Faculty Member James Drennan to be Presented with 2016 Karen Thorson Award

James C. Drennan

On September 26, at the annual conference of the National Association of State Judicial Educators (NASJE), School of Government faculty member James C. Drennan will be presented with the 2016 Karen Thorson Award. The award will be given in recognition of Drennan’s “extensive partiocipation in the National Association of State Judicial Educators, his influence on judicial education across the country, and his indelible impression on the court community.”

Jim Drennan joined the School of Government (then the Institute of Government) in 1974. He teaches and advises on court administration issues, judicial ethics and fairness, criminal sentencing, and judicial leadership. Drennan is also responsible for the School’s educational programs for clerks of Superior Court and court administrators. While on leave from 1993 through 1995, he served as director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar, the American Bar Association, and the National Association of State Judicial Educators. He has written manuals, articles, and handbooks for the School of Government and the Administration Office of the Courts. Drennan earned a BA from Furman University and a JD from Duke University, where he served on the editorial board of the Duke Law Journal.

In 2012 the NASJE board established the Karen Thorson Award to honor a member who has made a significant contribution to both NASJE and judicial branch education nationally.

“Jim Drennan has brought clear judgment and consistent integrity to his work of improving the North Carolina judicial system,” said School of Government Dean Mike Smith, “and he has mentored and inspired his colleagues at the School of Government to be better at this work than we would have been without his guidance. I am very pleased that Jim has been recognized with this award.”


Published September 8, 2016