Tulane Law 34 Award winners committed to service and leadership


They are student leaders, scholars and change-makers, and even before they receive their Juris Doctor, they are future lawyers that are inspiring and serving their classmates, and the Tulane community as a whole. For their dedication and service, third-year law students and Class of 2024 members Cameron Ott, Maria Ramsey and Hartley Reese have received the Tulane 34 Award.

Ott led Volume 98 of the Tulane Law Review as its editor-in-chief, winning the prestigious Burton Award for legal writing and also mentoring other first-generation law students; Ramsey expanded the Tulane Moot Court Program’s competitions, shepherding a winning year, all the while supporting women and children through her advocacy; and Reese, the current president of the Student Bar Association, has served her classmates as both a leader and a community-builder, fostering strong connections post-pandemic and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

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 and is awarded each year to 34 graduates across campus who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership, service and academic excellence.

Cameron Ott

Ott is a first-generation law student who wholeheartedly embraced his journey through law school from the moment he stepped foot on campus. He has proudly served as a student leader throughout his time at Tulane and is currently the editor-in-chief of the Tulane Law Review, the school’s flagship journal and one of the oldest in the nation.

During his 1L year, Ott joined various student organizations and was elected to the Student Bar Association as an Honor Board Justice. The following year, he stepped up to be a  leader and mentor for others, participating as a Dean Rufus Harris Peer Fellow mentoring seven 1Ls. As Vice President of the First-Generation Law Student Association, he arranged multiple informational sessions for the lL class including how to navigate the daunting law clerk application process. Ott did all of this while also balancing his classes, working as a student attorney for the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, and keeping up with his editing and writing responsibilities as a Junior Member of Tulane Law Review. Throughout this busy year, Ott maintained good grades and was awarded the Dean Rufus C. Harris Civil Law Award for the best student case note on a civil law topic.

In Spring 2023, Ott’s peers elected him editor-in-chief of Law Review. In that role, he has overseen the publication of over 20 scholarly articles, mentored 2L junior members, and proudly fostered a sense of community on the journal. As its leader, Ott also seized the opportunity to improve the experiences of all future journal members by advocating for and securing much-needed upgrades such as computer monitors and online subscriptions to the Bluebook. In addition to his leadership on Law Review, Ott has continued his work with the Environmental Law Clinic and served as a student representative on the Law Dean Search Committee.

"My time at Tulane Law has been an inspiring three years filled with friendship, support, and exciting opportunities that have prepared me for my legal career," said Ott. "Serving as editor-in-chief to the Law Review has without a doubt been the most impactful, and I am grateful to everyone who has helped me in this role along the way." 

Ott also honored Tulane with his writing becoming one of just over a dozen law students across the nation to win the prestigious Burton Award, a national legal writing award. Ott received the award for a case note he wrote as a second-year law student titled “Louisiana Wetlands, LLC v. Energen Res. Corp.: Has the Louisiana First Circuit’s Expansion of the Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine Post-Eagle Pipe Gone Too Far?” Law Dean Sally Richardson noted that the case note was not only a complicated subject for a second-year student to tackle, but it is also one that courts and scholars have argued about for years.

Following graduation, where Ott will receive his J.D. as well as a certificate in environmental law, Ott will clerk at the Eastern District of Louisiana for Judge Eldon Fallon. After his clerkship, he plans to remain in New Orleans where he has accepted an associate position with Burns Charest.

Maria Ramsey

Ramsey came to Tulane Law because of its public service components. Throughout her tenure at Tulane, she has consistently demonstrated a deep and enduring passion for service and oral advocacy that is inspired by her peers, professors, and advisors. As a second-year law student, Ramsey logged 234 pro bono hours, and in turn, earned the privilege of membership in the Tulane Pro Bono Krewe. Academically, Ramsey serves as a Managing Editor for the Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality, which is the flagship and official journal of the LGBT Bar Association; her Comment entitled, "Alito Takes All in the Race of His Life—The Race to Overrule Precedent: How Dobbs is Not the End for LGBTQ+ Rights" will be published in Vol. 33​. She has also served on faculty hiring committees and was invited to be a member of the Tulane Inn of Court.

"As both a woman and first-generation law student, it has truly been my honor to serve Tulane, the Law School, and the New Orleans Community," said Ramsey. "My passion for the law derives from my desire to advocate, both academically and orally; in my journey, I have come to realize that the heartbeat of advocacy is service—it's in serving others where we truly find our own voice. Once we understand that ​advocacy is about empowerment in amplifying the voices of those who need it most, we can begin to pursue justice in guiding us all towards a better world."

