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Delaware Law professor to receive mentoring award for her work with students


Widener University Delaware Law School and Dean Rodney Smolla congratulate Associate Professor Dana Harrington Conner on being named the recipient of the Delaware State Bar Association’s Distinguished Mentoring Award.

Harrington Conner, who has directed the school’s Delaware Civil Law Clinic since 1996, will receive the award at a bar association luncheon Dec. 10. The award is given to a Delaware lawyer who, by distinguished mentoring of other Delaware lawyers or future lawyers over a period of many years, has served as an inspiration and model for those lawyers to strive for, and maintain, the highest standards in their careers and in their community involvement.

Harrington Conner has been a member of the school’s full-time faculty since 2004. More than 350 law students have enrolled in the Delaware Civil Law Clinic during her near two decades of leadership. The clinic was created in 1984 in support of the school’s mission to provide practical legal experience to law students through civic engagement in Delaware. Its primary focus is the representation of domestic violence survivors.

“I am honored to be named a recipient of this award,” Harrington Conner said. “It has been my pleasure to work with so many wonderful law students over the years, who are now successful members of the Delaware bar. I feel very fortunate that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of their professional growth.”

Harrington Conner earned her law degree at Delaware Law School in 1992 and became one of the first attorneys in Delaware to represent survivors of domestic violence seeking civil protection from abuse. She became managing attorney of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services in 1996, where she served until joining the law school faculty. In addition to her teaching and clinic leadership roles, she also serves as co-director of the school’s Family Health Law & Policy Institute. 

“Dana is a role model for our students,” Smolla said. “She teaches them how to use the law to improve victims’ lives and how to treat clients from all backgrounds with dignity, respect and the highest levels of professionalism. It is rewarding to see her positive influence recognized this way. We congratulate her.”

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, applied leadership, and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience.  Its Delaware Law School is the First State’s only law school, providing juris doctor, legal graduate and paralegal degree programs with an emphasis on developing legal professionals who reflect the Delaware Way and its traditions of civility, integrity and mutual respect. The school offers signature programs in corporate and business law, environmental law, family health law and policy, and trial advocacy. Widener University is proud to be tobacco free. Visit for more information.