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Tulane Law 34 Award recipients are models of service, leadership

May 18, 2023 9:15 AM
Alina Hernandez ahernandez4@tulane.edu

(L-R) Kiera Galloway, Clarke Perkins and Gabrielle Boissoneau are Tulane Law's recipients of the Tulane 34 Award. (photo credit: Alina Hernandez)


For their work, service and dedication to academic achievement and contributions to Tulane Law School, Class of 2023 law students Gabrielle Boissoneau, Kiera Galloway and Clarke Perkins will receive the Tulane 34 Award.

Named for the year—1834— when the university was founded, the award is among the most coveted university wide honors that a graduate can receive. It is presented each year to 34 graduates across campud who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership, service and academic excellence.

The three law students were leaders in their class, and also gave of their time in service. Boissoneau mentored other students and was deeply committed to public service; Galloway was the Editor-in-Chief of the law school’s flagship journal, the Tulane Law Review; and Perkins’ was the first Black woman Chief Justice of the Tulane Moot Court Program.

Gabrielle Boissoneau

Boissoneau has been strongly committed to public service working with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Orleans Public Defenders, and with Disability Rights Louisiana, where she worked on a prison reform case. This work has only served to fuel her passion for criminal justice. She also served as a student attorney in the Criminal Justice Clinic and the Women’s Prison Project.

“In these roles, Gabrielle was able to surpass the Clinic hour requirement for the whole school year in fall semester alone. These accomplishments are particularly impressive given that she did all of this while navigating grief after her mother’s death this past summer,” wrote Dean of Students Abigail Gaunt in nominating Boissoneau.

Using her own experience with grief, Boissoneau also created a guide for future students navigating loss while in law school. 

As a mentor, Boissoneau served as a Dean Rufus Harris Fellow and as a Senior Fellow for Legal Research and Writing. She serves as the Senior Managing Editor for the Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality in which she inspires junior members to have the confidence to share unpopular opinions and question those who make decisions that hurt the queer community. She served as a Board Member of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, where she promoted and organized events.

Since the summer of her 1L year, she has worked as Professor Katherine Mattes’ Research Assistant, helping to organize the Pre-trial Criminal Intersession Program. In her three years, Boissoneau also gave more than 300 hours of pro bono service to the local community, through Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Disability Rights Louisiana, and the Orleans Public Defenders.  After graduation, Boissoneau will be clerking for the Hon. Chief Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick of Middle District of Pennsylvania. Following this, she wants to work in public service, but is not yet sure in what capacity.

Kiera Galloway

Galloway jumped into law school and quickly began serving in student academic and leadership organizations. As a 2L, she eagerly participated in the Dean Rufus Harris Peer Fellow Program where she mentored a group of five 1L students throughout the year. She balanced this with her other organizational and academic responsibilities, including her role as a junior member on the Tulane Law Review, her membership in OUTLaw, her participation in the Tulane Inn of Court, her work for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic, and her duties as a Research Assistant for Professor Laura Lane-Steele. Throughout this busy year, she maintained excellent grades and was ranked first in her class at the end of her 2L year.

In early spring of her 2L year, Galloway was elected Editor-in-Chief of Tulane Law Review. In that role, she had numerous opportunities for growth and fulfillment, from mentoring 2L junior members to assisting with the ACTEC Symposium.

In addition to her work on the journal, Galloway continued to be a member of OUTLaw, continued her work with the VITA clinic both at Tulane Law School and at United Way, and she served as a member of the Graduating Class Gift Campaign Committee.

Following graduation, Galloway will be in New Orleans for the next two years, where she will clerk at the Eastern District of Louisiana for Judge Eldon Fallon (L’62), and then at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit for Judge Jacques Wiener (L’61). Following her clerkships, she will move to Houston where she has accepted an associate position with Akin Gump.

Clarke Perkins

Perkins is a proud New Orleans native who returned home for law school. As a first-year law student, Perkins joined the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and served as a law clerk for the Tulane Legal Assistance Program's (TULAP) civil and criminal clinics. She joined the Moot Court Program's trial and BLSA teams and was elected to serve as the Vice President of the BLSA chapter. She served as a Dean Rufus Harris Peer Fellow and was a member of two moot court trial teams, where she competed in two regional and one national competition.

During her tenure as BLSA VP, she spearheaded many programs, including a citywide election symposium, “Know Your Rights” events for Son of a Saint and St. Augustine High School, and the inaugural LinkedUP: a New Orleans Black Professional Student Mixer (the second annual LinkedUP was in March of 2023 and had more than150 attendees).

Perkins also worked as a Fair Housing Research Assistant under Professor Stacy Seicshnaydre and as a Tulane Environmental Law Clinic student attorney and as a Research Assistant for the Trial Advocacy Program.

In her third year, Perkins was elected as the first Black woman Chief Justice of the Moot Court Program for the 2022-23 academic year. Perkins created a community outreach committee and worked closely with members to build a partnership with the Orleans Parish Juvenile Court Teen Court Program.

Throughout that partnership, moot court members have assisted in multiple teen court hearings and presented workshops to local youth. She has worked with the city's Teen Court Program to host a community-centered "Know Your Rights and Make it Right" event that brought together teens, attorneys, judges, law students, and other community members from around the city.

Perkins has also served to mentor other students, as an LSAC Plus Program mentor, a Dean's Advisory Committee member, and a Class Gift Committee chair. She moderated the ABA's 2023 Judicial Division Diversity panel and was a panelist for the ABA's 2023 What Do Lawyers Do event presented at St. Augustine High School.

After graduation, Perkins will join Gordon Arata Montgomery Barnett, the firm where she clerked during each of her law school summers.