Kelley professor receives prestigious law school award

Congratulations to Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, clinical assistant professor of management and business law, who received the 2018 Samuel S. Dargan Award, presented by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s Black Law Student Association (BLSA).

Samuel S. Dargan was the first African-American graduate of the Indiana University School of Law. He was a law librarian and active community member, who worked to expand educational and professional opportunities for African-Americans.

The award, in his name, is given to a distinguished graduate for continued involvement with the BLSA and law school communities.

Westerhaus-Renfrow graduated from the IU Maurer School of Law in 1991.

“I am humbled to receive the Samuel S. Dargan Award,” said Westerhaus-Renfrow. “Mr. Dargan opened the door for others to follow in his footsteps. I am so proud to be part of this legacy that bears his name.”

“I started at the law school in 1989, and there were only about 15 African-American law students when I was there. This honor is especially significant for me because I was the first African-American woman to serve as an associate and, subsequently, assistant editor at the Indiana Law Journal. I was also the first African-American to graduate from the law school in just 2 1/2 years. I hope to be an inspiration to other women with similar dreams and aspirations.”

Before beginning her work as a professor at the Kelley School of Business, Westerhaus-Renfrow held senior leadership positions at the NCAA, University of Iowa, Purdue University and Rockwell Collins. She holds MEd and BS degrees from Ohio University. Westerhaus-Renfrow currently serves on the Indiana State Bar Association’s Board of Governors and the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners.

I hope to be an inspiration to other women with similar dreams and aspirations.  

Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, clinical assistant professor of management and business law

“I have been a law professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law for over 30 years,” said Kevin Brown, the Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law. “I vividly remember Charlotte when she was a law student here. She may very well have been the single most impressive black law student in the history of the school. If there was a Hall of Fame for BLSA members, Charlotte would be in the initial class of inductees.”

“She was the first African-American woman to join the most prestigious student activity at our law school, the Indiana Law Journal,” Brown added. “After her second year at the law school, she clerked for the Honorable Justice Brent E. Dickson of the Indiana Supreme Court. This made her one of the first African-Americans to have a prestigious clerkship for one of the top justices in the State of Indiana. Charlotte was also the first African-American woman to graduate from our law school with a job offer from a major corporate law firm. And, last year, Charlotte did a diversity training session for the entire faculty. It was the first time in our law school’s history that a BLSA graduate was provided with the platform to ‘teach’ the faculty. This honor is very well earned.”

The Samuel S. Dargan Award was presented at the Rapheal M. Prevot Jr. Barristers’ Ball.