News and Information
May 21, 2020

Emily Lopynski Receives Law Student Pro Bono Service Award

photo of Emily Lopynski, Law Student Pro Bono Award winnerEmily Lopynski of the University of Richmond Law School class of 2020 has been awarded the Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award honoring “extraordinary law student achievement in the areas of pro bono publico and under-compensated public service work in Virginia.”

While in law school, Lopynski was heavily involved in the Carrico Center for Pro Bono & Public Service at the University of Richmond. She participated in the Wills for Seniors Pro Bono Clinic and Pro Bono Housing Law Program, volunteered at the Farmville immigration detention center, and drafted an asylum brief for a pro bono immigration case. She was also a part of the student cohort selected to support the Governor’s Commission to Examine Racial Inequity in Virginia Law. 

During her time as a law student, Lopynski interned at Legal Aid Justice Center, Virginia Poverty Law Center, and the Division of Human Rights of the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia. Lopynski represented pro bono clients in special immigrant juvenile, delinquency and truancy cases, through the Children’s Defense Clinic of the University of Richmond. 

At William & Mary, where she graduated magna cum laude, Lopynski co-founded a mentoring program that partnered with a juvenile detention center to help forge meaningful connections between the university students and the teenagers who were detained. Additionally, after graduating she participated in a year-long fellowship in El Paso, Texas, delving into the dynamics of the border and starting an immigration legal assistance program at a community-based non-profit. 

Fluent in Spanish, Lopynski facilitated communication with Spanish-speaking clients and worked cases at the Children’s Defense Clinic, run by Julie McConnell at the University of Richmond School of Law. In her nomination, McConnell noted, “Emily has already done more pro bono work as a law student than many lawyers do their whole careers. She truly stands out among her peers as a consummate professional. She never fails to deliver what she promises. And she has wisely used her time in law school to prepare for a successful law practice.”

Lopynski recently co-authored an article, Reckoning with Structural Racism: A Restorative Jurisprudence of Equal Protection, which was published in the Richmond Public Interest Law Review Symposium 2019 Edition. She also wrote an article, Restorative Lawyering: A Toolbox That Will Change the Profession, to be published in the University of Richmond Law Review Online Edition in the summer of 2020.

Beginning in August 2020, Lopynski will clerk for The Hon. Louise M. DiMatteo of the Arlington County Circuit Court. 

The Oliver White Hill Award will be presented at the October 2020 Pro Bono Conference.

Updated: May 21, 2020