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Anna Rupani ’13 receives Honorable Reginald Lindsay Public Service Award

Presentation made at Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association gala

(Boston, Revised-4/30/13) New England Law | Boston:  Anna Rupani ’13 is this year’s recipient of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association’s (MBLA) Reginald Lindsay Public Service Law Book Award. The award recognized Rupani’s service to the law school community and her work with students at the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Dorchester as part of New England Law | Boston’s Legal Scholar Mentorship Program.
MBLA award presentation (L-R) Professor Natashia Tidwell, Anna Rupani '13, Cheryl Lindsay, MBLA President Rachael Rollins

"Each year, the MBLA asks all of the Commonwealth’s law schools to nominate one or more students of color who embody those qualities that made Judge Lindsay a respected federal jurist for so many years: intellect, compassion, leadership, and a commitment to public service,” said Rachael Rollins, MBLA president.  The award presentation by Cheryl Lindsay, Judge Lindsay’s widow, was a highlight of the association’s recent annual gala.

The Honorable Reginald Lindsay grew up in the segregated South during the pre-civil rights era. He surmounted numerous obstacles, including confinement to a wheelchair due to disability, on his way to his 1993 appointment as the second African American on the federal bench in Massachusetts. He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from New England Law in 2003.
 
The MBLA award seeks to support the development of law students of color who, like Judge Lindsay, have overcome adversity to use their outstanding academic ability and skills in public service. “Judge Lindsay was so well known for public service and giving back to the community,” notes Rupani, “and these are things that I’ve strived for all my life. I feel blessed and honored to receive an award in his name.”
 
Anna Rupani Anna Rupani '13
Rupani’s extensive public service background includes undergraduate work with “Best Buddies,” an international program that assists people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. After earning a master’s degree in social work, she served as a domestic violence counselor in the United Kingdom and a substance abuse counselor in her native Texas.
 
As co-president of the Minority Students Association for the past two years, Rupani has also been a member of all of the law school’s minority student organizations, in addition to the International Law Society. She received the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Excellence for the Future Award in immigration law, the practice area she intends to pursue as a career after taking bar examinations in Massachusetts and Texas.
 
The Legal Scholar Mentorship Program, started in the 2010-2011 academic year, focuses on learning specific legal skills as well as cultivating high-schoolers’ aptitudes for higher education and achievement. Students at Jeremiah E. Burke High School learned to build a case, make oral arguments, pinpoint relevant issues, and prepare witnesses, while gaining confidence in their abilities to achieve in high school and beyond.
 
Rupani’s involvement with the program was highlighted in an article, “Communities Connect with Afterschool Legal Mentor Program,” which appeared in the spring 2012 issue of the law school’s Bridge magazine.
 
“Anna has impressed me not only with her commitment to the Burke program, but also as one of a select group  of students chosen for the Academic Excellence Peer Fellows program,” says Professor Lisa Freudenheim, who directs the program. The new initiative pairs successful upperclass students with 1Ls to work one-on-one on essential legal analysis skills and strategies for success in law school. “Anna has approached this role with tremendous energy and dedication and has had a direct and positive impact on all of the students with whom she has worked.”
 
Professor Freudenheim and Professor David Siegel, director of the Center for Law and Social Responsibility, jointly nominated Rupani for the MBLA award.


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