News and Information
May 02, 2022

Jessica Choate Receives Oliver White Hill Award for Pro Bono Service

Jessica Choate of the George Mason University Law School class of ’22 has been awarded the Virginia State Bar Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award for 2022.

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.

Choate graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University where she was active in student government. During law school, Choate had a major impact on the culture of pro bono within the student body. She also took on several public interest clerkships, including the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, the Pro Bono Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division-Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

Even prior to enrolling at GMU, Choate served two years in AmeriCorps assisting underprivileged communities in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Nominated by Michael L. Davis, assistant professor, and senior lecturer in law at George Mason University, Choate received glowing remarks on her commitment to bettering her community and profession through public service.

According to Davis, “There has never been a student at this school who has had such a dramatic impact on our pro bono and public service initiatives. Jess has assured that her large footprint here continues, as she has actively and successfully recruited other first and second-year students to continue her successes at the school after she graduates.”

Each award recipient is asked to choose a quote that best sums up their viewpoint on the world, and Choate chose this: “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it—if only we’re brave enough to be it.” -Amanda Gorman

Choate will receive her award on Friday, June 17, at the Legal Aid Luncheon. She plans to continue her dedication to public service after graduation as the 2022 Post-Graduate Fellow of the Human Trafficking Institute (HTI), for which she has been selected. Her goal is to build an online platform to help streamline human trafficking prosecutions.

Updated: May 02, 2022