Professional News

'Great Teacher' Cortney Lollar Learns With Her Students


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LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 11, 2022) — Six of the University of Kentucky's passionate and accomplished educators were surprised earlier this spring by student nominators and the UK Alumni Association as 2022 Great Teacher Award recipients.

Cortney Lollar is one of this year’s Great Teacher Award recipients. As the James and Mary Lassiter Professor of Law in the J. David Rosenberg College of Law, Lollar enjoys the reciprocal learning relationship between herself and her students.

“I love the process of helping students learn — and they help me learn. It’s an ongoing conversation. They help me to think about both the law and the world in ways that I might not,” Lollar shared. “I am hopeful that many of our students are going to go out there and do amazing things that are going to change the world. I am not only hopeful, I feel fairly confident in saying that.”

Lollar previously served as a public defender, representing adult and juvenile defendants at the trial and appellate level in Georgia and Washington, D.C. She has also served as a legal consultant in India for the Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) and as a research assistant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.

“I care very deeply about what’s going on in the criminal legal system and the issues there,” she said. “I want my students to have a sense of how the law operates in practice, not just in theory. So that’s very important in terms of how I teach.”

Lollar teaches and researches in the areas of criminal law, criminal procedure and evidence, with a particular focus on the intersections among criminal law, remedies, race, gender, sexuality and social science.

Her work has been cited by the United States Supreme Court as well as federal and state courts. Lollar’s expertise in criminal law and procedure have led to her invited testimony before the Department of Defense Judicial Proceedings Panel on sexual assault in the military and Chief Justice Roberts's Ad Hoc Committee to review the Criminal Justice Act Program (also known as the Cardone Commission).

“The reason I do what I do is because of my students and to have a student take the time to (nominate me for this award) and even to feel that way — to consider me in that light,” Lollar said. “I am deeply touched and deeply moved by the honor.”

Learn more about why this UK Alumni Association 2022 "Great Teacher" loves to help her students find their passions in the video above, and check out this week's "Behind the Blue" podcast also featuring Lollar.

Lollar is just one of the 2022 UK Alumni Association Great Teacher award winners. This summer, UKNow will highlight each of these Great Teachers. Watch their stories here.

Initiated in 1961, UK’s Great Teacher Award is the longest-running UK award recognizing teaching. In order to receive the award, educators must first be nominated by a student. The UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award Committee, in cooperation with the student organization Omicron Delta Kappa, then makes the final selection. Recipients receive an engraved plaque and stipend.

Courtney Lollar,  teaches in her law class on January 31, 2022. Photo by Mark Cornelison | UK Photo
Courtney Lollar, teaches in her law class on Jan. 31, 2022. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

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