SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Professors Meera Deo, Michael Dorff, Kevin Greene, Richard Jolly, Hila Keren, and John Tehranian

October 3, 2023

Southwestern Law School and Montgomery Foundation Foster Cutting-Edge Legal Scholarship through Montgomery Scholars Program

Southwestern Law School and the Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Foundation proudly announce the selection of six distinguished individuals as Montgomery Scholars for the 2023–2024 academic year. Professors Meera Deo, Michael Dorff, Kevin Greene, Richard Jolly, Hila Keren, and John Tehranian have been recognized for their outstanding contributions to the legal profession and have received generous awards from the Foundation. Among this year's cohort, Professor Tehranian has been named the distinguished recipient of the 2023 Montgomery Foundation Scholar of the Year award. This honor recognizes Professor Tehranian's significant scholarly contributions.  

According to Southwestern Law School President and Dean Darby Dickerson, "The Montgomery Scholars program allows us to identify and support exceptional legal scholars who are poised to make significant contributions to the field. We congratulate all the 2023–2024 Montgomery Scholars and extend a special congratulations to Professor John Tehranian for his well-deserved recognition as the Montgomery Foundation Scholar of the Year. We are grateful to the Montgomery Foundation for their generous support and investment in legal scholarship." 

About the Awardees: 

Prof. Meera E. Deo headshotProfessor Meera E. Deo holds the Honorable Vaino Spencer Chair at Southwestern Law School and is a national expert on legal education, racial representation, and diversity. With a Ph.D. in Sociology and a J.D., she focuses her research on vulnerable populations in legal education, using empirical methods and interdisciplinary scholarship. Professor Deo is also the Director of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), based at Indiana University-Bloomington. Her book, "Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia," examines the impact of race and gender on faculty-student interactions, tenure, work-life balance, and institutional support.  

With the Montgomery Award, Professor Deo plans to expand her scholarship and advocacy efforts to provide greater support for vulnerable populations in legal academia. Her Pandemic Effects on Legal Academia study investigates how the pandemic intensified challenges for women of color, caregivers, and untenured professors, aiming to provide strategies for personal and professional success. 

Prof. Michael Dorff headshotProfessor Michael Dorff holds the Michael & Jessica Downer Chair at Southwestern Law School and is an expert in corporate law. He specializes in executive compensation, social entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and the philosophical and moral aspects of welfare economics. Professor Dorff has published extensively, including his book, "Indispensable and Other Myths: Why the CEO Pay Experiment Failed, and How to Fix It."  

With the Montgomery Award, Professor Dorff plans to fill a gap by creating a comprehensive casebook that teaches both Delaware and California corporate law. This resource will address the need for California-specific corporate law education, which is currently supplemented by the Model Business Corporations Act (MBCA). 

Prof. Kevin Greene headshotProfessor Kevin Greene holds the John J. Schumacher Chair at Southwestern Law School and is a renowned scholar in entertainment and intellectual property law. He brings extensive real-world experience to his classrooms, having represented high-profile companies and iconic music artists in legal practice. Professor Greene's expertise in intellectual property law, particularly in African-American music and inequality in copyright law, is widely recognized. He has received numerous accolades for his contributions to legal scholarship, including the Vanguard Award from the Intellectual Property Institute of the State Bar of California. 

As a Montgomery Scholar, Professor Greene is a historical novel titled The Copyright House of Horrors. This groundbreaking work, which will meld history and fantasy, stands out as there has never been a novel that explores copyright law and Black creativity, spotlighting the injustices Black artists have faced. Complementing this project, Greene is preparing two law review articles: one titled “Goodbye Copyright: The Rise of Trademark and Right of Publicity in the Hip-Hop Arena,” and the other, “The New Copyright Manifesto: A Roadmap for Racial Justice for African-American Artists,” advocating for vital reforms in copyright practices to rectify historical oppression of Black artists.  

Prof. Richard Jolly headshotAssociate Professor of Law Richard Jolly joined the Southwestern Law School faculty in 2021, bringing a decade of legal practice, policy, and research experience. His teaching focuses on civil and criminal procedure, evidence, and torts, emphasizing the application of legal theories to real-world scenarios. Professor Jolly's research explores the customization of procedures through contractual agreements and its impact on judicial institutions and the development of law.  

With funding from the Montgomery Scholarship, he plans to conduct the first judge-jury agreement study in California in over 50 years. This study aims to assess the effects of recent jury selection procedures and the role of diversity in judicial decision-making. 

Prof. Hila Keren headshotProfessor Hila Keren is the Paul E. Treusch Professor of Law and the Associate Dean for Research at Southwestern Law School. Her areas of expertise include contract law, feminist jurisprudence, critical race theory, and the emerging field of law and emotions. Professor Keren's scholarship has been published in esteemed journals, and she frequently presents on contract law, emotions, antiracism, and gender issues. She has received prestigious awards, including the Birk Foundation Outstanding Young Research Award and the Polonsky Prize for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines.  

With her Montgomery Scholar Award, Professor Hila Keren is advancing her project, "Market Citizenship for All: An Inclusive Theory of Contract Law." Challenging traditional perspectives, Keren argues that the state's involvement in contract law deepens socioeconomic disparities. She proposes an "inclusive theory of contract law" to ensure equitable market citizenship for everyone, contending that the current system inadvertently marginalizes many, making them second-class citizens in contractual dealings. 

Prof. John Tehranian headshotProfessor John Tehranian holds the Paul W. Wildman Chair at Southwestern Law School and is the recipient of the 2023 Montgomery Foundation Scholar of the Year award. He specializes in entertainment law, intellectual property, and civil rights, with a focus on the intersection of law and culture. Professor Tehranian is an accomplished author, legal commentator, and expert witness, and he has actively engaged in pro bono work.  

With the Montgomery Scholar award, he plans to advance his scholarship on intellectual property and inequality in the digital age through his forthcoming book, The Secret Life of Copyright: Intellectual Property, Intersectionality and Inequality in the Digital Age, which will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2024. This book will explore the complex issues surrounding copyright law and its intersections with intellectual property, intersectionality, and societal inequality. 

The Kenneth & Harle Montgomery Foundation and Southwestern Law School congratulate the 2023–2024 Montgomery Scholars and acknowledge their significant impact on the legal profession. Their exceptional work will inspire future generations of legal scholars.