On Friday, May 13th the USD Legal Clinics held its annual Grad Awards Event. Each of the ten clinics selected one graduating student to be recognized for outstanding work accomplished in the clinic. USD Law School’s Dean Stephen Ferruolo attended in addition to Supervising Attorneys from each of the ten clinics, who presented the students with their awards.
The clinics also honored Professor Laura Berend, Professor Theresa Player, and Professor Margaret Dalton for their respective contributions to the USD Legal Clinics. Margaret Dalton was the Legal Clinic Director for twelve years, and assumed her new role as Associate Dean of the School of Law on July 1st.
“Playing a part in the growth of our Legal Clinics over the past twelve years has been an incredible experience, in no small part due to the dedication of our staff, professors and student interns,” comments Professor Dalton. “Without them, I could not have accomplished what I set out to do, and we would not have been able to make such a great difference in so very many clients’ lives. As I move into a new role as Associate Dean for the School of Law, I know I will miss the clinic experience, but I feel confident the new leadership will take it to the next level.”
Professor Theresa Player and Professor Laura Berend also received recognition at the event, as both retired after many years with the USD Legal Clinics and School of Law. Professor Player joined the USD School of Law faculty in 1980 and was a Supervising Attorney for the Legal Clinics Civil Clinic. Professor Player also served as the Legal Clinic Director in the 1980’s. Professor Berend joined the School of Law faculty in 1982, and was a Supervising Attorney of the Legal Clinics Criminal Clinic.
“My first exposure to the Legal Clinic was as a law student at USD in 1974, when Professors Charlie Lynch and Rod Jones were in charge,” reflects Professor Laura Berend. “It was a meaningful experience to be able to help people needing legal help and solidified my desire to do criminal defense work for the indigent. When I came back to USD in 1982 as an adjunct for a year teaching Trial Techniques after supervising an office for Defenders, Inc., and training some of the new lawyers, I realized that teaching in the clinic was what I enjoyed most. The most important thing to me was watching students develop their skills as competent, passionate, and compassionate advocates with integrity with guidance from an amazing group of clinical teachers. Equally important to me personally was collaborating with fellow clinicians to offer a highly developed clinical program. Teaching and working on our book, Criminal Litigation in Action, with Jean Ramirez was particularly satisfying. Those were wonderful years.”
Student Awardees and Presenting Faculty