Insight News

Feb 14th

Peers honor Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds

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levy-poundsProfessor Nekima Levy-Pounds from University of St. Thomas (Minn) has won this year's Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award announced The Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education. Professor Levy-Pounds is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Community Justice Project at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, were she has taught since 2003.

Levy-Pound’s commitment to teaching and achieving social justice is best exemplified by her vision in founding the Community Justice Project (CJP), an award winning civil rights clinic.  The University of St. Thomas School of Law website describes the CJP as follows:

The CJP is a part of the Interprofessional Center for Counseling and Legal Services. [Professor] Levy-Pounds teaches and supervises law students as they use the law as a tool to advance the cause of social justice in poor communities of color through problem-solving, legal research and writing, community engagement and legislative advocacy. [Professor] Levy-Pounds’ goal in founding the CJP was to take a more holistic approach to addressing complex issues affecting the poor and working poor.

Professor Levy-Pounds has also served the greater clinical community.  She presented at the 2008 Society of American Law Teachers Conference in Berkeley.  With law fellow Artika Tyner, she spoke about teaching for social change.  Levy-Pounds and Tyner also collaborated on a conference presentation entitled, “Teaching in the Moment: a Workshop of Curricular Development” in April 2009.  Notably, in 2010 the CJP received a “Service Learning” designation from the University of St. Thomas.

Professor Levy-Pounds has also served the international clinical legal community.  In 2008 at the 6th International Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Cork, Ireland, she presented a paper about igniting students with a passion for social justice through law clinics.  In 2007, she presented about using the clinical model to teach lawyers about social change at the 5th International Conference on Clinical Legal Education Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, and at the Towards an Africa Without Borders Conference in Durban, South Africa.  In June 2006, Professor Levy-Pounds presented a paper in Gloucester, England about the U.S. criminal justice system’s effect on African-American children and families. 
The Shanara Gilbert Award will be presented at the Conference on Clinical Legal Education's Awards Luncheon on Thursday, June 16th, in Seattle, Washington. The Award is for a recent entrant into clinical legal education who has demonstrated all or some of the following qualities:
1) a commitment to teaching and achieving social justice, particularly in the areas of race and the criminal justice system;

2) an interest in international clinical legal education;

3) a passion for providing legal services and access to justice to individuals and groups most in need;

4) service to the cause of clinical legal education or to the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education; and

5) an interest in the beauty of nature.

This year, as in past years, the Awards Committee had a very difficult task, choosing among many incredible and superb nominees.  The Executive Committee would like to thank the Awards Committee for its work in the selection process: Susan Jones (George Washington); Alan Minuskin (Boston College); Alex Scherr (Georgia); Dana Thompson (Michigan); Miye Goishi, Chair (UC-Hastings).


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