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Washington Post Obituary for Laura Rinaldi

Monday, August 12, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
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Laura and Julian RinaldiFormer UDC-DCSL Special Education clinician Laura Rinaldi died in late July from injuries sustained in a June accident.  On Monday, August 12, 2013, the Washington Post ran the following editorial on our former Professor, Laura Rinaldi: See Washington Post STORY

Prof. Matt Fraidin's announcement to the School of Law community is below.  To view or join in the remembrances of Laura, please go to the School of Law Facebook page at or make comment below.

From: Fraidin, Matt
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 10:06 AM
To: _(LAW) Everyone (No Students)
Subject: Sad news

Dear all --

There is no easy way to hear this news, and I deeply regret being its messenger. My dear friend and our former colleague, Laura Rinaldi, passed away July 28.

Laura was struck by a dump truck on June 18, while walking on a street in DC. Her injuries were tremendous, and it was a miracle that she survived even one night. Though she appeared to have made progress toward recovering, in the end, the damage she sustained was simply too much.

I can't begin to convey how keenly LaShanda Taylor, Tanya Cooper, and I, colleagues from Children's Law Center days, feel Laura's loss. I know, too, that Joe Tulman, who worked elbow-to-elbow with Laura here in the Juvenile and Special Education clinic, shares our shock and grief. Laura was unswervingly committed to love, peace, diversity, and equality. She believed in her clients, and was fierce in pursuit of justice for them. She believed we were all capable of good, all the time.

Laura was 38 years old, and leaves a 4 year old son, Julian Joseph, as well as her mother, Joan Rinaldi, and a brother, Frank Rinaldi.


 From the Facebook page: A Former Student's Comment:

I can't express how saddened I am to hear of the loss of Laura Rinaldi. She was my immediate supervisor throughout clinic. One of my best moments in all of my law school years was our appeal win in the M. suspension/expulsion case with DCPS. Laura managed and guided me through every minute of that case from intake interview to final decision. I frequently have remembered fondly the hugs among the client, her daughter, and the two of us coming down the elevator from the appeals office after the reversal and remand.

Laura taught me so much about attention to detail, detail, and more details in the practice of law, the ins and outs of understanding--not just dealing with--clients....and most of all about the privilege and responsibilities of being an advocate.

There must be hundreds of students, colleagues, and others who have stories like me with our time with Laura, but I wanted to add mine to those who had the benefit of Laura having touched our lives. She is one of the irreplaceable ones. 

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