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Three from Tulane Law honored for their pro bono service

November 20, 2023 11:30 AM
Alina Hernandez ahernandez4@tulane.edu



Three members of the Tulane Law community – a student, a professor and a staff member – have been honored by The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) as part of their annual Pro Bono Honor Roll award.

Professor Khrista McCarden, Tulane Environmental Law Clinic Staff Member Kimberly Terrell, and current third-year law student Madison Norris (L’24) were all honored for their efforts to expand community access to no-cost legal services in the categories of faculty, staff and student honorees, respectively.

McCarden received the AALS Faculty Award for her work training and leading the team of students who each year prepare taxes for low-income members of the community through Tulane’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), which requires certification by the IRS and is run throughout the country.  Last year alone, dozens of students prepared taxes during the spring for 114 members of the New Orleans-area community, which was double the number of the prior year. Her students have been accepted into some of the most competitive tax LL.M. programs in the country, including the LL.M. program at New York University.

McCarden serves as the Hoffman Fuller Associate Professor of Tax Law and her scholarship at Tulane focuses on tax law and policy, especially international taxation and the tax treatment of charitable giving. She is a top scholar in the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing and recently was invited by her alma mater, Harvard University, to lead a session on impact investing in 2023. In 2021, McCarden served as the Chair of the AALS Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Section. 

She serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Christian Law student group, the Chair of the International Programs Committee, and as a Board member of the Tulane Tax Institute. McCarden was selected, along with other leading academics, to author a book chapter for the first comprehensive guide to nonprofit law, entitled The Encyclopedia of Nonprofit Management, Leadership and Governance, which is forthcoming this year.  McCarden has been consulted and quoted by The New York Times regarding her scholarship addressing tax, nonprofit law, and art. McCarden also serves as a Contributing Editor for the Nonprofit Law Professor Blog.  

Terrell is a Research Scientist and the Director of Community Engagement at the Environmental Law Clinic. Her ground-breaking research over the past several years has informed attorneys, community leaders and the courts about the impact of Louisiana’s heavy industry on marginalized communities.

In her role at the Clinic, Terrell uses her background in environmental science and statistics to provide technical assistance to students, attorneys, community members and others working on a broad range of environmental issues. She recently published the first peer-reviewed study to identify toxic air pollution as a contributing factor to Louisiana’s abnormally high cancer burden. She has also published recent studies focused on the disproportionate burden of air pollution and COVID-19 mortality among Black communities in Louisiana. Her current work focuses on understanding who receives the benefits from industrial operations, particularly with respect to jobs.

Norris, who graduates in May, has already clocked in more than 530 pro bono hours working as a judicial extern for the Louisiana Supreme Court, as a legal intern for the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office, and as a law clerk for the Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center (LAFHAC). She is a student attorney in the Tulane First Amendment Clinic this year, is Senior Managing Editor of the Tulane Journal of Law and Sexuality, Senior Writer for The Sports Lawyer, and a member of the Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF). Following graduation, Norris plans to move to New York and work in public interest law.