Past Recipients

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2019 Recipients

From left, Miranda Goot 2L, Leigh Wicclair '11, Lauren Toole 3L, Nicole Angelica 1L, Lashieka Hardin 3L, Grace Lempp 2L, Professor Luke Everett '08, Emily Burke '14.

Sylvia K. Novinsky Award: Lauren Toole

Lauren Toole’s depth and breadth of pro bono work is nothing short of remarkable. Over three years she has logged nearly 300 pro bono hours, an impressive feat. The diversity of her service, however, stands out the most. She has taken on attorney projects with organizations ranging from Legal Aid to Public Defenders’ offices to the Voter Protection Hotline. Through Pro Bono Program trips, she has reached communities far afield to provide unmet legal needs. She fit pro bono into a busy school year schedule and then came back for more during her fall, winter, spring, and summer breaks. Her extensive service has deeply impacted many in our community who could not otherwise obtain legal services. She is a role model for other students, and she embodies this school’s commitment to serving others.

3L Student of the Year: Lashieka Hardin

Lashieka Hardin has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to pro bono work during her final year of law school. She cultivated her dedication to pro bono even as a 1L by participating in pro bono projects such as Carolina Law’s Innocence Project and the UNC Center for Civil Rights’ Election Protection Hotline. This past year, she has completed projects with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice’s Clean Slate Project and the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. As a result of this hard work, she has logged over 200 hours of pro bono work during her time in law school, and nearly 100 of those hours were completed in her 3L year.

2L Student of the Year: Grace Lempp

Grace Lempp has made significant contributions – both doing a great deal of pro bono work and facilitating pro bono opportunities for others. Despite the numerous demands of 2L year, she has logged over 150 pro bono hours during the school year and has completed over 350 hours of pro bono service during her time at Carolina Law. In addition to actively participating in pro bono service, she has also served as the president of the UNC Law Innocence Project. With the Innocence Project, she has helped coordinate the organization’s ongoing project wherein students work with attorneys to review trial transcripts and prepare memorandum materials.

1L Student of the Year: Nicole Angelica

Nicole Angelica has not only made a significant personal commitment to pro bono work, but has also been a standout leader among her fellow students. She has logged 105 pro bono hours this year by doing 13 different pro bono projects ranging from the Cancer Clinic and Innocence Project to a FEMA Appeals Clinic in Morehead City.

Alumnae of the Year: Emily Burke ’14 and Leigh Wicclair ’11

Emily Burke ’14 serves as legal counsel at Oracle in Durham. While her current practice area is commercial and data privacy law, she compliments it with a variety of pro bono work centered around immigrants' and children's rights, where she eagerly guides law students during these opportunities. Moreover, she is also a Guardian ad Litem, serves on a committee to establish and develop a formal pro bono program within Oracle's international legal department, and is the chair of the NC Bar Association Pro Bono Recognition Subcommittee.

Leigh Wicclair ’11 serves as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center in Raleigh. Over the course of this school year, Leigh has been a committed partner to the Pro Bono Program. During Pro Bono Week in the fall, Leigh coordinated an expunction clinic at the law school where students determined whether the clients whose files they were reviewing were eligible. Leigh also has submitted various attorney during fall semester, Pop-Up Pro Bono, and spring break, creating opportunities for students to engage with the important work of the resource center. Some of these attorney projects included research for indigent clients seeking restoration of their driver licenses. Additionally, she is a supervising attorney with the Juvenile Parole Project, further highlighting her commitment to the program and pro bono.

Faculty Member of the Year: Lewis Moore “Luke” Everett ’08

Clinical Associate Professor of Law Luke Everett was recognized for his continued work on protecting the privacy of those who have been convicted of crimes and by extension anyone in our society who uses a smart phone or other GPS-equipped device. In 2015, Everett first agreed to represent Torrey Grady, who was ordered by a court to enroll in satellite-based monitoring for remainder of his natural life. He secured a victory for Grady before the U.S. Supreme Court and has continued to work on Grady's case on a pro bono basis over the last four years, most recently representing him before the Supreme Court of North Carolina. At several points along the way Everett has involved students in the case, most recently working with six students during the fall semester and winter break to research the important Fourth Amendment issues Grady's case involves. Everett was recognized for “his dedication to a difficult case and commitment to excellence throughout its duration.”

Student Organization of the Year: Environmental Law Project

The UNC Environmental Law Project has fostered and developed a robust commitment to pro bono amongst its members by connecting with local environmental law attorneys and organizations. Most notably, ELP created a strong relationship with the North Carolina Conservation Network, completing a policy research project around Municipal Clean Energy Targets in the state. There are plans for this research to continue next year. In addition, ELP members were individually extremely active in pro bono throughout the year, volunteering on several environmental law focused attorney projects. For these reasons, I am thrilled to give the Student Group Project Award to the Environmental Law Project.

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