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Six UDC-DCSL Students Receive Scholarships from the Olender Foundation

Tuesday, December 13, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
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The Olender Foundation hosted its 26th annual awards on Dec. 6, 2011, with 6 UDC-DCSL students receiving scholarships from the foundation. The students Therese Beaudreault 3L, Joyce Roldan 3L, Matthew Bass 3L, Courtney Mickman 3L, Gene Donney 3L, and Hector Moctezuma Perez-Casillas 3L, were selected for their academic achievements and commitment to public service.

The Olender Foundation’s mission is to counter poverty and violence and to promote education and equal justice. The Foundation awards scholarships to students that serve the public, especially the citizens of the District of Columbia. Read more about the event in The Afro, "Olender Foundation Gala Celebrates Leaders in Law, Learning and Civil Rights,” in The Washington Informer, "Olender Foundation Honors Washington Informer Publisher," or read more about the students below.

Therese Beaudreault
As a student attorney, Therese Beaudreault 3L excelled at everything she did in the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic. In court, Ms. Beaudreault advocated successfully to reunite a family and empowered her client, the mother, in the process. Ms. Beaudreault also enabled her client to share her story with the DC Council in a special subcommittee meeting about the local child welfare agency. In case rounds, she spotted the injustices her clients routinely suffered and provided practical strategies to address the problems.Ms. Beaudreault’s close attention to detail, excellent research abilities, and thoughtful style of writing were evident in the appellate brief, motions, and memos that she drafted while in the clinic. Currently, in the Legislation Clinic, Therese Beaudreault has been actively involved in many projects at the DC Council.
She has researched policy and case law, compiled data, and formulated and analyzed legal options for remedying the disparities that exist in the funding and allocation of other resources in the District public schools as they impact residents of Ward 8. In addition, she has conducted legal research and written legal memorandum on a variety of issues including whistleblower protections, campaign finance, the naming and renaming of streets, and ward redistricting. She has responded in an exemplary way at the Council and in the Legislation seminars. Her written work products are nearly flawless.

Joyce Roldan
Joyce Roldan 3L harnessed her excellent legal skills and commitment to public service to promote home ownership, affordable housing and rehabilitation for low-income District residents in the Community Development Law Clinic. She drafted a number of contracts for one of her clients, a local non-profit organization that uses writing and poetry to provide a path to reentry for youth in the criminal justice system. Through her work, the youth will retain a valuable intellectual property right while enabling the organization to publish their poems to create awareness and support for the organization’s mission to provide meaningful opportunities for incarcerated youth.

Although she was not assigned to the case, Ms. Roldan also enthusiastically jumped into a collaborative effort to help organize a group of tenants who were being displaced by the renovation of their public housing project.In addition to doing research on some of the legal issues, Ms. Roldan attended tenant meetings, helped to organize the group’s demands into a written petition, and assisted in structuring a formal association to represent the tenants’ interests. Currently, Joyce is doing superb work in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic on complicated matters before the United States Tax Court. She is very active in the life of the law school and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the University of the District of Columbia Law Review.

Matthew Bass

Matthew Bass 3L was co-counsel on the first jury trial the Housing and Consumer Law Clinic has conducted in approximately a decade.His client was an elderly Latino who lived in a wretched, blighted house.Matthew was poised, eloquent, and skillful. He never missed an objection.His direct examination, cross examination, and closing argument were superb.He wrote a half dozen pre-trial and post trial motions with his signature lean and muscular prose, occasionally on forty-eight hours notice. He still assists his colleagues with their writing and analysis. His supervisor, who has supervised approximately twenty-five student jury trials, rates his advocacy skills as "as good as it gets” for law student counsel.

Matthew is currently working tirelessly in the Community Development Law Clinic assisting a non-profit organization that had its tax-exempt status revoked by the Internal Revenue Service for failure to file annual reports. He has researched the highly technical requirements for applying for reinstatement and worked with the client to provide thorough documentation demonstrating its compliance with relevant regulations to the IRS.Matthew is also actively involved in the collection process for a case in which the CDLC obtained a judgment over the summer. He is a Merit Scholarship recipient, winner of the 2009-2010 LeClerq Best Brief Award for 1L Lawyering Process students, and Publications Editor of the University of the District of Columbia Law Review.

Courtney Mickman


3L Courtney Mickman’s hundreds of hours in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic helped numerous residents of the District of Columbia resolve tax issues with the Internal Revenue Service and the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue. Because of her advocacy her clients were able to start to put their financial lives in order. She demonstrated superb written skills and her legal analysis was always on point. Ms. Mickman always made sure her clients understood what happened in their cases so that they would not find themselves in the same situation in the future. Currently, in the Community Development Law Clinic, Courtney Mickman is working energetically to assist a start-up non-profit organization in applying for tax-exempt status. She is also providing back-up legal research for a litigation partner representing public housing tenants who have been displaced by the renovation of their housing project. Ms. Mickman is also a Senior Editor on the University of the District of Columbia Law Review.

Geno Donney

Gene Donney 3L, a student in the Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic in the spring and summer of 2011, represented six clients and provided exemplary service. He successfully advocated at several Individualized Education Program meetings, represented one student facing a long-term suspension from school, and drafted two special education due process complaints.Along with his clinic partner, Mr. Donney prepared a special education case for a hearing and negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of the client.In addition to his strong legal writing and analytic skills, Mr. Donney has an extraordinary ability to relate and to build trust with clients.Mr. Donney consistently sought additional responsibilities and challenges, demonstrating a remarkable dedication to his clients and to the law school’s public service mission.

Geno Donney has also done outstanding work in the Legislation Clinic and the DC Council. He has analyzed the Office of the Jobs Czar Establishment Act of 2011 and drafted the Early Childhood Education Act of 2011 which has the goal of requiring the Chancellor of the DC Public Schools to implement certain policy directives to ensure students meet minimum achievement goals.


Hector Moctezuma ("Moc”) Perez-Casillas 3L distinguished himself by providing more than 700 hours of service to the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic during the spring and summer 2011 semesters. As a student-attorney in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, Mr. Perez-Casillas’ work has been substantial and varied. He co-authored a 40-page appellate brief on the inadmissibility of a former asylum seeker to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), and also assumed primary responsibility (with his Supervising Attorney, Professor Maunica Sthanki) for an individual merits trial for a Clinic client in July 2011. The trial resulted in a favorable decision for our client, who was granted relief by the Immigration Judge under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in September 2011 and released from detention in October 2011. In addition to his legal work, Mr. Perez-Casillas spent a great deal of time traveling to visit his clients at the facilities where they were detained in Virginia and Maryland, often making the 8-hour round-trip weekly to visit his client in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Mr. Perez-Casillas is very motivated, dedicated, and is constantly willing to accept new challenges.Outside of his Clinic work, he is active in the Latino Law Students Association and is currently externing with Ayuda, a D.C.-based immigrants’ rights organization.



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