News and Information
May 26, 2021

Nooreen Reza of UVA Receives 2021 Student Pro Bono Award 2021

Nooreen Reza of the University of Virginia School of Law class of ’21 has been awarded the Virginia State Bar Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award for 2021.

Administered by the Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services, the award honors extraordinary law student achievement in the areas of pro bono and under-compensated public service work in Virginia.

A native of Wise, Reza graduated from Yale University where she was active in the Yale Refugee Project, a student-led organization that placed student volunteers with newly resettled refugees for English language education and cultural companionship in the New Haven. After graduating from Yale, Reza received a fellowship to study at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

Nominated by Kimberly Carpenter Emery, Assistant Dean for Pro Bono and Public Service at the University of Virginia School of Law, Reza received letters of endorsement from Elaine Poon, Deputy Director of Advocacy for the Legal Aid Justice Center and from Crystal Shin, UVA law professor and director of the Holistic Juvenile Defense Clinic. 

Shin spoke highly of Reza’s commitment to pro bono, despite UVA’s rigorous academics, writing, “Nooreen entered law school with the goal of providing civil legal services to indigent and marginalized community members, and she has not wavered from that path.”

Poon’s recommendation highlighted Reza’s incredibly long list of volunteer work and over several hundred hours of volunteer time, saying, “She has been an exemplar not only to other students, but even other attorneys in what it means to seek justice and to be an advocate with integrity, unparalleled zealous work ethic, and compassion.”

Each award recipient is asked to choose a quote that best sums up their viewpoint on the world, and Reza chose this:  "The multiple consciousness I urge lawyers to attain is. . . a deliberate choice to see the world from the standpoint of the oppressed." -- Mari Matsuda 

Reza will receive her award at the VSB Annual Meeting on June 17 in Virginia Beach. She plans to continue her dedication to public service after graduation by working with the Legal Council for Health Justice as the 20th Powell Fellow in Legal Services, where she will help support Chicago-area communities facing health inequities.

Updated: May 26, 2021