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Dec. 11, 2003

Press Contact: Kirston Fortune, UT Law Communications, (512) 471.7330
SBA Committee Contact: Ryan McCormick, 512-418-8927,

Professor Ernest Young Receives Texas Exes Faculty Teaching Award

Constitutional law professor, teaching quizmaster at UT Law honored for excellence in teaching

Photo of Professor Ernest Young
Prof. Ernest Young

AUSTIN, Texas — The student selection committee for the Texas Exes’ Faculty Teaching Award has selected Professor Ernest Young, a constitutional law expert at The University of Texas at Austin, to be the recipient of the 2003-04 award. Young, who is in his fifth year of teaching at the Law School, was the overwhelming favorite among students during the nominating process.

Each year the Texas Exes honor a professor and a teaching assistant from each college and school with the Texas Excellence Teaching Award. It is especially rewarding for the recipients because students are allowed to nominate and choose the best professors and teaching assistants on campus. At the Law School, a Student Bar Association committee selected Young for being an outstanding mentor to students, both inside and outside the classroom.

“He brings a passion for the law and youthful energy to the classroom that is reflected in his lectures,” said Ryan McCormick, chairman of the student selection committee. He noted that Young took extra steps to help new students master complex issues including distributing an outline of his lecture before every class. “There was a general consensus among students that Professor Young’s sense of humor has made learning difficult material an enjoyable experience. Professor Young has assumed several extracurricular responsibilities designed to improve the law school experience for students, including serving as a faculty coordinator of the judicial clerkship program,” McCormick said.

“I want to congratulate Ernie Young for being selected for the Texas Exes Teaching Award this year. This is a real honor, and very well deserved,” said Bill Powers, Dean of UT Law.

"I'm very proud to be listed alongside the great teachers who have won this award in the past," Young said. "The key to being a good teacher is to have students that you like and who challenge you intellectually, and I've been blessed with both at Texas."

Young, who holds the Judge Benjamin Harrison Powell Professorship in Law, also won in 2002 the Robert Murff Excellence Award by the Texas Campus Career Council, along with Professor Tony Reese, for serving as judicial clerkship advisors at UT Law. A native of Abilene, Texas, Young joined the UT law faculty in 1999. He teaches Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, and Foreign Affairs Law, and his research interests also extend to administrative law, admiralty, international law, and legislation. Young graduated from Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, where he received the 1992 Sears Prize for academic excellence and served on the Harvard Law Review. He clerked for the Hon. Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and then for U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter, and practiced law with Cohan, Simpson, Cowlishaw & Wulff in Dallas and Covington & Burling in Washington, DC. His publications include "State Sovereign Immunity and the Future of Federalism," 1999 Sup. Ct Rev. 1; "Hercules, Herbert, and Amar: The Trouble with 'Intratextualism'," 113 Harv. L. Rev. 730 (2000); and "Rediscovering Conservatism: Burkean Political Theory and Constitutional Interpretation," 72 N.C. L. Rev. 619 (1994). Young has also taught as a visiting professor at Villanova Law School and as an adjunct at Georgetown University Law Center.

The SBA student selection committee for the Texas Exes’ Teaching Assistant Award has selected Chelsea Davenport, a Teaching Quizmaster at the Law School, to be recipient of the 2003-04 award. She was the overwhelming favorite among students during the nominating process. McCormick said students in Davenport’s Teaching Quizmaster group express appreciation for her students in both their academic and personal lives. “She combines both strong teaching skills as well as an individualized interest in all of her fellow students,” he said.

Young and Davenport will receive their Texas Exes Teaching Awards at a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m. in the Connally Ballroom at the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.