News and Information
March 23, 2009

University of Richmond Law Student Wins Virginia State Bar Pro Bono Award

Miriam Sincell, a student at the University of Richmond School of Law, has been selected to receive the Virginia State Bar’s 2009 Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.

The award, named for a late Virginia civil rights litigator, recognizes a law student’s commitment to uncompensated or minimally compensated pro bono work and other public service. It is bestowed by the VSB Committee on Access to Legal Services.

Sincell’s uncompensated pro bono hours while a law student have exceeded the award’s 100-hour minimum, Prof. Margaret Ivey Bacigal wrote in a nomination letter. Sincell plans to pursue a career in public interest law after she graduates.

She was one of the first volunteers with the Richmond Child Health Advocacy Program, which addresses legal needs of low-income children who are patients at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center.

She also has worked with the Richmond Housing Law Project, the law school’s Street Law Program to educate high school students about their legal rights and responsibilities, the Christian Law Fellowship, and the community service committee of the Public Interest Law Association.

Tara Louise Casey, director of UR’s Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono Service, described Sincell as an ambassador of the legal profession and the law school to the Richmond community. Through the Street Law Project, for example, she recruited volunteer law students to teach disadvantaged youths about basic legal concepts and correct common misconceptions about the law.

Casey quoted Robert F. Kennedy’s words, “The poor man looks upon the law as an enemy, not as a friend. For him the law is always taking something away.”  Sincell is a student who finds ways to use the law to give back, Casey wrote.

Sincell grew up in Oakland, Md., and received her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University.

The Hill Award will be presented during the VSB’s Pro Bono and Access to Justice Conference on April 20, 2009, in Richmond.

Updated: Mar 22, 2009