Professor Pottenger Receives Posthumous Award

Sue Wharfe accepts an award on behalf of her late husband Jay Pottenger
Sue Wharfe (second from right) accepts the Pincus Award alongside Norrinda Brown Hayat, co-chair of the AALS Clinical Section; Emma Pottenger, and Anita Sinha, co-chair of the AALS Clinical Section. Credit: James Greif

J.L. Pottenger Jr. ’75 was posthumously awarded the 2023 William Pincus Award from the American Association of Law Schools (AALS). The Pincus Award, the most prestigious honor in the field of clinical legal education, recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions as reflected in scholarship, service, program design and implementation, and other activities. Pottenger’s wife Sue accepted the honor at the AALS conference in April.

Jay Pottenger headshot
Pottenger devoted his career to Yale Law School’s clinical program, where he accepted a full-time teaching position in 1980. He began by supervising students in litigation and transactional clinics, externships, and trial practice. Pottenger developed a wide range of expertise, including in matters of housing and community development, legislative advocacy, prison legal services, trial practice, landlord/tenant law, and professional responsibility.

In 2022, Pottenger received the Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award, which recognizes a member of the Connecticut Bar Association whose teaching career has “made significant contributions to the cause of legal education in the state.” Pottenger was also honored with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center’s George and Patricia Ritter Pro Bono Award in 2014 and Connecticut Voices for Children’s “Kids First” Award in 2006. New Haven Legal Assistance recognized Pottenger and Stephen Wizner, the William O. Douglas Clinical Professor Emeritus of Law, as co-recipients of its 2016 Equal Access to Justice Award.

Professor J.L. Pottenger Jr. ’75 passed away on Feb. 23, 2023. Please read his obituary here.