Kathleen Dwyer, a graduate of the University of Richmond law school and Virginia Tech, is the winner of the 2014 Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award, the Virginia State Bar announced.
The award, named for the late Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a law student’s commitment to public service law. It is bestowed by the VSB Committee on Access to Legal Services.
During her law school career, Dwyer volunteered with a writing project through the law school’s Pro Bono Veterans Appeals Program and helped prepare a veterans law update published in the Federal Circuit Bar Association Journal.
Dwyer also participated in the Criminal Appeals program at the Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service, where she worked with Richmond attorney Cullen D. Seltzer in the representation of an indigent defendant. Dwyer wrote the appellate briefs and argued the case before the Court of Appeals of Virginia , the VSB said.
In nominating Dwyer, Seltzer said Dwyer’s uncompensated work on behalf of an unpopular defendant, accused of the most serious crimes, “is consistent with the highest ideals of the bar and our profession.”
“That zealous work was recognized by high praise paid to her presentation by the judges of the Court of Appeals that heard her arguments in Mines v. Commonwealth. Judges on the court’s writ and merits panels were complimentary of her work and expressed the hope that she would continue that sort of work before that court in the future. I hope so, too,” Seltzer said.
The award will be presented on June 13 during the Virginia State Bar’s Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.