The Law Women student organization at the University of Tennessee College of Law has earned the university’s 2019 Charles R. Burchett Citation for Extraordinary Contributions to Campus Life.
The award was presented to the group this week during the annual Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, the university’s largest recognition event of the year.
The primary focus of the organization throughout the past year has been to foster a support system within the College of Law, president Lauren Hughes said, while also committing to community engagement, enhancing diversity, empowering members to achieve their goals, and supporting career development.
As one of the largest student organizations at the College of Law, Hughes said members focused efforts on developing relationships and empowering members. The organization hosted a number of activities including a student-faculty mixer, a leadership lunch, a career development panel discussion, and even a self-defense class. Members were highlighted through social media spotlights, and law students were paired with faculty for mentoring sessions.
Professor Joan Heminway, who co-advised the group along with Professor Joy Radice, said the students’ efforts were extraordinary.
“The ability of these students to organize, motivate, act, and serve far exceeds the expectations any of us should have for a student organization managed by and for professional students, given their demanding curricular and professional obligations,” Heminway said. “The entire effort was impressive.”
In summarizing the accomplishments of the organization, Law Women was praised by the university for being “a philanthropic and educational resource that advocates for equal treatment of women in the workforce as well as the protection of those who have faced neglect or oppression. Together, the members of Law Women have provided almost 4,000 pro bono hours of legal aid for people across the state.”
Hughes said receiving the honor on behalf of the organization she’s helped lead for the last year has made her experience even more fulfilling.
“This organization is the most wonderful thing I have ever been blessed enough to be a part of during my time as a law student,” she said. It is “the best and most hard-working group of men and women I have ever met.”