Friday, June 11, 2021

Memphis recipients of the CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student and Extern Award

Via Prof. Danny Schaffzin from the post by the University of Memphis clinical faculty


The faculty of the University of Memphis School of Law Clinic and Externship Courses have selected Alexia Butler (’21) as the CLEA Outstanding Clinic Student and Malik Luckett (’21) as the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student for the 2020-21 academic year.  


Professor Donna Harkness, Director of the Elder Law Clinic, detailed Alexia Butler’s many contributions as an Elder Clinic and Advanced Elder Law Clinic student:


As a qualified law student in the Elder Law Clinic during the fall 2020 semester, Alexia represented elderly indigent clients in matters ranging from wills to a real property tort dispute to enforcement of a marital dissolution agreement post-divorce. Each matter required her to engage in detailed factual investigation and review of past records, as well as legal research in pursuit of creative solutions to what often appeared to be intractable problems. As an Advanced Elder Law Clinic student during the spring 2021 semester, Alexia delved into the issue of isolation and lack of access to legal services among elderly residents of long term care facilities that had surfaced during the pandemic. She created a “Long Term Care and the Pandemic” survey and distributed it to various providers engaged in long term care to determine how the issue of access to justice was perceived by providers and discovered that while providers felt that access was sufficient, none could pinpoint just exactly what access was available at their own facilities. This finding led her to design enhanced community education materials relating to resident rights and access to legal services, and finally, to reach out to the local Memphis Bar Association Access to Justice Committee for additional support and examination of the issue, which they have agreed to do. In short, she has been an invaluable asset to the Elder Law Clinic program during this academic year, and her efforts are expected to continue to have an impact following her graduation. 


Adjunct Professor Shawn McCarver, who teaches the Externship Course’s classroom seminar, described Malik Luckett’s standout performance in two field placements:


Malik Luckett has earned this recognition as the CLEA Externship Student of the Year at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Malik completed two externships during the 2020-21 academic year, the first at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Tennessee during the fall semester and the second in the chambers of the Honorable Judge Mark Norris of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee during the spring semester. Malik consistently received fabulous assessments from his field supervisors and colleagues in both placements. On the classroom side of the Externship Course, all of Malik's work and class contributions were outstanding.

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