Pro Bono Honorees

Pro Bono Student of the Year


Johanna Gusman, Class of 2013: International Human Rights Shadow Letter-Writing Project, Seattle Women’s Commission, UN Special Rapporteur and UN High Commissioner for Refugees

“These experiences have developed, maintained and sustained my commitment to public interest law during my time as a law student where cultivation of that commitment can be challenging. The ability to apply the legal knowledge gained in the classroom to the experiences one has outside the classroom is a key component to the creation of a holistic community lawyer and human rights advocate. I can wholeheartedly say that because of my pro bono experiences, I have been able to receive the kind of training I need to be the type of lawyer and advocate, committed to the ideals of social justice, I had envisioned for myself prior to law school. Without such experiences, I doubt that I would have been able to make it through my legal education with such clear vision.”

2L Pro Bono Award

Kimberly Schertz, 2L Pro Bono Student of the Year; Johanna Gusman, Pro Bono Student of the Year; and Caitlyn Evans, 1L Pro Bono Student of the Year

Kimberly Schertz (pictured on the left), Class of 2014:
Legal Voice and New York Legal Assistance Group

1L Pro Bono Award

Caitlyn Evans (pictured on the right), Class of 2015:
Moderate Means Program, GreenLaw Pro Bono Project and the International Human Rights Shadow Letter-Writing Project

Pro Bono Faculty or Staff of the Year Award

Professor Julia Gold: Dispute Resolution Center of King County

Community Volunteer of the Year Award

Theresa Chemnick: Crisis Clinic

Pro Bono Certificate of Recognition

  • Sarah Ainsworth
  • Kim Ambrose
  • Jennifer Fan
  • Mary Fan
  • Maureen Howard
  • Jackie McMurtrie
  • Esther Park
  • Jay Stewart
  • Lea Vaughn

Staff Certificate of Recognition for Community Volunteerism

  • Laurie Carlsson
  • Dean G. Speer
  • Tiffany Sevareid

Pro Bono Student Leadership Award

  • Tamara Gaffney
  • Melody W. Young
  • Johanna Gusman
  • Richard Dryer
  • Erin Hebert

Student Pro Bono Legal Assistance Certificate of Recognition

  • Victoria Ainsworth
  • Elizabeth T. Allen
  • Erin Apte
  • Micah Ken Bateman-Iino
  • Lauren Berkowitz
  • Christopher Bryant
  • Maxwell Burke
  • Edward Burns
  • Daniel Cairns
  • Evan Carden
  • Michael D. Caulfield
  • Derek Casey Chen
  • Richard Dryer
  • Andrew W. Durland
  • Brian Epley
  • Jessica C. Erickson
  • Caitlyn Evans
  • Andrea Frey
  • Tamara Gaffney
  • Melanie Gillette
  • Mallory Gitt
  • Dana Halbert
  • Charles Hausberg
  • Erin Hebert
  • Vanesssa Hunsberger
  • Darcy Kues
  • Jefferson Lin
  • John Marlow
  • Sarah McEahern
  • Danielle N. McKenzie
  • Niki J. Morrison
  • Philip Paine
  • Nicholas Pleasants
  • Christopher Reed
  • Alexandra T. Revelas
  • Sandra Richani
  • Elysia Ruvinsky
  • Jessica Shen
  • Brandon M. Skyles
  • Walker C. Stanovsky
  • Ross Tanaka
  • Ryan Thomas
  • Emily Toler
  • Brittany M. Tri
  • Rachael Wallace
  • Amy Wang
  • Aejung Yoon
  • Melody W. Young
  • Pedro "Kepa" Zugazaga

"As an intern with the Northwest Justice Project’s Veterans Project, I’ve not only learned and advanced my own professionalism, but I’ve refined my ability to train future interns more effectively than I was trained and helped my current supervising attorney to more effectively train her future interns. I believe that the conscious cultivation of this cyclic profession and professional development in public interest law is an essential ingredient in gaining the critical mass in public interest law that will elevate public interest law from the calling of too few to the dominant purpose of most legal professionals."

– Leo Flor, Class of 2013: Northwest Justice Project’s Veteran’s Project

"I am quickly confronted with poverty, addiction and suffering, plain and simple…I want to have the skills and the knowledge necessary to make tangible difference in combating basic human misery…Many of our clients [at Open Door Legal Services/Union Gospel Mission] are residents at the men’s shelter down below. These people have often suffered, many from serious additions, domestic violence and the plights of American style capitalism (wealth disparity and concentration). Despite receiving such bad hands, these people have endured and many are looking to start new lives."

– Matthew R. Berry, Class of 2012: Open Door Legal Services/ Union Gospel Mission

"Typically I am paired up with a licensed attorney and assist in client consultation. In practice, I help with intake and I make myself available for any questions that arise. I am asked to look up statutes, attorney information, directions, etc. Because I work with a variety of attorneys I am in a good position to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each attorney vis-à-vis dealing with individual clients. This observational role grants me an invaluable opportunity to incorporate and evaluate my own client interactions (present and future), hopefully molding myself into something better than I was the day before.” “Essentially, this is why I ended up at UW, this is why I ended up at Open Door Legal Services/UGM, and this is why I think we fundamentally exist—to make tangible differences."

– Matthew R. Berry, Class of 2012: Open Door Legal Services/ Union Gospel Mission

"My experience has highlighted the opportunity for attorneys to do pro bono work outside of their full-time jobs. With so much need for legal aid going unfulfilled, and with a monopoly on legal practice, I’ve truly come to believe that lawyers have a duty to complete pro bono legal work. Completing 10 hours in what was a very busy three months helped me see that even at life’s busiest, it is easy to have a huge impact on someone’s life. The experience has led me to set a goal for myself completing at least 40 hours of pro bono service per year. Pro bono service has been one of the highlights of my 1L year."

– Hollis-Anthony Ramsey, Class of 2013: UW Immigrant Families Advocacy Project (IFAP)

"As a legal assistant with King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project, I interviewed clients before they met with attorneys, organized paperwork and helped identify relevant legal issues. I learned techniques to put distraught clients at ease to encourage them to fully share their story to develop a comprehensive plan to address all of the relevant legal issues at play in their cases. I noted how language and cultural barriers made clients uncomfortable and did my best to address and neutralize these issues in each interview. These seemingly basic skills are best learned through practice and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to improve while providing a service to the community."

– Celia M. Smalls, Class of 2013: KCBA Housing Justice Project; UW Immigrant Families Advocacy Project; UW International Human Rights Shadow Letter Project

"Far from detracting from my study of the law, I believe that these experiences have provided context that has improved my understanding of issues that are raised in class. Since the pro bono projects provide meaningful opportunities to hone skills and make connections in the local community, I feel that I’ve benefited as much, or perhaps even more, as the organizations have gained from my volunteer work. I look forward to building on these experiences over the next two years of law school to strengthen my ability to advocate for low income communities."

– Celia M. Smalls, Class of 2013: KCBA Housing Justice Project; UW Immigrant Families Advocacy Project; UW International Human Rights Shadow Letter Project

Last updated 10/10/2013