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Law School Honors Givers and Doers at Annual Pro Bono Reception

 

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The Columbus School of Law paid tribute to its longstanding tradition of service to others at its Fifth Annual CUA Law Pro Bono Reception, held in the law school’s atrium on March 25, 2015.
 
The 90-minute program and reception honored CUA Law students, faculty, staff, alumni, and organizations who volunteered their time and effort to pro bono causes during the past year.
 
Projects ranged from six students who donated their spring break in service of immigrants’ rights; to a student, professor, and alumnus who worked to incorporate a local non-profit; to a professor who notched some of his pro bono hours arguing religious freedom cases before the Supreme Court.
 
Daniel F. Attridge, Dean and Knights of Columbus Professor of Law, praised the breadth of the pro bono work supported by the CUA Law community.  
 
“We’ve had more than 100 students donate more than 11,000 hours of their time for which they got no academic credit. That’s an extraordinary level of volunteerism,” said the dean.
 
Dean Attridge also acknowledged the high-profile pro bono work of Professor Mark Rienzi, who has donated hundreds of hours to representing clients in cases involving First Amendment and separation of church and state issues. As senior counsel to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Rienzi has been centrally involved in five cases that have come before the Supreme Court during the past 18 months. All have resulted in favorable rulings.
 
The afternoon’s invited guest speaker was Brian W. Stolarz, class of 1998, a partner at LeClairRyan and the leader of the firm’s compliance, investigations and white collar team. Named a 2013-14 Washington D.C. Super Lawyer in the area of white collar criminal defense, Stolarz is a courtroom standout who says that it’s when he’s helping those who can’t afford counsel that he feels the most fulfilled as an attorney.
 
Among the most significant of Stolarz’s pro bono victories was the overturning of the conviction of Alfred Dewayne Brown, a Texas death row inmate. After years of committed engagement to his case, Stolarz succeeded last year in persuading the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals that prosecutors withheld evidence that could have aided Brown’s defense. He is currently writing a book about the case.
 
During his remarks, Stolarz strongly endorsed the satisfaction of pro bono work.

“Pursue this work. Pursue it. Seek it out in your profession. This is the most rewarding work you will do and you will not regret it, I promise you,” he said.
 
Stolarz has received the Pro Bono Legal Service Award from the John Carroll Society. He is also the recipient of the 2014 Caritas Award, the highest honor awarded by Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Washington that is given to an individual who has been a strong advocate for vulnerable populations through activities in the Archdiocesan community over a long period of time.
 
 
 
The following graduating students have engaged in 100 or more hours of pro bono work over four or more semesters:
Ariana Awad,
Kristyn Kelley
Casey Lee
Raha Mokhtari
Jenna Munnelly
Melissa Saldivar
Caitlin Yuschak
 
 
The following graduating students have engaged in 100 or more hours of pro bono work over three or more semesters:
Jordan Colbert
Joey Davis
Alex Marshall
Zachary Navit
Andrew Yingling
 
The following underclass students have dedicated a significant number of hours across multiple semesters toward a range of pro bono projects:
Nicole Chauriye
Sergio Chinos
Jessica Lau
Wilfredo Maldonado
Erin McAuliffe
Rebecca Neville
Dan O’Connell
Tom O’Leary
Norah Sloss
Kim Ulan
 
 
Pro Bono Service Highest Honors - Class of 2015 (75+ Hours)
 
Ariana Awad
Brandon Braithwaite
Erin Callahan
Andrew Chi
Jordan Colbert
Joey Davis
Erin Deriso
William Durdach
Brittani Everson
Victoria Hernandez
 
Jaclyn Kavendek
Kristyn Kelley
Alison Landry
Casey Lee
David Levie
Francisco Lopez
Brittney Marbley
Alex Marshall
Raha Mokhtari
Jenna Munnelly
 
