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May 11, 2017

UVa Student to Receive Oliver Hill Pro Bono Award

Amber A. Strickland, a third-year law student at the University of Virginia, is the 2017 recipient of the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award from the Virginia State Bar.

In nominating Strickland for the award, Josh Bowers, professor of law and co-director of the Program in Law and Public Service at UVa wrote: “I can say confidently that she is one of the finest all-around students and human beings that I have come across in eleven years of teaching. She has more integrity and maturity and a deeper commitment to public interest law than just about anyone I know.”

“Amber is a pioneer, a leader, and a team player – a student who will leave this institution substantially better off than it was when she arrived.  And Amber will be a lawyer of the same conscience, character, and caliber.”

Strickland has volunteered more than 200 hours of pro bono services while attending law school, while also maintaining an impressive commitment to an array of public service projects. Kimberly Carpenter Emery, assistant dean for pro bono at UVa, noted in recommending Strickland for the award that she contributed more than 125 hours of pro bono work to two international organizations alone – the International Law Institute: African Centre for Legal Excellence in Kampala, Uganda, and the Legal resources Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a leader in the Black Law Students Association at UVa, where she coordinates events with the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. She is active with the Virginia Innocence Project, the Virginia National Trial Advocacy Team, and the Virginia Journal of International Law. She has interned at the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and with the American Civil Liberties Union Racial Justice Program in New York City.

Next year, Strickland will begin her career as an assistant district attorney in New York County, New York.

The award, named for a late Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a law student’s commitment to uncompensated or minimally compensated pro bono work and other public service.

The Hill award will be presented by the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services during the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 16. 

Her acceptance speech may be found here.

Updated: Jun 20, 2017

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