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UK Law Professor Receives Duncan Teaching Award

November 2, 2018

Sarah N. Welling, William L. Matthews, Jr. Professor of Law, is the recipient of the 2018 Duncan Teaching Award at the University of Kentucky College of Law.

Every year, a UK Law faculty member is recognized for excellence in the classroom, courtesy of the Robert M. and Joanne K. Duncan Faculty Improvement Fund, which was established in 1982 to promote outstanding teaching performance at the college.  Recipients are selected by the Dean of the College of Law, with emphasis placed on student evaluations.

Professor Welling, also an Ashland-Spears Distinguished Research  Professor of Law at UK Law, teaches a variety of criminal law courses, including Basic Criminal Law, Federal Criminal Law, and a Criminal Procedure and Criminal Law Seminar.

According to her students, Professor Welling's classroom teaching is top notch.  Her students enjoy engaging with her, both inside and outside the classroom.  They describe her teaching as enjoyable and interesting.  She is often described as "knowledgeable," "enthusiastic" and "humorous" in class.  One student said, "I really liked that she drew on the board a lot - drew charts, demonstrations, links between theories.  Welling's enthusiasm for the material was contagious."

Professor Welling has also supported students outside of the classroom.  She regularly advises and assists students trying to obtain judicial clerkships, as well as supports initiatives of the Women's Law Caucus.  

“Professor Welling is meaningfully engaged in the academic welfare of her students,” said David A. Brennen, Dean of UK Law.

Professor Welling’s primary research interest is federal criminal law, particularly money laundering. She has spoken on federal criminal law matters in Poland, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong and Guangzhou, China.  She has consulted with Congress and the CIA regarding money laundering and has served as a team leader in the RAND exercise and has been quoted in the New York Times.

Her most recent books are Wright & Welling, Federal Practice and Procedure (formerly known as Wright & Miller),  Volumes 3 and 3A (Thomson West, 4th Ed. 2011) (updated 2018) covering Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure 31-42.  In 2011, the Supreme Court cited the discussion of §2255 habeas corpus actions. Additionally, Professor Welling is the lead author of Federal Criminal Law and Related Actions: Crimes, RICO, Forfeiture and the False Claims Act, a two-volume treatise co-authored with Professors Sara Sun Beale (Duke University School of Law) and Pamela Bucy Pierson (University of Alabama School of Law), published by West  Group in 1998.

Professor Welling was elected to the American Law Institute in 2008.  She is active as a consultant for Model Penal Code-Sentencing, Model Penal Code-Sexual Assault, and Principles of Government Ethics. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and has been the Reporter for the Sixth Circuit Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions since 1999.