President, Civility Center for the Law; Professor of Law Emerita and Past Director, Academic Resource Center at Seattle University School of Law
Professor Paula Lustbader is highly respected internationally in the legal-education academy and locally in the Seattle legal community for the passion and energy she brought to her work as co-founder and director of the Academic Resource Center and its Access Admissions program at Seattle University School of Law. For 28 years, she provided instruction, support, and mentorship to law students from under-represented groups and, in the process, has been instrumental in increasing the diversity of the legal profession. She has touched the lives of more than 1,000 law students who, on graduation, have gone on to impact the lives of literally thousands of clients and fellow citizens in Washington and across the country.
Professor Lustbader’s contribution to the academy was acknowledged in 2015, when she was given the Association of American Law Schools Section on Academic Support Award for Excellence in Legal Education. The Washington State Bar Association recognized Professor Lustbader’s outstanding contributions by naming her co-recipient of the organization’s Award for Excellence in Diversity (2006). In 2010, she received the Loren Miller Bar Association President’s Award for her role in increasing the diversity in the legal profession.
Professor Lustbader is an internationally recognized leader, scholar, and speaker on law school academic support programs, learning theory, teaching methods, and diversity. She has also lectured in England, Switzerland, Spain, and Italy. In addition to using her vision to help found two national organization sections on Law School Academic Support and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Seattle University, she has assumed numerous leadership roles with the legal academy’s national organizations.
She retired from Seattle University School of Law in 2015. Between 2010 and 2015, Professor Lustbader began phased retirement from the Law School in order to enable her to shift her focus to her work as president of Robert’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering civility in the legal profession. In that role, she has undertaken a variety of initiatives. In addition to writing articles about civility, she is developing curriculum, programs, and seminars to promote civility; she is facilitating conversations on civility with focus groups; and she is making multiple presentations and providing consulting to law firms and other legal professional organizations.
In 2014, Professor Lustbader became the president of Alfie’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support to help change a life. She is currently spearheading the foundation’s first initiative, Alfie Scholars at Seattle University, whose mission is to make the dream of a bachelor’s degree achievable for diverse transfer students who are committed to fostering civility.