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Celebrating Public Interest Law

July 8, 2015 —

Georgetown Law enjoyed a record year for pro bono and community service this academic year, with more than 350 students providing pro bono service to more than 50 D.C.-area organizations for a total of thousands of hours of work. 

Students like Jenadee Nanini (L’17) and Walter Hawes (L’17), who volunteered with American Friends Service Committee’s Human Rights Project to teach a human rights class to middle and high school students. Or the 15 students working with the Georgetown Law Library to respond to more than 700 letters from prisoners seeking legal resources. 

Those were just a few of the highlights of the “Public Interest Proud” event at the end of the school year, celebrating the accomplishments of Georgetown Law’s public interest community. “You are the reason that OPICS continues to love the work that we do, year in and year out,” Assistant Dean Barbara Moulton of the Office of Public Interest and Community Service (OPICS) told the students.

OPICS staff reported that the Law Center’s Public Interest Fellows Program has grown from 70 students in its first year to more 320 students and alumni in its fifth. One hundred and eighty graduating students in the Class of 2015 participated in the Pro Bono Pledge; the class as a whole completed more than 30,500 hours of law-related pro bono service and 4,300 hours of community service.

Two student groups, Advocates for Sexual Violence and the Coalition at Georgetown University Law Center, received awards for raising awareness of important issues at Georgetown Law, in Washington, D.C., and beyond. The Coalition, founded this year, is dedicated to promoting activism around issues of social and racial justice.

Individual student awards for outstanding public service went to Caitlin Cocilova (L’15), Genevieve Fugere (L’17) and five members of the 2014-2015 board of Georgetown’s Law Equal Justice Foundation: Meagan Gordon, David Schwartz, Olivia Jerjian, Josh Gillerman and Kena Cador (all L’16). B. Shaw Drake (L’15) received this year’s Bettina Pruckmayr Award for Human Rights.

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