Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center student Shaina Wamsley ’14 was named this year’s recipient of the Law Student Ethics Award from the Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel.
According to the Chapter, the award was created “to recognize and encourage the ethical practice of law at the earliest stages of a young lawyer’s professional career, and at the same time to shine a spotlight on ethics more generally, demonstrating that the legal community values lawyers who are guided by ethical principles.”
Harvard Law School Clinical Professor Daniel Nagin and Lecturer of Law Roger Bertling of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center, and Senior Clinical Instructor John Fitzpatrick and Administrative Director Sarah Morton of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project jointly nominated Wamsley for the award. Together they wrote:
“Shaina … has demonstrated the extraordinary ability required for the honor of this nomination. Shaina has chosen to spend hundreds of hours over the past 3 years providing direct legal assistance to the poorest, most marginalized and least able of the client populations served through the HLS clinical programs. … Clinical experience is not only about winning: it is about a thirst for learning and honing skills; it is about developing the capacity for self-reflection; it is about challenging perceived notions of how law should and does operate; and, ultimately, it is about taking on the personal challenge of growing into an effective, thoughtful and ethical member of the profession. … Her contributions compel this nomination; her firm adherence to the quiet, less heroic, everyday practice of ethical lawyering across dozens of intakes and cases, her attention to conflicts of interest, her careful explanation to clients of their and our rights and responsibilities, her consistent care with highly confidential medical, personal and legal information, her comprehensive assessments of the broad range of legal issues presented in each case, her thoughtful examination of the social and political contexts implicated, her deeply generous mentoring of several rounds of new clinical students and interns, her insightful and constructive critique of systems and practices, and the intelligent compassion she has shown to each and every individual she has encountered.”
Wamsley said: “It is truly an honor to have been nominated for this award. My clinical experience at HLS has been the most rewarding part of my time here.”
The Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Ninth Annual Law Student Ethics Awards dinner will be held on April 15, 2014, at the Union Club in Boston. The keynote speech will be delivered by Wayne A. Budd, Senior Counsel at Goodwin Procter and Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.
The award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship, is given to twelve students, one from each of the participating local law schools, who have demonstrated an early commitment to ethics through work in clinical programs representing their first real clients.
This post originally appeared on the Clinical and Pro Bono Programs blog.