Mark Osler with award.
From left: Interim Law School Dean Joel Nichols, retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug, Professor Mark Osler and ACS president Adam Miller '15 J.D.

Mark Osler Receives Distinguished Leadership Award

University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Mark Osler was honored by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) with the Justice David Lillehaug Award for Distinguished Leadership. The award is given each year to a leader in the local progressive legal community who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing a vision of the Constitution and law that enhances individual rights and liberties, and promotes genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law.

“As someone who has had the privilege of learning from Professor Osler as a student, and now having worked with him as a new attorney, the profound impact of his work cannot be overstated,” Adam Miller ’15 J.D., ACS co-president and chapter representative, said at the ceremony held April 18 at the School of Law. “And there is no question that he’s helped advance the law and justice system for the betterment of our entire society.”

Osler is a professor and the Robert and Marion Short Distinguished Chair in Law. He also leads the law school’s Federal Commutations legal clinic, which was the first of its kind in the country when it started and has been a model for other law schools.

A former federal prosecutor, Osler’s current work focuses on criminal justice reform, both locally and nationally. He is an advocate for sentencing and clemency policies rooted in principles of human dignity.

Osler’s writing on clemency, sentencing and narcotics policy has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and in law journals, including Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown. He has testified as an expert before the United States Sentencing Commission and the United States House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Osler has also visited the White House during the Obama and Trump administrations to advise on policy, such as the First Step Act.