Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

June 30, 2003
2003 Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award

Southwestern is pleased to announce that Professor Scott M. Gordon has been selected to receive the 2003 Adjunct Excellence in Teaching Award. Described as "a compelling, effective teacher who utilizes innovative teaching methods and draws on years of professional experience to educate, motivate and stimulate students," Professor Gordon has been an adjunct at Southwestern since 1990.

Nominations emphasized the excellence of his teaching, noting that in "Forensic Evidence, a difficult course that deals with complex scientific issues that most students had never heard of, Professor Gordon was able to simplify and make these issues understandable." Students noted that Professor Gordon was "extremely adept at stimulating class discussion." One commented that "for a person such as myself who does not tend to participate in class discussions, Professor Gordon's class leaves me fighting to keep from raising my hand every five minutes because the lecture and subsequent class discussion is so stimulating." Another stated that his "class is one where a student is left wanting the class to go on longer."

Nominations stated that Professor Gordon also draws on his "first hand experience as a state and international prosecutor to pepper his lectures with these experiences." Also noted was his "way of incorporating current trials that are in the news as a way of explaining how a court is handling a case and utilizes these cases to facilitate greater classroom discussion." Others noted that Professor Gordon has "a way of lightening a tough subject with humor and his easygoing nature." Another said that Professor Gordon "has made this course so interesting that I leave class overjoyed because the class has been so interesting, stimulating and because I have learned so much - I have never looked forward to a class as much as this one." Another noted, "Everything I see on television or news about something that deals with forensic evidence, I try to dissect the issues and develop answers using the knowledge and skills I have developed from this class. It is great fun."

Nominations noted that outside of class, Professor Gordon further demonstrates his "commitment to students because he always makes it clear that he will answer any questions, whether it has to do with Forensic Evidence, criminal law or a general legal question if he is able to help." "He is always willing to meet with students before or after class and encourages us to phone or email him."

Professor Gordon has had a significant impact on his students. He is described by one as being an "exceptional teacher who carefully blends theory and practice" and by another as teaching "with an enthusiasm that is infectious." And another noted that "We took this class because we have the desire to become prosecutors and Professor Gordon has strengthened our belief that we have chosen the right career path." He "is an exceptional teacher, professional and role model."