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Anne Joseph O’Connell Writes Best Administrative Law Article of 2009

The American Bar Association (ABA) has selected an article by Berkeley Law Professor Anne Joseph O’Connell as the best example of administrative law scholarship for 2009.

The ABA’s Administrative Law Section Annual Scholarship Award Committee chose O’Connell’s "Vacant Offices: Delays in Staffing Top Agency Positions," 82 Southern California Law Review 913 (2009), as the category winner. She joins a distinguished group of prior award recipients, including renowned administrative law scholars such as Peter Strauss, Elena Kagan, and Jerry Mashaw.

Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr., vice-chair of the award committee and director of faculty research at the University of Alabama School of Law, praised O’Connell for a “masterful job of bringing theoretical, empirical, and public policy arguments to bear on an increasingly important problem, the failure to properly staff subcabinet level positions in the executive branch of the federal government.”

O’Connell’s article also anticipated and responded to potential objections to her claims. In addition, the committee commended her use of empirical methods to inform and shape her normative and public policy claims. 

“Empirical legal scholarship can make important contributions to our state of knowledge about the law by telling us precisely how things are working,” says Krotoszynski.  "’Vacant Offices’ does a fantastic job of considering how things ought to be from a very informed vantage point of where they actually stand.”

O’Connell will receive the award November 4 during a luncheon at the ABA Administrative Law Section fall section meeting in Washington, D.C.