Monday, May 23, 2022

CLEA Outstanding Student Awards: Loyola New Orleans's Rebecca Desta and Brandan Bonds

CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student or Team Award: Rebecca Desta, Best Clinic Student (Youth Justice Section) Supervising Clinic Faculty Member: Clinic Professor Hector Linares

During the year she spent as a student practitioner with the Youth Justice section of the Law Clinic, Rebecca represented clients in both special education advocacy and delinquency proceedings. She filed a request for a due process hearing on behalf of a student with disabilities who had been denied special education services for years despite reading at a third-grade level as a junior in high school. Rebecca successfully obtained eligibility for the student and negotiated a settlement agreement for compensatory education and services to help her client make up for lost time. Rebecca also worked incredibly hard for another client facing multiple felony petitions in juvenile court. She helped the youth obtain release from detention and get back into school. Rebecca also performed admirably at trial conducting the opening, closing, and multiple cross examinations. She was ultimately able to secure a disposition of probation on a single adjudicated offense for her client.

CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award: Brandan Bonds, Best Extern (Orleans DA Office of Civil Rights) Externship Program Supervisor: Clinic Professor Davida Finger

Brandan served as the inaugural extern at the Orleans DA Office of Civil Rights (OCR). He worked on police misconduct cases and with a team of attorneys, reviewed past cases on policing and sentencing issues. His work was outstanding and he accepted a job with OCR for Fall 2022.

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