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Nominations Invited for Public Interest Service Student Awards; Deadline is April 1st

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Miami Law is happy to invite students to apply for the Public Interest Service Student Awards, a celebration of the school's high esteem for the outstanding work that our students perform in the community.

Created in 2005 by the Dean's Public Interest Task Force, these awards seek to recognize student and student organizations who best exemplify Miami Law's vibrant tradition of extensive service to the community and the profession. It will not be easy to select up to two awardees from among the very large number of our students who devote such remarkable energy, commitment and talent to public interest work, but the awards will help bring much deserved recognition to the student body as a whole.

One award will be for Exemplary Service to the Poor and the other will be Innovative Service in Public Interest. The award for Exemplary Service to the Poor is awarded annually; the award for Innovative Service in the Public Interest is made in those years in which there is a particularly noteworthy instance of innovation. They will be presented, along with the outstanding pro bono and community awards, at the HOPE Public Interest Recognition Reception, on April 18th, at 6 p.m., in the Student Lounge. An invitation is forthcoming, but please feel free to rsvp now, indicating that you will join us for this special evening.

Applications must be submitted to the HOPE Public Interest Resource Center no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, April 1st. They must be e-mailed to rwilson1@law.miami.edu. Nominations may come from students, faculty, supervising attorneys, or students may nominate themselves. A committee of faculty and administration members involved in our public interest programs will select the awardees. Details on the awards and information on the application process are set out at the end of this e-mail.

Exemplary Service to the Poor: The first award will go to the graduating third-year student who has performed exemplary service to the benefit of low-income persons. The work must have been accomplished through an existing student or community organization. Qualifying work includes law-related as well as non law-related work, and may be either directly beneficial to poor persons or to a charitable, religious or educational organization whose overall mission and activities are designated predominately to address the needs of such people. The term "poor" is not limited to those who meet federal poverty standards but also includes "working poor." A qualifying student may have received academic credit or financial compensation for some portion of the work, but has demonstrated additional commitment.

Innovative Service in the Public Interest: This award will go to a graduating third-year student or to a student organization whose board membership consists significantly of graduating 3L students. Qualifying work includes the meaningful expansion of an existing program, or creation of a new program. The award seeks to recognize innovation in addressing public interest concerns and may include: (1) work for persons of limited means; (2) work that meaningfully expands the work of a charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental or educational organization that is designed to primarily address the needs of persons of limited means; (3) work that is designed to secure or protect civil rights, civil liberties, public rights, or work for that meaningfully expands the work of charitable, religious, civic, community, governmental and educational organizations in matters in furtherance of their organizational purposes; or (4) work that is designed to improve the law, the legal system or the legal profession. A qualifying student may have received academic credit or financial compensation for the work.

Application Process: The nominator may be a student, faculty member, supervising attorney, or student nominee. A student may be nominated for both awards, but separate applications must be submitted for each award. The application must clearly designate the award for which the application applies. The application must include: (1) a statement, no more than five pages in length, from the nominating person regarding the suitability of the nominee for the award; (2) two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a supervising attorney or comparable supervisor in those cases where the nominee has been working for an existing organization; (3) a resumé, to be submitted by the nominee.

The application deadline is 5 p.m., Monday, April 1st. The application must be emailed to rwilson1@law.miami.edu. If you have questions, please call 305-284-2599.