BATON ROUGE – Brittany Holt, a recent graduate of Louisiana State University's law school, has received the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Student Award.
Holt was nominated for the award on the strength of her work with LSU's Juvenile Defense Clinic, and the Parole Assistance and Reentry Clinic. The native of Shreveport, Louisiana represented three clients from the Parole Assistance and Reentry Clinic, helping her clients to develop and execute a post-incarceration re-entry plan.
Thomas Galligan, dean of the LSU Paul M. Herbert Law Center expressed his pride in Holt during an interview with the Louisiana Record.
“Ms. Holt’s outstanding work in the field, in the classroom and as a volunteer with the clinical community made her the unanimous choice for the 2016 CLEA award,” Galligan said. “Hands-on learning experiences at the LSU Law Center provide students like Ms. Holt with an opportunity to hone advocacy and trial skills while seeing first-hand the impact that their work as student attorneys can have on an individual. She is clearly passionate about the law, and finding that passion is something that all law schools hope to develop within their students. We are certainly proud of Ms. Holt’s accomplishments, and we thank her for her tireless service to the community and to the Law Center’s Clinical Legal Education program.”
Each law school can only nominate one student for the Outstanding Student Award per year.
“The Law Center’s clinical faculty unanimously nominated Ms. Holt for this award as a result of her outstanding performance in each of the two clinics in which she participated as well as her service to the Law Clinic in general as a volunteer,” LSU law professor Robert Lancaster wrote in Holt’s nomination letter. “Ms. Holt exhibited excellence both in the field and in the classroom as a student attorney with the Parole Assistance and Reentry Clinic and the Juvenile Defense Clinic.”
At the latter clinic, the law school said, Holt “represented a client with severe mental health issues facing a violent felony delinquency petition.”
Holt, who also earned her undergraduate degree at LSU, served as a judicial intern for Louisiana's Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, was a summer associate with the law firm of Blanchard, Walker, O'Quin & Roberts, and served as a legal intern with the Baton Rouge Office of the Public Defender.
The Clinical Legal Education Association describes itself as an organization that advocates “clinical legal education as fundamental to the education of lawyers,” through integration of clinical teaching into law school curricula, and advocating for legal education reforms to “prepare law students for excellent and reflective law practice” and “pursue and promote justice and diversity as core values of the legal profession.”
CLEA’s outstanding student award is based on three criteria: Excellence in both the field work and seminar components of the clinical course, as well as “the nature and extent of the student’s contribution to the clinical community at the student’s law school, if relevant.”