Andrew M. Coats, the widely respected Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Director of the Law Center, has been selected to receive the American Inns of Court’s 2008 Professionalism Award for the Tenth Circuit. The award will be presented at the Tenth Circuit Judicial Conference at the Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colrado, on August 28, 2010.
Dean Coats currently serves as Of Counsel with Crow & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City and as the Eleventh Dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Law and Fourth Director of the Law Center.
Beginning July 1, 2010, he becomes Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law and will stay active as a counselor to the new Dean. In 2002, the law school building was named Andrew M. Coats Hall in his honor. In 2006, Dean Coats was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, which is the highest honor Oklahoma can confer on an Oklahoman. An alumnus of the University and the College of Law, Dean Coats has served as the District Attorney of Oklahoma County, the Mayor of Oklahoma City, President of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and President of the Crowe & Dunlevy law firm. Dean Coats also served as naval advisor to the Chinese Nationalist Government in Taiwan while an officer in the US Navy.
His legal career is highlighted by successfully arguing before the US Supreme Court for the Universities of Oklahoma and Georgia in their landmark case against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) which broke the NCAA's college football TV monopoly. As District Attorney of Oklahoma County, he prosecuted a number of important cases, including capital cases such as the "Sirloin Stockade Murders."
In 1996, Dean Coats became the national President of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1996-97). He is also a trustee of the US Supreme Court Historical Society, an Oklahoma Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and was the Charter President of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has been affiliated with both the Luther L. Bohanon and Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inns of Court.
The Tenth Circuit Professionalism Award is presented bi-annually to honor a senior practicing judge or lawyer whose life and practice display sterling character and unquestioned integrity, coupled with ongoing dedication to the highest standards of the legal profession. Candidates are nominated through circuit-wide open nominations and selected by a panel of representatives from both the circuit and the American Inns of Court Foundation.
The American Inns of Court Foundation, America’s oldest, largest and fastest growing mentoring organization, presents Professionalism Awards at participating circuits nationwide. The awards are underwritten in part by Thomson Reuters.
The American Inns of Court includes over 27,000 federal, state and local judges, lawyers, law professors and law students in some 350 chapters across the United States. Additionally, there are over 85,000 alumni members. Foundation offices are located in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.