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Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law

Professor Jim Gash Receives Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Mentoring Award

January 7, 2019 | Professor James Allan Gash was recently selected to receive the prestigious Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Award by the Trust Committee of the Philanthropic Services group at Wells Fargo Private Bank. The Beckman Award was created to benefit educators who have inspired their former students to make significant contributions to society. The award is granted to academic faculty members who have motivated and mentored students to "create an organization which has demonstrably conferred a benefit on the community at large," or "establish on a lasting basis a concept, procedure, or movement of comparable benefit to the community at large."

Professor Gash was recognized for encouraging his former student Shane Michael (JD '11), who developed the J-FASTER Pilot Program that introduced plea bargaining to the Ugandan criminal justice system. J-FASTER laid a foundation for plea bargaining that began in the juvenile justice system and has since spread to the adult justice system. The program's implementation continues on a national scale and is now expanding to other countries in Africa.

For the past eight years, Professor Gash has worked to advance the rule of law in developing countries, including traveling to Uganda with Pepperdine students and alumni to assist that country in its justice reform efforts. While a student at Pepperdine Law, Shane participated in Pepperdine's summer internship in Uganda between his first and second year of law school. After he graduated, Shane spent a year in Uganda serving as a Nootbaar Fellow. "Throughout my time in Uganda," Shane says, "Professor Gash pushed me to help our important mission. He provided guidance, support, and motivation. Most significantly, Professor Gash demonstrated how passion and hard work can achieve positive, lasting change in the lives of others."

Jim Gash and student

Professor Gash is the current director of Pepperdine Law's Sudreau Global Justice Program. Professor Gash was presented with the Beckman Award at a ceremony held on November 3 in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside six other distinguished educators from around the country. The 2018 award recipients were Anna Mae Diehl (M.D.), Duke University School of Medicine, Elyn Saks (J.D.), USC Gould School of Law and UC San Diego, Charles H. Zeanah, Jr. (M.D.), Tulane University, James Allan Gash (J.D.), Pepperdine School of Law, David L. Blustein (Ph.D.), Boston College, Patricia Perez (Ph.D.), The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and Ross E. Cheit (J.D. and Ph.D.), Brown University.


Additional information on the 2018 Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust Award may be found here