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Congratulations 2017 Olender Awardees!

Thursday, November 30, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Tracy Hillhouse Price, Jason Barros, Oral John, Dean Shelley Broderick, Jack Olender, John Blake, Dora Myles and Denisha Jones

Washington, DC—Each year, The Jack and Lovell Olender Foundation recognizes law students and other national and local heroes at an awards ceremony attended by a broad cross-section of the District’s legal and community leaders. This year, on November 29th at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel, Mr. Jack H. Olender presented the Earl H. Davis Award to six UDC David A. Clarke School of Law students for their outstanding service on behalf of clients in our clinical program.

This year, Dr. Robert Peter Gale, M.D. was honored with the Peacemaker Award for his lifelong service in international humanitarian crises, from his coordination of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power accident medical relief effort in the Ukraine to his similar efforts to aid the victims of the Japanese Fukushima power station accident in 2011.

Please join us in congratulating UDC Law students Tracy Hillhouse Price, Jason Barros, Oral John, John Blake, Dora Myles and Denisha Jones, each of whom received a $1,000 scholarship.

Below are brief descriptions of the outstanding work that earned each of these UDC Law students this honor.

2017 Earl H. Davis Award Winners

Jason BarrosJason Barros served as a student attorney in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic in the spring of 2017 and continued as an Equal Justice America Fellow during the summer. As a student attorney, Jason and his partner represented a Salvadoran mother and her daughter fleeing gang violence at trial at the Arlington Immigration Court. Jason and his partner met with their client over the course of the spring and prepared her for direct and cross examination, while also drafting several declarations of fact witnesses. After reviewing Jason and his partner’s 38-page brief and hearing their client’s testimony, the Judge granted their client’s claim for asylum. As a Fellow, Jason managed the entire clinic docket and provided various immigration-related services to low-income residents in the DC area. Jason prepared asylum applications and declarations for clients fleeing Central America from gang violence. Jason is a Dean’s Fellow and an Associate Editor for the UDC Law Review. Jason is currently a student representative in the Housing and Consumer Law Clinic. He represents a client facing familial discrimination at the hands of a corporate landlord, as well as representing a single mother of four children in eviction proceedings.

 

John BlakeJohn Blake served as a student attorney, and Freddie Mac Summer Fellow, in the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law Housing and Consumer Law Clinic. During his time in the Housing Clinic, John was the principal drafter of a complaint asserting a tenant organization’s right to organize against changes to their community that would have displaced large numbers of longstanding residents by replacing affordable housing with luxury apartments. John also assisted elderly and disabled residents of low-income housing in negotiating reasonable accommodations and modifications against a housing provider that had a long history of improperly denying requests. John worked with his fellow student attorneys to admit a family as plaintiff intervenors in a Fair Housing Act familial discrimination suit against a housing provider that denied children full use and enjoyment of their homes. John also drafted an appellate brief and argued before the Rental Housing Commission to help tenants resolve a housing conditions case that opposing counsel sought to win against aging tenants by attrition. John volunteered for President Obama’s Clemency Project 2014 where he worked with a small group of students to prepare a client to file a clemency petition. John also served as a Joseph L. Rauh Summer Public Interest Fellow, which allowed him to work for the Montana Innocence Project on post-conviction relief due to actual innocence. John currently serves as a student attorney with Law Students In Court, representing clients in criminal misdemeanor and expungement cases. John is the Notes Editor of the UDC Law Review, serves the Housing and Consumer Law Clinic as a Teaching Assistant, and is the President of UDC OutLaw.

 

Oral JohnOral John is a former United States Marine and currently serves as an Officer in the United States Navy. This experience proved quite valuable while serving as a student attorney in the General Practice Clinic. As a Veteran, Mr. John requested the opportunity to represent other veterans and was assigned a guardianship case at the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center, Washington, DC. The subject of this guardianship case is a former Marine and Mr. John used his knowledge of the uniqueness of Marine Corps training as a means to connect with the subject who was previously not very communicative. On behalf of his client, Mr. John filed a petition in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Probate Division, for appointment of a guardian. Mr. John successfully presented his case in court and achieved the desired outcome for the client and subject. Diversity in the General Practice clinic portfolio afforded Oral, and his co-counsel, the opportunity to work a juvenile special education case, a Will case, and a child support arrears case for a senior, disabled client. This latter case required several motions to be written and submitted and multiple court appearances, which finally culminated in Mr. John and co-counsel negotiating an agreement between the parties that resulted in an amicable end. Upon completion of law school and upon being barred, Mr. John intends to continue his military service by serving veterans as a JAG Officer.

