Thursday, June 6, 2024

2024 CLEA Awards for Outstanding Clinical and Externship Students: Buffalo's Kelly Tripi and Amy Crosier

Each year, the Clinical Legal Education Association invites 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 at Buffalo School of Law:

Outstanding Clinic Student: Kelly Tripi

At the University at Buffalo School of Law (UB Law), Kelly Tripi, Class of 2024, served as a student attorney in the Family Violence and Women’s Rights Clinic from Spring 2023 through Spring of 2024, including the winter bridge. Ms. Tripi began law school as a non-traditional student with three school-age children at home and five years of experience as a paralegal.
Despite her busy schedule, she logged nearly 500 hours with the clinic on a variety of family and domestic violence cases. Ms. Tripi represented nine clinic clients and assisted clinical faculty in the delivery of community legal education and the development of innovative projects, such as a new program with campus police to scan cars for tracking devices on behalf of
domestic violence survivors. Several cases stand out as examples which illustrate Ms. Tripi’s superior work, including drafting two emergency family offense petitions and arguing successfully to secure temporary restraining orders for both clients. Among other cases, Ms. Tripi also was successful in: (1) securing a divorce within five months for her client despite a
business subject to equitable distribution and a spouse suffering from substance abuse; (2) representing a young working mother whose former partner engaged in abuse and strangulation and obtaining an extension of an order of protection (not a given with this particular judge) and an order requiring the abusive partner to receive needed assessments before he could exercise non-supervised visitation; and (3) after preparing for a trial in a highly contentious case with cross-allegations of domestic abuse, reaching a settlement on the morning of trial which fast-tracked the final divorce and provided the client with much need finality. In nominating Ms. Tripi for the CLEA award, Professor Judith Olin stated that, “Ms. Tripi is one of a handful of student attorneys whose work reaches the highest levels given her conscientiousness, case analysis, organization, and preparation; [h]er representation of clients is better than that of many practicing attorneys in our community.”

Outstanding Externship Student: Amy Crosier

Amy Crosier, University at Buffalo School of Law Class of 2024, came to law school after having served with the New York State Police force for more than 25 years. During her time at the School of Law, Ms. Crosier distinguished herself through her hard work, common sense and wise counsel to her classmates (and sometimes, faculty). Her ability to solve problems and
communicate directly and honestly became an invaluable asset to the externship team. The University rolled out a new a course management software package just as Ms. Crosier started her first externship. Almost immediately, Ms. Crosier stepped up to offer helpful and constructive feedback on how the new online format was working, and how to optimize it. She
became a crucial part of the team crafting the future of the externship course. In the field, Ms. Crosier completed two externships with distinction. Her first was with the New York State Unified Court System, 7 th Judicial District, where her judges praised her willingness to learn, ask astute questions and display effective communication skills. Ms. Crosier proceeded to complete a second externship with the Monroe County, NY District Attorney’s Office. The supervising attorneys remarked of her, “Amy came in every day with a positive attitude and excitement to learn…she helped us out tremendously and we can't wait to see her succeed in her legal career!” Unsurprisingly, Ms. Crosier is currently employed as an Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County.

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