It is not often that classes like Corporations and Securities Regulation serve as transformative experiences for law students. But, then, Professor Tom Lin’s classes are not ordinary classes.
“Professor Lin is an excellent teacher,” wrote a panel of his peers. “His students respond deeply to his classes, many seeking us out to tell us how he ‘opened new worlds to them,’ ‘inspired them,’ or ‘changed their lives.’” The comments were offered in support of Professor Lin’s nomination for the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, conferred by the University on April 9, 2018. Dean Gregory Mandel presented the award.
“Tom is well-known in the law school for his impeccable mastery of subject matter, prodigious preparation, and encyclopedic knowledge,” remarked Dean Mandel in presenting the award. “He is famous for his elaborate grading spreadsheet, detailing all manner of items, which he shares with students to make their reviews as beneficial as possible.”
Mandel also commented on Professor Lin’s teaching philosophy, noting that, “One secret of his success is a word not often used in connection with law school courses: ‘joy.’ Joy is one of the core values of Tom’s self-described teaching philosophy, along with empathy, teamwork, and trust. It gives me great pleasure to know that Professor Lin’s work is fueled in part by joy, because it seems that he is always working.”
Professor Lin’s students have praised him both for his classroom teaching, described as “innovative, fresh, and exciting,” and for his commitment to mentorship. “To call (Professor Lin) supportive is an understatement,” wrote one student. “I talked with him before every major career and law school decision, and when I thought I was dreaming big, he encouraged me to dream bigger. I cannot imagine a professor who is more talented and committed to the success of his students than Professor Lin.”
Professor Lin joins a growing list of Temple Law faculty who have been honored for excellence in teaching. Prior Lindback Award recipients among the current faculty include Robert Bartow (1980-1981), James Shellenberger (1995-1996), Laura E. Little (1999-2000), Alice Abreu (2006-2007), Susan L. DeJarnatt (2007-2008), R. Craig Green (2009-2010), Andrea Monroe (2014-2015), and Salil Mehra (2015-2016). In addition, the following current faculty members have been honored with the Great Teacher Award: Nancy J. Knauer (2001-2002), Laura E. Little (2003-2004), James Shellenberger (2013-2014), and Alice Abreu (2016-2017).