Washington Bar Association Presents Sakinda Skinner '12 with Mabel Haden Scholarship
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Posted by: Max Rodriguez
Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Washington Bar Association Legal Fund Annamaria Steward presented Sakinda Skinner '12 with the Mabel Haden Scholarship. The award was presented at the WBALF's Mabel Haden Red Dress Awards Tea Program on June 8th at the JW Marriott Hotel.
In 2006, Sakinda Skinner graduated from Kansas State University receiving her Bachelor's of Science in Criminology with a minor in Women's Studies. After graduation Sakinda worked as a legal secretary in two major law firms in Washington, D.C. In May 2012, Sakinda graduated cum laude from UDC-DCSL. Additionally, Sakinda was a recipient of the Dean's Cup award, honoring her for her outstanding legal service throughout law school.
At UDC-DCSL, Sakinda co-founded the Innocence Project Student Association (IPSA). IPSA was created to increase awareness and educate students and the community on factors leading to wrongful convictions. The Organization facilitates lectures and presentations related to pertinent issues on wrongful convictions, engages in community service activities for the benefit of the wrongfully convicted, and hosts annual Innocence Project receptions to promote awareness about the efforts of the National Innocence Project.
Sakinda received recognition for her article, "When Snitch Testimony Goes Wrong: How Informant Testimony Contributes to Wrongful Convictions." The article focuses on the misuse of Informant Testimony and analyzes how the unregulated use of informant testimony can lead to wrongful convictions. The UDC Law Review selected Sakinda's article for publication.
While attending law school at UDC-DCSL, Sakinda obtained significant hands-on legal experience. At the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project in Washington, D.C., Sakinda drafted Motions for Post-Conviction DNA Testing to assist in proving innocence for wrongfully convicted and incarcerated prisoners. As a Legal Intern to District of Columbia Councilmember Phil Mendelson, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Sakinda developed a comprehensive gun policy to combat gun violence in the D.C. community.
Moreover, Sakinda worked as a law clerk at the Public Defender's Office of the State of Maryland where she established case theories to offer the best defense for indigent clients. As a student advocate in the Took Crowell Special Education and Juvenile Delinquency Clinic, Sakinda zealously worked to ensure that undereducated and disabled youth receive a free and appropriate public education, as required under the individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
In May 2012, The Honorable Hassan A. El-Amin, Circuit Court Judge in Prince George's County, Maryland, selected Sakinda to serve as his law clerk for the upcoming term. In addition to her legal contributions, Sakinda is a leader in mentorship and has mentored youth at her home church since 2006. Sakinda is a true example of a social justice advocate. She is both passionate and dedicated to performing public service. Sakinda is devoted to indigent representation and improving impoverished communities.