Ramsey also has wanted to be a strong advocate for women and is a student attorney in the Tulane Domestic Violence Clinic where she has exhibited exceptional dedication and skill in advocating for survivors and victims of domestic violence. Her extensive service in the clinic, totaling 300 hours, reflects her unwavering commitment to empowering vulnerable populations and working with them to seek justice.

In addition to her service in the Domestic Violence Clinic, Ramsey’s appreciation and love for oral advocacy have played pivotal roles in expanding the reach and impact of the Tulane Law Moot Court Program. As Chief Justice, Ramsey has spearheaded the growth of the program, overseeing the addition of three new appellate teams, as well as the expansion of mock trial competitions throughout the year. In striving to make oral advocacy accessible to all, Ramsey oversaw the first annual Battle in the Bayou Undergraduate Moot Court Competition, which brought pre-law students to compete in New Orleans. Her innovative, compassionate, and hands-on leadership has elevated the profile and visibility of the Tulane Moot Court Program while continuing to nurture a culture of excellence in oral advocacy.

Ramsey’s devotion to community service and engagement extends beyond the confines of the law school. Through her leadership as Chief Justice of the Moot Court Program, she has implemented a novel service hour requirement for members of the program, continued the Moot Court Program's partnership with the New Orleans Juvenile Teen Court while also establishing new partnerships with two amazing organizations: FamCore and SisterHearts. FamCore, an organization founded by an existing senior member of the Moot Court Program, operates service projects around multiple states, with their largest event being a food-drive known as "Hams for Fams." SisterHearts is the first of its kind in establishing a decarceration program aiming to transition formerly incarcerated people back into society. In being a woman for and with others, her efforts to promote dialogue and collaboration between Tulane Law School and local organizations reflect her profound dedication to and appreciation of service, social justice, and the New Orleans community.

Her leadership in law school, compassion, and service to others has allowed Ramsey to live out her passions while serving divergent populations. Because of that inspiration, Ramsey will continue fostering her love of oral advocacy by representing children, women, and elderly people as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, New York.

Hartley Reese

Reese has been an active leader among her law school peers. She has served as a 1L Representative on the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GAPSA) Assembly, and then went on to be elected as the Student Bar Association's Executive Vice President the following year. This past year, she was elected by her peers to serve as the Student Bar Association’s Executive President. In these positions, Reese has fostered community across Tulane Law in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Hurricane Ida, which struck New Orleans in the fall of her first year of law. 

After adjusting back to in-person events post-COVID, Reese saw an opportunity to rebuild SBA's infrastructure by amending its constitution and bylaws and streamlining the organization's funding requests process to reflect the evolving needs of the student body and TLS' 40+ active student organizations. In doing so, she also spearheaded the creation of SBA's first Philanthropy Committee, which provides monthly community service opportunities for students to engage in around the New Orleans area. During her tenure as President, she also re-established SBA traditions such as Staff Appreciation Breakfasts and coordinated school-wide community events such as the Second Annual Student-­Faculty Dodgeball Tournament. 

“The law school community at Tulane is unmatched and I feel so lucky to be a part of it. Serving on SBA the past few years has allowed me to have a front-row seat to all the amazing things my peers are doing on a daily basis, and I am constantly inspired by them," Reese said. "I also know that I would not be where I am today without incredible mentors, like Dean (Abigail)Gaunt and Dean (Emily) Wojna-Hodnett, who have always pushed me to be the best version of myself – both in and out of the classroom.”

As a first-generation law student, she worked hard for her academic success and has served as a student panelist for the 1L course “Becoming Lawyers” where she helped underclassmen by sharing her own academic strategies and experiences for success.

Reese’s involvement at Tulane Law extended beyond SBA. This past year, she was one of two students selected to represent her law school peers on Dean Search Committee as part of the national search for the school's next leader. She additionally helped navigate the student body through this time of transition by assembling student groups to interview final candidates for the Dean and Associate Dean of Students roles. 

During her time at Tulane, she served as a Managing Editor for the Tulane Journal of Technology & Intellectual Property, volunteered pro bono hours with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Clinic and The New Orleans Entertainment Law Legal Assistance Program (The ELLA Project), co-chaired her class' Graduating Class Gift Committee, served on the Dean’s Advisory Committee, and participated in in-house legal externships with LCMC Health and The Fourth Floor (now The Fourth Effect), a NY- based start-up focused on increasing the diversity of corporate boardrooms. 

Following graduation, Reese will join PriceWaterhouseCoopers in New York City to practice in their International Tax division.