UMass Law Student Receives Law Student Ethics Award

Isabel Saavedra Recognized by Northeast Chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel for Demonstrating Commitment to Ethical Practice of Law

UMass Law student Isabel Saavedra '14, of East Hampton, New York, has been selected to receive the Association of Corporate Counsel's Northeast Chapter 2014 Law Student Ethics Award. The award, given to one student from each of twelve law schools in the Northeast, honors students who hold a true comprehension of the ethical challenges faced in the law, have applied their knowledge of ethics in a clinical program, and are committed to professional ethical behavior in their careers. 

Isabel earned this award for her commitment to the ethical practice of law demonstrated throughout the year while working at UMass Law's Immigration Law Clinic. At the clinic, Isabel was representing a mother and her adult daughter in separate deportation proceedings before the Immigration Court. Both were victims of domestic violence and had been residing in the United States since 1998. Neither had disclosed to the other that they were victims of abuse. 

"We asked the judge to consolidate the cases because of their common factual background and similar basis for relief. However, I needed to be really careful between the delicate relationship between mother and adult daughter," said Isabel. "I owed each of my clients a duty of confidentiality and although the cases were both consolidated I had to be careful not to disclose any private information." 

In April, the mother and daughter had final hearing in front of the judge and both were granted the relief requested and were able to stay in the United States as legal permanent residents. Isabel plans to take the New York bar examination and hopes to work for a non-profit organization that provides immigration legal services.   

UMass Law, the only public law school in Massachusetts, was established in 2010 to provide a high quality, affordable legal education focused on creating justice-centered lawyers. UMass Law is especially committed to increasing the diversity of those who practice law in the Commonwealth and encouraging students to become professionally engaged in their community through clinics and internships while they study.

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