Tulane Home Tulane Home

Tulane Law student clocks 700 pro bono service hours, wins 2023 LSBA Award

May 08, 2023 1:45 PM
Alina Hernandez ahernandez4@tulane.edu



A student passionate about pro bono work and a fair criminal justice system is the recipient of the Louisiana State Bar Association Pro Bono Award for 2023.

Third-year Tulane Law student Raquel White interned at the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and performed pro-bono work with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, where she clocked a whopping 700 hours working primarily on cases of sex crimes and homicides.

“This award recognizes law students for their exemplary commitment to public service throughout their law school careers; substantial recording of hours with a variety of placements; strong recommendations from supervisors; and documented professionalism, initiative, and work above and beyond the call of duty,” said Associate Dean for Experiential Learning Tonya Jupiter. “Raquel’s 700 hours of service is 14 times the amount of service required for graduation, which illustrates her deep commitment to and leadership concerning pro bono service.”

Each year, one law student from each of Louisiana’s law schools is honored with the LSBA Law Student Pro Bono Award for their dedication to providing legal services to the poor.

White’s supervisors praised her for her excellent work and dedication to the profession.

White is originally from Monroe, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of North Texas and will receive her J.D. from Tulane later this month.  White’s interest in public interest work began while she was a student at North Texas, where she interned with a criminal defense firm focusing on felony and misdemeanor charges. Outside of her studies, White has worked on more than seven political campaigns where she supported candidates who value progressive change on the local, state, and federal level.

Joining White are other students who excelled at Tulane in their pro bono service. They are recipients of Tulane Law’s Jackson-Ryan Pro Bono Advocate Award recipients who have worked hundreds of hours serving the public through various activities and nonprofits. The award is named in honor of former Tulane Associate Dean Julie Jackson and Eileen Ryan who administered the Tulane Law School Pro Bono Program from its inception in 1988 until 2016.

Dean Meyer with Von Kleydorff, Berman, Fmr. Asst. Dean Julie
Jackson, Hammond, White and Dean Jupiter.

The award recognizes selected 3Ls for their dedication to public service throughout their time at Tulane.

They are:

Angela Beam, who gave 517.70 hours of pro bono service; she volunteered with the Alaska Public Defender, Orleans Public Defender, and Tulane University Legal Assistance Program (TULAP).

Polly Berman worked 422 hours of pro bono service; she volunteered with the Chatham County Public Defender and the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Southern District of Georgia.

Rebecca Goldstein gave 502.3 hours of pro bono service; she volunteered with the Capital Appeals Project, Safe Sisters Circle, and TULAP.

Scarlett Hammond performed 382 hours of pro bono service; she volunteered with the Orleans Parish District Attorney and the St. Bernard Parish Public Defender.

Jack Samuels did 534.6 hours of pro bono service; he volunteered with the Dekalb Public Defender, The ELLA Project, and Judge Angel Harris of the Orleans Parish Criminal Court.

Ingrid von Kleydorff gave 420.9 hours of pro bono service; she volunteered with Earthjustice International, Greenpeace, the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, and TULAP.

In all, the class of 2023 performed 21,764 hours of pro bono service (and counting) across its three years of law school. Of those, 44 members gave almost 12,000 hours to the community, representing 55 percent of the total hours for the 3L class.

Tulane Law 36 years ago was the first in the nation to require pro bono hours as a requirement for graduation, and since then, students have done more than 330,000 hours assisting vulnerable populations and providing needed legal services to those who lack representation.