UM’s Marni Lennon Wins National ‘Equal Justice’ Award

So I read this interesting blog post by Denise Howell, Google as KM, about how she uses Google’s RSS feed of news items about her firm to find out what her fellow lawyers are doing. And I figure, why not set up an RSS feed of Google news items about UM Law? And right away I score a hit about something big I didn’t know about: University of Miami School of Law Assistant Dean Marni Lennon — one of the most public-spirited members of the UM community — has been selected as the recipient of the 2005 Outstanding Law School Faculty or Staff Award from Equal Justice Works.

Lennon serves as Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Disability Services and Director of H.O.P.E., Helping Others Through Pro Bono Efforts. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California and graduated from UM’s School of Law in 1995.

Lennon established H.O.P.E. in 1998, offering a program to assess the desire for a public interest service within the law school community. The response was overwhelming, and the program has since grown to include multiple legal advocacy and community outreach projects.

Equal Justice Works will present the award to Lennon Oct. 27 during its national conference in Washington, D.C. The award honors a law school faculty or staff member who plays a pivotal role in developing a public interest ethic among law students.

Marni was a student in the first law class I ever taught, Civil Procedure I, fourteen years ago. She did well, and I think she’s forgiven me.

Here’s how Equal Justice Works describes itself:

The mission of Equal Justice Works is to create a just society by mobilizing the next generation of lawyers committed to equal justice. Thousands of idealistic law students pursue legal careers in order to combat injustice and solve social problems such as domestic violence, unfairly rationed health care, lack of affordable housing, employment discrimination, consumer fraud, or environmental degradation. Lawyers can make a significant difference in the lives of vulnerable people and communities that desperately need legal intervention to obtain justice. But scarce entry-level job opportunities and overwhelming student debt combine to thwart many law graduates from pursuing public interest careers.

Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law) was founded in 1986 by law students dedicated to working for equal justice on behalf of underserved communities and causes. Today, Equal Justice Works is the national leader in creating summer and postgraduate public interest opportunities for law students and lawyers as well as in urging more public interest programming at law schools.

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