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Law professor wins accolades for giving legal aid to homeless

March 18, 2011

Judson Mitchell, J.D., assistant clinical professor in Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice, located in the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, is the recipient of the 2011 Legatus Christi Award, given by the Harry Tompson Center of New Orleans.

Mitchell was chosen for his tireless efforts in providing legal services for approximately 1,500 homeless members of the New Orleans area.

“I am very grateful for this award because it recognizes the great work that Loyola Law Clinic does in the community and shows that the Jesuit mission is alive and well at the law school,” said Mitchell.

The center, which provides assistance to poor and homeless in the metro area, was spearheaded by the late Rev. Harry Tompson, S.J., a pastor of the Jesuit church in downtown New Orleans.

“The Legatus Christi Award, or Ambassador of Christ Award, is given to someone who through their efforts has brought the hope and peace and love of Christ to our homeless guests,” said Don Thompson, executive director of the Tompson Center. “(Mitchell’s) legal acumen, his attention to them, and his ability to ease their anxieties with his calm demeanor assists these folks more than anyone knows. What he does for them restores the sense of dignity and self-worth that is chipped away every day of their lives. I have the greatest admiration and respect for him and am so happy that he is our designee this year.”

Mitchell received his undergraduate degree from Louisiana State University in 1991, graduating Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. After receiving his Juris Doctor from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 1994, he was a staff attorney at the New Orleans Pro Bono Project. Mitchell came to Loyola in 1997 to direct the Law Clinic's Homeless Outreach Program. He also now directs the Pro Bono Program for law students. Mitchell's teaching experience includes clinical seminars in general criminal defense, DWI defense and prosecution.

Mitchell will formally receive the award at a gala on May 7, at 7 p.m. at the Commons at Jesuit High School. The gala will include a silent and live auction, food from many local restaurants and an open bar. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information, contact Don Thompson at dthompson@harrytompsoncenter.org.

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