Dean Gregory Mandel has announced the creation of one new faculty chair and two new professorships as well as the appointments of their inaugural holders: the Robert J. Reinstein Chair, held by incoming Professor Amy Cohen; the Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professorship, held by Professor Alice Abreu; and the Edward D. Ohlbaum Professorship, held by Professor Jules Epstein.
“The Reinstein Chair and the Diaz and Ohlbaum Professorships all honor individuals whose contributions to Temple Law School have profoundly shaped who we are today,” said Dean Mandel. “We owe a great debt of thanks to each of them for their enduring service to our law school, our community, and our profession. We’re honored by the opportunity to celebrate their legacies and to build our future on the strong foundation they have laid.”
The Robert J. Reinstein Chair in Law
Professor Amy Cohen is the inaugural holder of the Reinstein Chair. Cohen, who joins Temple Law School from Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law, focuses her research and scholarship on two significant fields: alternative dispute resolution, broadly defined, and law and economic development. Her current work includes research on restorative and transformative justice and the political economy of agriculture and food, particularly in India. Cohen’s teaching areas of expertise are broad and include a range of dispute resolution topics, property, food law, legal theory, and law and development. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Cohen is teaching at the University of New South Wales Faculty of Law and Justice in Australia; she will join the Temple Law community in person in the Fall of 2022. “I am thrilled to be part of the terrific and vibrant Temple Law faculty, and I am especially honored to hold a chair dedicated to a visionary leader who was devoted to building local excellence and transnational engagement simultaneously,” Cohen remarked.
The Robert J. Reinstein Chair in Law honors the half-century of service by Temple Law School’s Dean Emeritus, under whose leadership it grew from a regional law school to one with campuses and programs around the world, including summer study in Rome, a semester abroad in Tokyo, and the Rule of Law program in Beijing. His innovative vision was transformative on the main campus as well. During Reinstein’s tenure as Dean, Temple Law School established the Integrated Trial Advocacy Program, the Master’s in Trial Advocacy, and the Integrated Transactional Program, all grounded in his commitment to experiential legal education. He also worked tirelessly to build a faculty that, while diverse in background, perspective, and expertise, was uniformly committed to academic excellence. Reinstein’s visionary stewardship of the law school has been carried forward by his successors, Dean (now Provost) JoAnne A. Epps and Dean and Peter J. Liacouras Professor of Law Gregory N. Mandel.
The Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professorship
Professor Alice Abreu, the inaugural holder of the Diaz Professorship, is an internationally respected tax scholar and educator. She is the director of Temple Law School’s Center for Tax Law and Public Policy, which recently launched a Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic that will serve low-income taxpayers in North Philadelphia and Northeast Pennsylvania. Among many other honors, Professor Abreu is a recipient of Temple University’s Great Teacher Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University on its faculty. Her most recent scholarship explores how to increase diversity within the tax bar. “Judge Diaz’s lifelong commitment to public service reflects a core Temple value and is an inspiration to me and to our students,” said Professor Abreu. “He was the only Latino in his law school class, but his grit and determination led him to the halls of the White House and to the Philadelphia bench. It is especially meaningful to me to be the inaugural holder of the Diaz Professorship: I am a Cuban woman who was hired by then-Dean Carl Singley, Judge Diaz’ law school classmate and mentor, as the first Latina on the law school’s faculty.”
The Honorable Nelson A. Diaz Professorship honors the 1972 graduate for his trailblazing career, which included many historic firsts. Diaz, who co-founded the Temple Law chapter of the Black Law Students Association, was the first Puerto Rican student to graduate from Temple Law School; first Puerto Rican lawyer to be admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, in 1973; and first Latino judge in Pennsylvania history, as a member of the Court of Common Pleas from 1981-1993. In addition to his legal practice, Diaz served as the City Solicitor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to be the general counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he focused on reforming public and mixed-use housing programs. The Diaz Professorship is the first endowed position to be named for a Latinx individual in Pennsylvania.
The Edward D. Ohlbaum Professorship
Professor Jules Epstein is the Director of Trial Advocacy Programs and the first to hold the Ohlbaum Professorship. Epstein is a highly regarded criminal defense lawyer and evidence scholar with particular expertise in death penalty law and the application of the rules of evidence to forensic science. A former partner at the highly respected civil rights and criminal defense law firm of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing, Feinberg, & Lin LLP, Professor Epstein continues to handle some post-conviction capital cases as court-appointed or pro bono counsel as well as select appellate litigation. “Eddie was a giant in advocacy skills and in modeling and demanding advocacy professionalism and ethics,” Epstein said. “Holding the Ohlbaum Professorship is a tremendous honor, and from it I hope to set Temple as the leader in advocacy scholarship and innovation.”
The Edward D. Ohlbaum Professorship honors the legacy of Temple Law’s legendary trial advocacy professor. “Eddie,” as he was known throughout the law school community, was a 1976 graduate who returned after an exceptional career as a public defender to build and lead Temple’s flagship trial advocacy program. Ohlbaum’s model of advocacy education, coupled with the law school’s early commitment to clinical legal education, shaped both Temple Law School and the regional bar. He was a highly respected evidence scholar whose writing on the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence was considered authoritative throughout the judiciary. Ohlbaum was also a fierce advocate for children’s rights, for trial advocacy as a discipline, and for the rule of law as a pillar of democracy and justice. He served Temple Law School and its students tirelessly until his premature death in 2014.