 

Denisha JonesDenisha Jones served as a student attorney in the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) Legislation Clinic. As a student attorney, Denisha worked on behalf of her client to advocate for access to free feminine hygiene products for women and girls in schools and shelters. After the D.C. Council successfully, enacted legislation to repeal the tax on feminine hygiene products, it became clear that the mayor’s budget would need to include funding for the new legislation. Denisha assisted the Legislation Clinic in drafting testimony for her client to share at a D.C. Council budget hearing. After Congresswoman Meng (D-NY) introduced the H.R. 972 Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017, Denisha prepared a comprehensive explanation of the bill for her client to use during advocacy sessions with local elected officials. Currently, Denisha serves as a student attorney with the Government Accountability Project, representing clients seeking protection under the various statutes that protect whistleblowers. Denisha is the Managing Editor of the UDC-DCSL Law Review, Director of Community Service for the Black Law Student Association, Vice President of the UDC-DCSL National Lawyer’s Guild Chapter, and host and organizer of the 2018 Robert M. Cover Retreat for public interest law students, practitioners, and academics.

 

Dora MylesDora Myles served as a student attorney in the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic, where she zealously advocated for students with learning and emotional disabilities. As a student attorney Dora, attended Person’s In Need of Supervision (PINS) Court on behalf of her client and fought for removal from the DC juvenile detention center known as Youth Services Center (YSC) and instead coordinated placement to a more appropriate residential facility that meets student academic and mental health needs. Dora, with her clinic partner, exposed a violation of their client’s due process rights after the student was given an extended suspension without having a manifestation of disability (MOD) meeting required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act. It is during this case that Dora was able to gain information that uncovered an ongoing violation of DCPS administrator’s lack of recording suspensions in order to report lower than usual suspension rates. These findings ultimately were the basis for the filing of a state complaint and this issue gained media attention and led to a system-wide investigation. At UDC- David A. Clarke School of Law, Dora serves as a Senator in the Student Bar Association and, sits on the executive boards of the Black Law Students Association and of the Law Students for Innocence Service Association. Dora works for the Prince George’s County Council District Office, serves as an executive board member.

 

Tracy Hillhouse PriceTracy Hillhouse Price is from Alaska and a second generation UDC David A. Clarke/Antioch School of Law student. Her mother graduated from Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C. (Class of 1979), predecessor to UDC David A. Clarke. Tracy selected UDC because of its outstanding clinic programs, which was an integral part of her mother’s legal education in developing lawyering skills and providing public legal services. Tracy served as a student attorney in the Low -Income Taxpayer Clinic where she represented seniors, immigrants, and single mother clients in tax disputes with the IRS and/or District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue (DC OTR). She successfully evaluated and obtained tax debt relief for clients. One client had more than $1,000 in interests and penalties waived. For another client, wrongly classified as an independent contractor, Tracy filed a protective claim for the tax year in dispute and obtained Taxpayer Advocate Service assistance for the reclassification of the client’s status to an employee. She halted a potential lien against another client. Tracy assisted several clients by tracking down their hard-fought refunds from the IRS or DC OTR. She prepared clients’ federal and state income tax returns. Most importantly, she was able to help educate and give her clients the tools to help themselves in the future regarding reoccurring tax issues. This summer, Tracy returned to Alaska to intern at the Kenai District Attorney’s Office, and won her first trial. Tracy is a Dean’s Fellow, and received a UDC David A. Clarke School of Law Incoming Merit Scholars Award and a Continuing Merit Scholars Award for academic achievement. She is currently serving as a Student Attorney in the General Practice Clinic for the Prince George’s County NAACP, and is also a wife and a mother of six.

 


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