Professor Angela Drake, director of the Mizzou Law Veterans Clinic, has been honored by the Mizzou Alumni Association (MAA) with the 63rd Annual Distinguished Faculty Award. This award honors one Mizzou faculty member each year for their exceptional contributions to the University’s growth and core mission, through their professional accomplishments, teaching and research excellence or service to the institution.
Under Professor Drake’s leadership, the Veterans Clinic has assisted over 1,000 veterans and their family members with discharge upgrades and disability compensation claims, free of charge, and secured over $10 million in federal compensation benefits for those they represent. The clinic is primarily funded through private donations, along with recent allocations from the General Assembly, which are often inspired by Drake’s advocacy and enthusiasm. She also has scaled the project exponentially – with just six students at the beginning, she now supervises 16 students a semester as they apply their skills in a real-life setting.
“Professor Drake and her students work relentlessly and creatively to fight for the benefits that their veteran clients deserve,” said Paul Litton, interim dean of Mizzou Law. “Professor Drake’s genuine commitment to their cause and mentorship inspire our students to continue serving others beyond graduation. Simply, she changes so many lives for the better.”
Additionally, Professor Christina Wells, the Enoch H. Crowder Professor of Law at Mizzou Law was honored with a 2022 Faculty-Alumni Award for her nearly two decades of exceptional scholarship, teaching and leadership while on faculty at Mizzou.
“Professor Wells is a nationally renowned First Amendment scholar with a gift for finding common ground,” Litton said. “Her expertise in free speech and conflict resolution served the University in many important ways during very challenging times. And she is one of the most thoughtful and caring teachers and mentors I have known.”
Finally, Mizzou Law alumna and former U.S. senator Claire McCaskill also received a 2022 Faculty-Alumni Award for her decades of public service as a Jackson County prosecutor and as a politician in the state of Missouri and on the federal level.
“Sen. McCaskill has represented Mizzou Law in extraordinary ways throughout her long and distinguished career,” Litton said. “From her time as a prosecutor and through her long and successful political career, she has served as an example of the type of leader the University of Missouri and Mizzou Law produce.”
The award recipients will be honored at a MAA award banquet on Nov. 4. Through the awards program, the Mizzou Alumni Association expresses its appreciation for these individuals and their service to higher education. It focuses attention not only on these outstanding persons and their accomplishments, but also on the vital relationship between faculty and alumni in promoting the best interests of the university.