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Law Professor Christopher Robinette recognized with 2018 Lindback Award

Christopher Robinette, a professor of law at Widener University Commonwealth Law School and a Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania resident, has received the 2018 Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The Lindback Award is given to a faculty member who has demonstrated a history of teaching at the highest level. It is endowed by the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, a Philadelphia-based foundation that provides grants to institutions of higher education for the promotion of excellence in teaching. The honor is bestowed annually to a member of Widener's faculty.

"I am very proud of this award,” said Robinette. “I accept it as a representative of the Commonwealth Law faculty. I have learned from each of them."

While announcing the award winner to the campus community, Provost Fred Akl said Robinette anchors his teaching with the knowledge that the subject matter is going to be applied, not just understood.

“Professor Robinette recognizes that students learn better when they are engaged in the material, and that keeping them interested requires a variety of teaching methods,” Akl said. “Professor Robinette genuinely cares about students and their success.”

Robinette supplements the traditional Socratic Method often used in law school with a number of other procedures, such as collaborative group work, role playing, negotiation exercises, short video clips, discussion of current events, and other tools.  He recognizes that variety in assessment is also helpful to keep students engaged and helps both the students and him to evaluate the extent to which they are learning. 

“Professor Robinette’s teaching philosophy and practices are exemplary and worthy of recognition,” said Dean Christian Johnson. “He also consistently uses and integrates his scholarship into his courses as a way to make his teaching current and relevant for students.”

He has received both the Outstanding Faculty Award (2018, 2016, 2013, 2011) and the Douglas E. Ray Excellence in Faculty Scholarship Award (2009, 2015) on multiple occasions.

Robinette writes in the areas of tort law and theory, and is recognized as a highly accomplished scholar both in the United States and abroad. He is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Tort Law, the only peer-reviewed journal dedicated to tort law in the United States.

His scholarship focuses on the justifications for tort liability and the conditions which would make an alternative compensation program preferable. Robinette was elected in 2012 to the American Law Institute, the most prestigious organization in the country dedicated to producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize and improve the law. He has been actively involved in supporting the institute’s mission.

This year, he was selected to be the deputy to the United States' representative to the European Group on Tort Law.  The group is dedicated to reporting and harmonizing tort laws of European countries.