Los Angeles, CA – Southwestern Law School is pleased to announce that Professors John Heilman, Michael Dorff and Janet Philibosian have been selected to receive the law school's 2014 Excellence in Teaching Awards.

“It is with great honor that the Student Bar Association (SBA) recognizes this year's recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Awards,” said DeAndre Aubry, SBA President. “The faculty represent one of the greatest resources that Southwestern has to offer, as is evident by the overwhelming participation of students in nominating their professors for their commitment to our education.” 

Dean Susan Prager said, “These awards provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to recognize and celebrate their professors’ dedication to outstanding teaching. It is truly gratifying to learn from students about the many ways faculty have enriched their law school experience – both in the classroom and on an individual basis.”

Professor John Heilman

For the second consecutive year, Professor John Heilman has been singled out for his teaching excellence. This time, he has been selected for his work as a First-Year Professor (a faculty member who teaches first-year students). Professor Heilman joined Southwestern’s faculty in 2012 and teaches Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence and Principles of Legal Analysis. He is also the Co-Director of the Academic Support and Bar-Related Programs. “Professor Heilman is an exceptional teacher,” first-year student Ani Khodaverdian said. “He enjoys teaching, and it's obvious because of the way he smiles and jokes with us while trying to express complicated areas of the law. His dedication makes us more willing to prepare and pay attention in class, because the presence of such a wonderful professor demands reciprocity from students, just by the nature of his character. Professor Heilman makes us feel like we can conquer any subject matter.”  

Professor Michael Dorff

Professor Michael Dorff has been recognized for his work as an Upper Division Professor. He joined Southwestern's faculty in 2003 and teaches courses in Business Associations, Contracts I & II, Corporate Mergers & Acquisitions, Mergers and Acquisitions: Law, Strategy and Finance and Nonprofit Organizations. “Professor Dorff is an extremely enthusiastic and dedicated professor who truly challenged me in Business Associations and thoroughly explained the information in an effective and engaging way,” second-year student Lauren Plunkett said. “I feel very fortunate to have had him as a professor. He is a tremendous asset to Southwestern and should be recognized for his positive impact on his students.”

Professor Janet Philibosian ‘04

Professor Janet Philibosian ‘04, a Southwestern alumna who began teaching at the law school in 2010, has been selected to receive the award for the Adjunct Professor category. Professor Philibosian, an attorney at Byrne and Associates PC, teaches Defenses in the Law and Selected Topics in American Law. Fourth-year student Golak Nadery said, “Professor Philibosian goes above and beyond to help her students. She is always available and really cares about our success. Her command of the material combined with practical experience really helps students learn.”

Established in 1997, the Excellence in Teaching Awards are designed to reinforce the belief that the day-to-day teaching of students is of primary importance. The recipients are recognized by the student body through a unique nomination and selection process, in which members of the Southwestern Community submit names for the First-Year, Upper Division and Adjunct categories. The top nominees are chosen by the Student Bar Association Board, and winners are determined by a vote of the student body.