Second-year students Dean Ferdenzi and Adam Solomon are Hofstra Law’s co-recipients of the CLEA Outstanding Student Award for their work in the Disaster Recovery Clinic. CLEA (the Clinical Legal Education Association) instituted the annual award to honor one student, or two students who worked as a team on a single case or project, at each law school who has excelled in a clinical course.
Ferdenzi and Solomon were assigned to a case that the Hofstra Law Disaster Recovery Clinic has had for three years involving multiple parties, including eight co-defendants, who live in a condominium community that was greatly impacted by Superstorm Sandy. The students represented nine clients in court in a declaratory judgment action, in addition to individually representing some of the clients in construction and tax issues. They were the 13th and 14th interns to work on this case.
“Throughout supervision of this team, Dean and Adam showed sound legal judgment and a maturity in their approach to client-centered representation that was exemplary. The clients have been thrilled with their thoughtful legal analysis and their ability to explain the law to them in a manner that is digestible,” said Visiting Associate Clinical Professor of Law C. Benjie Louis, attorney-in-charge of the Disaster Recovery Clinic. “Dean and Adam are nontraditional law students, and in addition to working well together, they were great collaborators with other clinic students on issues involving their previous work — construction and court clerk. In class, they also brought their life perspective to approaching some of our most difficult cases.”
The criteria for the award are:
- excellence in the fieldwork component of the clinical course, determined by the quality of the student’s performance in assisting or representing individual or organizational clients or in undertaking advocacy, community development, education, or policy reform projects;
- excellence in the seminar component of the clinical course, determined by the quality of the student’s thoughtfulness and self-reflection in exploring the legal, ethical, strategic, professional, and other pertinent issues raised in the particular clinic; and
- the nature and extent of the student’s contribution to the clinical community at the student’s law school, if relevant.
About the Hofstra Law Disaster Recovery Clinic
The clients of the Disaster Recovery Clinic are survivors of Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Irene who have faced multiple legal issues, including access to insurance, public benefits, and FEMA relief, as well as involvement in construction disputes.