Lipeles, Tokarz, IEC Receive Prestigious Honors

Senior Lecturer Maxine Lipeles  and Professor Karen Tokarz  have been awarded prestigious honors from the legal community for their work in environmental law and mediation, respectively.

Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic Co-Directors
Bob Kuehn, left, and Maxine Lipeles, second from left,
receive the Lewis Green Environmental Defense Award
from members of theMissouri Coalition for the Environment.

Lipeles, founder and co-director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (IEC), was honored at the 41st anniversary of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Lipeles and other IEC faculty and staff—Professor and IEC Co-Director Robert Kuehn and Lecturers Peter Goode, Elizabeth Hubertz, Beth Martin, and Katherine Pawasarat—received the Lewis Green Environmental Defense Award. The IEC was recognized for its “unparalleled contribution to advancing environmental law in Missouri.” The clinic’s victories include ground-breaking settlements and court decisions that address a variety of environmental concerns related to lead poisoning, air pollution, water pollution, and global warming. 

Lipeles and Tokarz were both named among 2011’s Best Lawyers in America. Tokarz, the Charles Nagel Professor of Public Interest Law & Public Service and director of the law school’s Dispute Resolution Program, was selected in the Alternative Dispute Resolution category, and Lipeles was selected in the Environmental Law category. Tokarz was honored for her work as a highly respected civil rights mediator, while Lipeles was recognized for her nationally regarded advocacy on behalf of environmental organizations. Published since 1983, Best Lawyers lists attorneys in 91 specialties, representing all 50 states, who have been chosen through a survey in which the nation’s top lawyers confidentially evaluate their peers.

Professor Karen Tokarz works with a Civil Rights
and Community Justice Clinic student at the BBB.

Immediate past director of the law school’s Clinical Education Program, Tokarz currently directs the Civil Rights & Community Justice Clinic, which introduces law students to civil rights practice and dispute resolution from a community-based perspective, and teaches Mediation Theory & Practice. In addition to directing the Dispute Resolution Program, Tokarz’s mediation and dispute resolution work includes statewide mediation certification programming in conjunction with U.S. Mediation & Arbitration Midwest and international dispute resolution consulting through the Africa Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative. In 2008–09, she was a visiting scholar at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation and a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal in South Africa, where she assisted in the development of their ADR masters program. She also is a member of the Missouri Supreme Court ADR Commission, the U.S. District Court ADR Advisory Committee, and the U.S. District Court ADR Panel for Resolution of Internal Claims. Her scholarship includes law review articles and book chapters on clinical education and dispute resolution topics.

Lipeles, a past recipient of the SBA’s Professor of the Year Award, has been named to Best Lawyers since 1991. In addition to her award-winning work with the clinic, now in its 11th year, she is the author or co-author of two casebooks—one on hazardous waste and another on water pollution. Lipeles is a member of the ABA Section on Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law; the advisory group for the Environmental Integrity Project, where she previously served on the board of directors; and the Clean Water Action Board of Directors. Before joining the law school faculty, she was a member of the faculty in the School of Engineering and Applied Science and had extensive experience as an environmental attorney. Her work with the IEC has received numerous recognitions.