Anderson Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Head shot of David Anderson wearing a blue blazer and an off-white button-down shirt

Longtime faculty member David A. Anderson is being recognized for his profound contributions to the field of First Amendment law and laws governing mass media and communication.

Anderson, the Fred & Emily Marshall Wulff Centennial Chair Emeritus in Law, has been named the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Communications, Media & Information Law section of the Association of American Law Schools, or AALS, and will be honored at the AALS annual meetings in Washington, D.C., on January 5, 2024.

Anderson is the author of numerous books and dozens of law articles, many of which are regarded as foundational to the field. The award recognizes Anderson’s “distinguished career of teaching, service, and scholarship.”

“David is a giant of the legal academy,” says Dean Bobby Chesney. “This award is magnificent and well-deserved and I cannot wait to be there in January when he is being celebrated.”

Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, the former dean of the University of Missouri School of Law and now a professor at Levin College of Law, championed Anderson for the award. “David is an inspiring force (and) a true lawyer’s lawyer,” said Lidsky. She should certainly know: Lidsky is not only a renowned expert in media law herself, but is also a former student of Anderson’s from the Texas Law Class of 1993, as well as one of the co-authors of Anderson’s Media Law: Cases and Materials. She added, “He has supported me at every turn in my 30-year legal career and keeps in touch with a very large number of his former students, because he made a difference in so many of our lives.”

Though he retired from teaching in 2018, Anderson has kept busy with writing projects, including updates to casebooks, and guest essays on free speech matters for news outlets.

Anderson, a member of the Class of 1971 who began teaching at the law school in 1972, had spent nearly a decade as a political reporter after graduating from Harvard College before deciding on the law as a career path. Beyond his scholarly articles and books, he is the author of a coffee table book on domestic architecture, and “An Urn of Native Soil,” an autobiographical memoir about the life and death of the remote plains community in which he was born and raised.

Said Anderson about the award, “What I’d like to say is what my father said upon being named Hereford Man of the Year: ‘The thing about awards is, they have to give ‘em to somebody.’ But I am truly gratified to be honored by my colleagues in the media law world, many of whom have used my casebook or read my articles.”

Category: Alumni News, Faculty News