Tuesday, April 12, 2016

2016 Shanara Gilbert Award to Prof. Perry Moriearty

Announcement via Prof. Christine Cimini:


We are pleased to announce that Perry Moriearty, Vaughan G. Papke Clinical Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota School of Law, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the clinical section’s Shanara Gilbert Award.  The award will be presented to Perry during a luncheon at the Clinical Legal Education Conference in Baltimore on Sunday, May 1, 2016. 


Designed to honor an "emerging clinician," the award is presented to a clinical professor with ten or fewer years of experience who has (1) a commitment to teaching and achieving social justice, particularly in the areas of race and the criminal justice system; (2) a passion for providing legal services and access to justice to individuals and groups most in need; (3) service to the cause of clinical legal education or to the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education; (4) an interest in international clinical legal education; and (5) an interest in the beauty of nature (desirable, but not required).


The nomination materials detailing Perry’s many accomplishments note that Perry’s work on race and criminal and juvenile justice issues is an archetype for how a clinician can combine teaching, scholarship, and law reform advocacy. As the co-director of the University of Minnesota Child Advocacy and Juvenile Justice Clinic Perry led her students into work on cutting edge projects related to the United States Supreme Court’s 2012 decision in the case Miller v. Alabama. This work has had a national impact on issues of race and justice in criminal and juvenile arenas.


Perry’s work on the Miller retroactivity issue has garnered substantial attention among academics, advocates and the media. Her 2015 article, Miller v. Alabama and the Retroactivity of Proportionality Rules, 17 J. CONST. L. 929, 981 (2015), has been featured in both local and national commentary, and was the subject of SCOTUSblog’s September 29, 2015 Academic Highlight. In January 2016, in Montgomery v. Louisiana, the Supreme Court held that Miller is retroactive, and Perry’s article was quoted and cited extensively in amicus briefs.  Perry’s work on the issue of juvenile life without parole has also led to her to act as an advisor on related matters outside of Minnesota. She has worked with national litigators, including Bryan Stevenson of Alabama’s Equal Justice Initiative and Marsha Levick of Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center, on coordinated litigation strategies at the Eighth Circuit and Supreme Court levels.


In addition, Perry is rapidly becoming an important voice in the scholarly community. She published a series of articles based on her research on race and juvenile and criminal justice issues that have made an impact not only on scholarship in this field, but also on public policy. Her work has been cited in some of the leading law reviews, but it also has provided support for litigation by racial justice advocates and has been used in legislative debates.


Perry routinely extends her work into the public service arena.  In addition to her clinical teaching and scholarship, she has played a critical role in legislation, policy and public advocacy on race and criminal and juvenile justice matters.  Over the last four years, at the request of the McArthur Foundation in 2012, she has been coordinating a state-level effort to draft and enact a multi-pronged progressive juvenile justice bill.


Perry served on the CLEA Board for four and a half years and has also presented workshops and led working groups at a number of the AALS conferences over the last several years.


Last year, Perry and her students worked with Carolina Rojas Flores, a human rights attorney and clinical professor at the Universidad Catolica de Oriente in Colombia who specializes in penitentiary law, on the development of her clinical program.  This work was part of the University of Minnesota’s USAID/Higher Education for Development (HED) human rights partnership with four law schools in Antioquia, Colombia.


Finally, Perry is an avid hiker, camper, kayaker and runner, spending as much of her free time as possible in undeveloped wilderness. Perry has kayaked portions of the Sea of Cortez and backpacked through areas of Maine and Colorado.  She and her husband have also climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.


Please join me in recognizing Perry for her many accomplishments and contributions.  We look forward to celebrating her work together at the conference in Baltimore. 


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