News and Information
March 02, 2012

University of Virginia Student Named Pro Bono Award Winner

Additional Info

The award will be presented at the Pro Bono Award Ceremony on March 26, 2012. more information

View the 2012 Pro Bono Award Ceremony Registration (pdf)


Salima Burke, a member of the class of 2012 at the University of Virginia School of Law, is the winner of the 2012 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.

While a full-time law student, Ms. Burke still contributed more than 480 hours of pro bono work – the equivalent of twelve full-time work weeks. She has volunteered with the Musawah Islamic Law Project, Piedmont Court Appointed Special Advocates, Catholic Charities Community Services’ Department of Immigration Services, the Language Access Court Monitoring Project at the Legal Aid Justice Center, Wills for Seniors, and the Elder Advocacy and Housing Clinics at the Legal Aid Justice Center.

She also logged additional hours working for student organizations such as the International Human Rights Program (Pro Bono Project Coordinator), Child Advocacy Research and Education (President), and the Public Interest Law Association. After her first year in law school, Ms. Burke interned with the Center for Applied Legal Studies at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa where she worked on issues regarding South Africa’s Equality Law and the rights of low-income women. Her second summer in law school she interned at the Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley, assisting clients with housing, consumer law, and employment matters.

In addition, Ms. Burke participated in the Advocacy Clinic for the Elderly where she represented indigent seniors in a variety of legal matters including wills, guardianships, and Medicaid/Medicare benefits, and she participates in the Housing Law Clinic where she assists low-income clients threatened with eviction or facing substandard living conditions.

Ms. Burke lives in Bedford, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and her master’s degree from Georgetown University.

She was nominated by Assistant Dean Kimberly Carpenter Emery. “Prior to coming to the law school, Salima had a career in international education and worked as a training coordinator for several NGOs,” she wrote. “Salima is committed to finding ways to serve low-income populations and genuinely cares about their lack of access to the legal system.”

Updated: Mar 05, 2012