Zachary Navit
Janette Richardson
Melissa Saldivar
Emily Shinogle
Jacob Szewczyk
Kara Tappan
Sarah Emily Waters
Andrew Yingling
Caitlyn Yuschak
Angelica Zolnierowicz

 

Pro Bono Service Highest Honors - Class of 2016 (75+ Hours)
Amelia Barry
Megan Chester
Amber Dengler
Mary Guirguis
Richard Kisielowski
Jessica Lau
Jason Miller
 
Daniel O’Connell
Tom O’Leary
Yoliara Ramos
Homer Richards
Norah Sloss
Kimberly Ulan
 
Pro Bono Service High Honors - Class of 2015 (50-74 Hours)

Amy Allin
Amanda Azarian
Arielle Giordano
Trieste Lockwood
Pat McLeod
Ryan Notarangelo
Ana Victoria Perez
Lourdes Elena South
 
 
Pro Bono Service High Honors - Class of 2016 (50-74 Hours)

Nicole Chauriye
Travis Drost
Andrew Heckler
Rebecca Neville
Kimberly Thomasson

 

 

Pro Bono Service Honors - Class of 2015 (25-49 Hours)

Patrick Belford, Tina Petkova, Carla Weaver

Pro Bono Service Honors - Class of 2016 (25-49 Hours)

Yasmin Bagha, Barrett Bles, Jeremy Bui, Sergio Chinos, Angelika Colato, Caitlin Orton (Earnest), Rita Sono

Pro Bono Service Honors - Class of 2017 (25-49 Hours)

Erin McAuliffe 

Pro Bono Challenge Completers - Class of 2015 (0-24 Hours)

Beth Barefoot, Stephanie Coffey, Trung Dang, Timothy Dygert, Brandon Edmisten, Adam Hare, Emily Ittner, Anastasia Liounakos, Katherine Olson, Joseph Skillender, Matt VanDriel, Melissa Youssef, and Patricia Zermeno 

Pro Bono Challenge Completers - Class of 2015 (0-24 Hours)

Beth Barefoot, Stephanie Coffey, Trung Dang, Timothy Dygert, Brandon Edmisten, Adam Hare, Emily Ittner, Anastasia Liounakos, Katherine Olson, Joseph Skillender, Matt VanDriel, Melissa Youssef, and Patricia Zermeno. 

Pro Bono Challenge Completers - Class of 2016 (0-24 Hours)
Catherine Bill, Sheree Cleckley, Joseph Doukmetzian, Brad Hopek, Wilfredo Maldonado, Richa Sethi, Brian Watkins, Parker Williams
 
Pro Bono Challenge Completers - Class of 2017 (0-24 Hours)
Bridget Byrne, Debbie Chu, Whitney Morgan, Caroline Mrohs, Margaret O’Neill, Elizabeth Ottman, Yi Shen
 
Pro Bono Challenge Completers - Class of 2018 (0-24 Hours)
Charleen Hutson and Christine Yang
 
 
Participating Alumni*
Colleen Canovas
Bill Edwards
Linden Fry
Taryn Fry
Scott Goldschmidt
Tracey Jean-Charles
 
Joanne Johnson
Chris Lemming
Geraldine McIntyre
Jennifer Pollack
Carroll Skehan
Brian Stolarz 
 
 
Participating organizations* 
Archbishop Carroll High School
Bread for the City
Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
CASA de MD
Catholic Charities Legal Network
Clean Slate DC
CLINIC
Collective Action for Safe Spaces
 
CUA Clemency Project
DC Bar Pro Bono Program
DC Employment Justice Center
DC SAFE
Dickstein Shapiro LLP
First Amendment Center
Hogar Immigrant Services, Catholic Charities
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
 
Maryland Office of the Public Defender
Neighborhood Legal Services Program
Office of Administrative Hearings Resource Center
Orleans Public Defenders
The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Small Claims Resource Center
Street Law
US Department of Justice
Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

 *partial list