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2015 Olender Foundation Award Winners Announced

Wednesday, December 2, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jordan Uhl
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Jordan Uhl
E:; P: 202-274-5257 

Each year, The Jack and Lovell Olender Foundation recognizes law students and other national and local heroes at an annual awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center. This year, Mr. Jack H. Olender will present 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. Please join us in congratulating these students!


Amelia FrenchAmelia French served as a student attorney in the Community Development  Law Clinic, where she counseled D.C. housing cooperatives on obtaining  financing for the redevelopment of a cooperative building.  Amelia was also  instrumental in preventing the initiation of tax foreclosure proceedings against  her client for the inability to pay a drastically inflated tax bill.  She negotiated  with the Office of Tax and Revenue to rectify her client’s management team’s  failure to timely submit a deduction packet; she mended a broken line of  communication between her client and the management team; she conferred  with the client’s lender and necessary third parties to facilitate the sale of a unit;  and she drafted a proposal addressed to the client’s lender requesting a loan  modification to separate the blanket mortgage and decrease the financial strain  on the individual families. 


Adrian Madsen

During the Spring 2015 semester, Adrian Madsen served in the Criminal Law  Clinic, zealously representing indigent clients charged with misdemeanor  offenses in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Adrian’s unwavering  commitment to his clients quickly became clear, not only through the passion,  compassion, and creativity that he displayed when representing his own clients  in a variety of hearings, but also through his forceful representation of other  student attorneys’ clients in their absence. Additionally, Adrian helped a client  navigate the Mental Health Community Court, working diligently to overcome  the intransigence of some social service providers in the District to help his  client achieve the desired outcome. Adrian extended his time in the Criminal  Law Clinic in order to represent one client at trial, vigorously defending his client  through all available means and ultimately serving more than 450 hours.


Simi AbrolSimi Abrol served as a Student Attorney in the General Practice Clinic, where  after extensive research on D.C. employment law and preparation for a court  hearing, she successfully advocated for and obtained the reinstatement of  unemployment benefits for her client.  She also was entrusted to initiate the  process for creating a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and develop by-laws on  behalf of a local community organizer.  Additionally, she performed intakes of  D.C. residents seeking legal assistance and intervention services in conjunction  with HIPS' ("Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive") mobile outreach program. Finally, after thorough research on license requirements for the D.C. Board of  Social Work, she resolved outstanding disclosure issues on behalf of three  clients. 


Matthew KaplanMatthew Kaplan successfully litigated a four day jury trial in the Housing and  Consumer Law Clinic, where he defended his client against a multinational  insurance company on a subrogation claim with over $60,000 in damages.  After three days of hearing evidence and a day of deliberation, the jury found  for the defendant and never reached the question of the plaintiff’s contributory  negligence.  Matthew also wrote and argued a variety of in limine motions and  preliminary matters, in total logging more than 500 billable hours, for a D.C. fast  food worker, who is now free from a crushing debt.  Matthew also served as a  student attorney in the Immigration Clinic, where he successfully defended a  client in removal proceedings in the Arlington Immigration Court. The client, a  low-income long term D.C. resident, is now eligible to become a United States Citizen and can stay in Washington, D.C. with his family. 


Maureen MuratMaureen Murat served as a Student Attorney in the Immigration and Human  Rights Clinic, where she represented numerous clients in varying complicated  situations.  Maureen and her partner represented a detained client, a legal  permanent resident, in his appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The  government was seeking to deport him due to several minor misdemeanor  convictions.  While the client successfully represented himself at trial before the  Immigration Judge who cancelled his deportation due to his long duration in the  United States and his role in caring for his elderly, disabled U.S. citizen parents,  the government appealed the decision and argued that the client was statutorily  ineligible for relief due to his convictions.  Maureen wrote half of the appellate  brief, and the client, after being detained for nearly two years while fighting his  deportation, was released from detention and reunited with his family.  Maureen  also participated in the service learning program, where she provided pro bono legal services to women and children asylum seekers detained at the Karnes County Residential Center in Karnes, Texas. She assisted in the reduction of a $7,500 bond to a $3,000, resulting in the release of the client and her child from detention.


Candace HolmesCandace Holmes, a part-time evening student, served in the Legislation  Clinic.  In response to President Obama’s newly introduced America's College  Promise Proposal, Candace was assigned to support the UDC Community  College (UDC-CC) in its effort to implement a free tuition program.  Realizing  first-hand the significance of post-secondary education and the effect of rising  tuition costs on low-income families, she researched existing and proposed  laws in other states regarding free tuition at community colleges; reviewed Bill  21-55, the Community College for the All Scholarship Amendment Act of 2015,  and the D.C. Promise Establishing Act of 2013; and provided a comparative  analysis of both laws with legislation in various states.  Throughout the summer,  she advised and counseled the Director of Continuing Education at UDC-CC on  best models and practices.  She demonstrated excellent legal analysis and written communication competencies.  At the culmination of her  project, Candace submitted a 26-page paper providing recommendations for  implementing a free tuition program that will change the conversation about  college for many families in the District of Columbia. 


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