As one of its initiatives in the legal community, the AWA has committed to award $500 annually to an outstanding law clinic student from each of the two local law schools, whose work has focused on issues important to the AWA.
At Tulane, the $500 award is given to the most outstanding student in the Domestic Violence Law Clinic(as chosen by the Director of the Clinic).
At Loyola, the $500 award is given to the most outstanding student in the family law section of the Loyola Law Clinic (to be selected by the family law attorney/advisor at the Clinic).
Our 2015 AWA Recipient from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Family Law Section of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice is Lindsey Soboul. Lindsey is a 3L student, a mother of a young daughter, and from Mississippi. She plans to take the Louisiana State Bar Exam and practice law in the Greater New Orleans area. Lindsey logged over 495 hours while representing clients, including minor children, in custody, divorce, and abuse cases for two semesters during 2014 and 2015. She also partnered with Families Helping Families and represented parents with a special needs child between the ages of 15 and 17 in our first continuing tutorship case. Through her and her co-counsel’s efforts, the word has spread and the Family Law Section is now representing numerous other parents with special needs children. Lindsey also represented an interdict where the State was seeking a full interdiction. The Judge, after hearing Lindsey question her witnesses and her argument, granted her request for a limited interdiction. In Lindsey’s biggest case, she represented a mother in our first LBGT case in a full day custody trial. She examined and cross-examined witnesses and was successful in most of her timely objections.
Our 2015 award recipient from the Tulane Domestic Violence Clinic is Courtney Marshall. Courtney showed an unusual capacity to empathize with clients and witnesses, and to understand the complex decisions that domestic violence victims face in their daily lives. Those skills made her a brilliant advocate in the courtroom – a place where she is persuasive and confident in ways that are extremely rare for a law student. During her first semester in the Clinic, Courtney was assigned to a custody case representing a mother who was being stalked and harassed by her estranged husband, who also had a serious history of drug abuse. The Clinic’s client was awarded sole custody, and the son has safe visitation with his father because of drug testing and other restrictions. The client’s mother, who had been a witness in her daughter’s case, later called the Clinic for help. After 46 years of abuse, she was inspired by watching her daughter stand up to her husband and prevail in court. Courtney and fellow Clinic students helped her get a protective order, and also obtained a judgment for a significant amount of spousal support allowing her to live independently from her abuser. Courtney has gone above and beyond her clinic obligations and was a role model to her fellow students, and an inspiration to her professors.