beverly Hills – The Anatomy of a Nightclub Fire,” which provides an historical account of the fire that killed 165 people near Covington in 1977.

In 1996 Lawson was inducted into the UK College of Law Alumni Hall of Fame. He received the University of Kentucky Great Teacher Award in 1973 and 2001. In 2001 he received the Acorn Award, which is given annually by the Kentucky Advocates for Higher Education. He also received the Kentucky Bar Center Award for outstanding service to the bar and the citizens of Kentucky. This is the Kentucky Bar Association’s highest service award.

Lawson is a 1963 graduate of the UK College of Law. He received a bachelor’s degree from Berea College in 1960.

Lawson and his wife, Rosemary, also a UK graduate, reside in Lexington.

Other 2005 University of Kentucky Alumni Association Hall of Distinguished Alumni inductees are: Trudy W. Banta, William M. Bass III, Dermontti F. Dawson, William L. Fouse, Virginia G. Fox, Joel C. Gordon, William R. Grant, Angelo B. Henderson, G. Samuel Hurst, Earnest O. Robbins II, Howard L. Schnellenberger, William R. Sims, Marcia K. Stanhope, Joseph G. Teague, Lee T. Todd Jr., Douglas J. Von Allmen, Emery A. Wilson, and George C. Wright.

* Submitted by the University of Kentucky Alumni Association.

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