Friday, June 23, 2023

2023 CLEA Student Awards for Clinics and Externships: Kentucky's Rachael Beller and Annie Dietz

The Clinical Legal Education Association invited law schools to nominate students as their Outstanding Clinic Student or Team and Outstanding Externship student. This series includes submissions from law schools celebrating their outstanding students. 

From the University of Kentucky J. David Rosenberg College of Law: 

Outstanding Clinic Student - Rachael Beller

Rachael Beller, a Fall 2023 Civil Litigation clinic student, is UK Law’s choice for Outstanding Clinic Student for 2023! Rachael exemplifies what we hope for in a stellar clinic student. While she began with very little prior public interest experience, she worked hard and put her all into each case assigned to her. Dedicating herself to every client and issue, she grew in both her confidence and her skills. She cared enough to ask questions and to prep for those questions as well as their answers. Rachael also supported her clinical colleagues and encouraged them at every step of their learning journeys. Her caretaking extended to the transfer of her cases, with clinic students in the following semester commenting on the quality and organized nature of her work. An example of a case where Rachael particularly shined was a rather tough posthumous paternity case on behalf of a single mother residing in a rehabilitation facility. She handled the situation with tact and care, making our young client feel safe and respected. Though the case continued into the Spring, her detailed research and writing led directly to a positive outcome and the court granting our paternity motion without a DNA test. Rachael will be a wonderful and zealous attorney advocate and is already a fabulous colleague. It was a pleasure to have her in the clinic and we are thrilled for the opportunity to celebrate her!


Outstanding Externship Student – Annie Dietz

We enthusiastically nominate Annie Deitz for the CLEA Outstanding Externship Student Award for her participation in the Kentucky Refugee Ministries’ Externship during the Fall 2022 semester. As a KRM extern, Annie stood out because of her thoughtful and diligent approach to the work she was assigned.  In just one semester, she made an undeniable impact on the lives of KRM’s clients. Annie conducted extensive research on legal issues impacting asylum seekers from Honduras and Ukraine. Her research was essential for the clients and informed their decisions about how to proceed with their cases. She also prepared applications for citizenship for former refugees and for citizenship certificates for refugee youth whose parents had previously naturalized. Annie’s work insured that the clients and their families will be able to stay in the United States permanently and bring their family members to join them.  Additionally, Annie reviewed and helped to revise a presentation given to newly arrived refugees during their cultural orientation.  This presentation is a crucial introduction to immigration in the United States and Annie helped to make very complicated legal material approachable for all education levels. Congratulations to Annie!

| Permalink