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Loyola University New Orleans Law Graduate Receives Award for Clinical Work

Loyola press release - June 16, 2017

Patrick Murphree ’17 wins outstanding award for work with vulnerable immigrant youth; receives Spirit of Ignatius Award, one of Loyola’s top honors

Patrick Murphree, a 2016-2017 student practitioner in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, recently received the outstanding clinical student award from the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA). CLEA honored Patrick for his excellence in clinical fieldwork and for exceptionally thoughtful, self-reflective participation in an accompanying clinical seminar.

As a student practitioner in the Children’s Rights Clinic, Mr. Murphree completed outstanding work for vulnerable immigrant youth. His work on Special Immigrant Juvenile cases on behalf of youth who were abused or neglected, has been excellent, faculty said. And in representing youth on these cases, he has demonstrated, through action, ways that lawyering is a tool for justice.

“In the Children's Rights section of the Law Clinic, students represent the rights of children in cases such as: adoptions, attorney for the child, and highly contested custody cases. The students also represent unaccompanied minors from countries such as Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in Special Immigrant Juvenile proceedings. It's difficult work and requires a special person," said Ramona Fernandez, clinic professor and associate director of the Loyola Law Clinic. "Patrick is one of the most intelligent, dedicated, compassionate and extremely organized students I have ever met. He possesses the highest work ethic and throughout the semester, he treated each client with grace and patience. Patrick possesses the rare blend of intellect and compassion that sets him apart and makes him a wonderful example for all of us.”

The Jesuit Center of Loyola University New Orleans, in conjunction with University Ministry, also recognized Mr. Murphree’s commitment to social justice by honoring him with the Spirit of Ignatius Award at the 2017 Law Baccalaureate Mass. One of the university’s highest honors, the award is presented to a law student who has achieved academic excellence, has demonstrated service ‘for and with others,’ and embodies Christian values in the Ignatian tradition, focused on the development of the whole person.

After sitting for the Louisiana Bar Examination, Mr. Murphree will clerk for U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Erny Foote.