June 12, 2023

Professor Sandy Patrick Receives 2023 Leo Levenson Award for Excellence in Teaching

The graduating class presented Professor Sandy Patrick with the Leo Levenson award for teaching which has significantly impacted the class.

The class of 2023 voted for Professor Sandy Patrick to receive the prestigious Leo Levenson Excellence in Teaching Award. Presented by Harpreet S. Dhaliwal, a graduating student, this accolade celebrates Professor Patrick’s unwavering commitment to the success and well-being of her students. As Dhaliwal expressed, “[i]n all my interactions, I always felt that Professor Patrick was coming from a place of grace and understanding. She truly viewed us as humans first and law students second.” Throughout her tenure at Lewis & Clark Law School, Professor Patrick has left an indelible mark on her students, fostering their growth as aspiring attorneys and as compassionate individuals.

At the core of Professor Patrick’s teaching philosophy is her profound understanding of each student as a unique individual, fostering a nurturing environment that cultivates their growth and success. Professor Patrick’s commitment to her students extends beyond the confines of traditional education. She goes above and beyond to ensure they are well-prepared to embark on their legal careers. However, she remains grounded in reality, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of the real world. As she wisely affirms, “We do not have a lot of control over many things, but we CAN guide our own narrative.”

Professor Patrick exemplifies how compassion, empathy, and active listening can coexist with legal excellence by breaking the stereotypes associated with the legal profession. She instilled in her students the importance of being compassionate advocates and showed them how to leverage their unique experiences to positively impact their communities. Further underscoring this commitment is the quote by Toni Morrison in Professor Patrick’s acceptance speech: “You can know what it feels like to be human: without domination over others, without reckless arrogance, without fear of others unlike you, without reinventing the hatreds you learned in the sandbox.” By prioritizing the well-being of her students and viewing them as humans first and foremost, she created an inclusive and nurturing learning environment.

Beyond her dedication to teaching, Professor Patrick is an accomplished legal scholar and author. Co-authoring two influential textbooks, “An Advocate Persuades” and “A Lawyer Writes,” she has shaped the foundation of legal writing and analysis. Professor Patrick’s expertise extends beyond the classroom, as she actively participates in the Legal Writing Institute and contributes to advancing the legal field. Read more about commencement here.