Sixth Annual CharlotteLaw Public Service Recognition Event and Reception
The 2013 Public Service Recognition Event was held at the law school’s Suttle Avenue location on Wednesday, April 17th. The event honored the many public service accomplishments of CharlotteLaw students, faculty, and field supervisors.
Opening remarks by the new CharlotteLaw Dean, Jay Conison, delivered in his absence by Professor Cindy Adcock, captured the importance of public service to the mission of the law school, the extraordinary value of this service, and the distinctiveness of CharlotteLaw’s commitment to serving the underserved:
A second distinctive feature of CharlotteLaw is its deep commitment to helping the public and in particular serving the underserved. This is what we are celebrating this evening. Many law schools claim to have this commitment, and in fact many do. But I am not aware of any school that has been able to realize this commitment in so many ways, indeed in such profound ways, in such a short time.
Inspiring stories filled the evening. Professor Erin Kane, who received the Access to Justice Faculty Award, spoke on how her students improve their writing and rhetoric skills through tutoring inner-city high school students. Students Richard Groberg and Ronda Webb shared reflections on their pro bono legal service work experiences during Spring Break on the Gulf Coast and in Memphis.
George Miller of Dozier Miller Law Group http://doziermillerlaw.com was honored with the Field Supervisor of the Year Award for his work supervising students who assist low-income immigrants who are victims of domestic violence. Cindy Patton, attorney at Legal Aid of North Carolina, presented the Pro Bono Student Group of the Year Award to the CSL-Legal Aid Expunction Project for the group’s extraordinary assistance in meeting the high demand for review of expunction requests.
Individual Student Award recipients included:
- Pro Bono Student of the Year Award – Brandy Hagler, who volunteered over 500 hours of pro bono service over her law school career.
- Practice Readiness Externship Award – Casey Calloway, who was presented the award by the Honorable Lou Trosch, Mecklenburg District Court Judge, describing her as the best extern/intern/clerk he has ever had, beating out students from such top law schools as Harvard.
- Practice Readiness Clinical Award – Michelle Wallace, whose extraordinary work in the Community Economic Development Clinic helped save a small community organization.
- 2013 Pro Bono Leadership Awards –Karen Frank, Faith Fox, Nicole Orr, Maria Wilson (for their student leadership with the CSL-Legal Aid Expunction Project), William Flowers (for his student leadership with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance in the community), Gina Ruggieri (for her efforts starting the CSL Re-entry Project for those formerly incarcerated).
- 2013 Pro Bono Student Ambassadors – recognized for promoting pro bono work at the law school and greater Charlotte Community–Christina Adeleke, Stephen Dluzneski, Christian Glista, Latoya Gardner, Porscha Daniels, Kerry Kunai, Gina Ruggieri, Noble Williamson
All CharlotteLaw students provide pro bono legal services. Since May 2012, students have volunteered approximately 40,000 hours of such services. In addition, students have earned academic credit through more intensive externships and clinics to provide over 38,000 hours of legal services to underserved persons and organizations.
In total, CharlotteLaw students have provided, since 2006, over 200,000 hours of legal services to those who otherwise would not have been able to hire an attorney and to governmental agencies and the court system. They have also provided over 20,000 hours of non-legal community service, such as helping in soup kitchens, raising money for non-profits, and tutoring.