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Loyola law student receives state bar pro bono award

April 17, 2009

Alison McCrary, a second-year student in the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, will receive the Louisiana State Bar Association’s 2009 Pro Bono Publico Law Student Award during its annual meeting on May 19 at the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans.

The award is given annually to a student from an American Bar Association-accredited law school in Louisiana who has demonstrated dedication to providing legal services to the poor. The student must be in good academic standing and meet his or her law school’s requirements regarding public interest involvement. Other criteria include being a model for fellow volunteers, providing leadership or initiating a new program. McCrary was nominated by Davida Finger, staff attorney for Loyola's Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice.

McCrary is a research assistant to Bill Quigley at the Gillis Long Poverty Law Center and serves as president of the Public Interest Law Group. While at law school, she has volunteered more than 1,500 hours locally with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, St. Augustine’s Catholic Youth Organization, Fourth World Movement, Louisiana Voter’s Rights Network, Orleans Public Defenders’ Office, Workplace Justice Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Louisiana Justice Institute, National Lawyers Guild, Sisters of St. Joseph, Central City Youth Think Tank Against Violence and on the Mardi Gras Indian Council.

McCrary is also pursuing a master of public administration degree at the University of New Orleans, where she will receive a certificate in International Nonprofit Leadership Management. She volunteered internationally in the slums of Brazil with the Instituto Dois Irmaos, Conectas Center for Human Rights, and the Palmares Institute for Human Rights. Prior to law school, McCrary worked at the Capital Post-Conviction Project of Louisiana and completed an internship at the United Nations in New York.

“I am honored to receive the award but it really goes to all of those who fought to make possible the public interest work we do today,” McCrary said. “The work I do would not be possible without the attorneys who came before me, who fought for the poor to have access to legal representation, and who first went into poor communities to listen and share the stories of the oppressed with judges, the legislature and the public. It’s the social justice lawyers who came before me that inspire me to do this work.”

This summer, McCrary will be an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York where she will work on cases of international corporate accountability and human rights. She will also represent the United States at the International Association of Democratic Lawyers Convention in Hanoi, Vietnam.

For more information, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888 or jshields@loyno.edu.

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