Public Service Community Comes Together to 'Shape Justice'
The “Shaping Justice” conference brought students, alumni and public interest lawyers together Feb. 3-4 at the University of Virginia School of Law to honor the 20th anniversary of the school’s Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center.
The center has helped students fulfill their pursuit of careers in the public interest and pro bono work since 1996. The event was sponsored by the Program in Law and Public Service, the student-run Public Interest Law Association, and numerous student organizations.
Keynote speaker Robin Steinberg, founder and executive director of The Bronx Defenders, spoke about her experiences setting up a new practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and told law students to confront injustice wherever they see it.
“The ability to be a warrior for justice is not exclusive,” she said. “Not to any one person, perspective or cause.”
Steinberg’s organization pioneered the “holistic defense” model, which takes an interdisciplinary approach to address the underlying factors that lead poor clients into the criminal justice system.
Six alumni also were honored for their career contributions to law and public service, including James Hingeley '76, Vijay Shanker '99, Jennifer Ricketts '88, U.S. Navy Lt. Jacqueline Leonard '11, Robert Lee '92 and Stephen Pevar '71.
James Hingeley (standing with Dean Risa Goluboff) was recognized for lifetime achievement, including launching public defenders’ offices in Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Virginia.
Stephan Pevar is a senior staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who specializes in Indian rights and prisoners' rights, free speech of public employees, and the separation of church and state.
Robert E. Lee '92 accepts the Shaping Justice Award.
Jennifer Ricketts '88 accepts the Shaping Justice Award.
As a Justice Department attorney in the Appellate Section of the Criminal Division, Vijay Shanker has secured dozens of appellate victories for the government.
Jacqueline Leonard '11 accepts the Shaping Justice Award.
Six alumni were honored for their career contributions to law and public service, including Stephen Pevar '71, Vijay Shanker '99, James Hingeley '76, Robert Lee '92, Jennifer Ricketts '88 and U.S. Navy Lt. Jacqueline Leonard '11.
Keynote speaker Robin Steinberg of The Bronx Defenders talked about her work with indigent clients and shared ways law students can shape their vision of justice.