Students Honored for Pro Bono, Clinic and Internship Accomplishments
On May 1, the law school hosted its annual Pro Bono and Clinical Program Reception in the Conour Atrium. The keynote speaker was Catherine A. Meeker, Co-chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee and an associate at Baker & Daniels. In total, the class of 2009 contributed 15,441 pro bono hours while in law school. Sixty-one J.D. students were recognized for their pro bono work. The John Paul Berlon Award for outstanding pro bono contributions was presented to DawnMarie White who contributed over 200 hours to six different public interest organizations during her law school tenure. As Pro Bono Program participants, students volunteer on supervised projects for non-profit organizations and government agencies. They also work with individual attorneys doing unpaid legal work. The work must benefit the under-served, under-represented, or organizations with limited resources. Participating in the program affords students exposure to diverse areas of practice, such as administrative law, criminal law, family law, and children’s issues. As a result, students gain practical experience while learning about the legal needs of the under-served. The Pro Bono Program is directed by LaWanda Ward, ‘03, and is housed within the school’s Office of Professional Development, directed by Assistant Dean Chasity Thompson, ‘02. The law school’s clinical program also honored students at the reception. The recipient of the Outstanding Clinic Student Award for 2008-09 was Matthew Kubal. This award honors a clinic student who has demonstrated dedication to public interest work through representation and advocacy on behalf of clients in the clinic. Kubal was recognized for his live-client clinic work which involved gathering evidence and developing a case theory based on the law and facts of the case. He participated in both the Civil Practice and Criminal Defense Clinics, and completed the Advocacy Skills Concentration. “Matt has gone the extra mile for his clients in interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence for his cases,” said Clinic Director, Professor Mary Wolf. After completion of his clinic requirements for his Civil Practice Clinic class in the Fall, Kubal continued to represent his clients on a pro bono basis. One case he was working on is expected to last through the summer, and he has committed to continue his work on it while studying for the bar exam. In addition to the award presentation, all clinic students received a certificate of completion during the program. This year, five LL.M. students were also honored for their pro bono contributions. In addition, a total of 51 former Program in International Human Rights Law interns, current students and graduates were presented with certificates signed by Professor George E. Edwards and Dean Gary R. Roberts for their work on United Nations’ human rights reports.