The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Northeast Chapter has recognized UMass School of Law student Michael Dueñas with an Ethics Award. This award is given to twelve regional law students who demonstrate a comprehension of the ethical challenges faced in law practice and who have applied their knowledge of ethics in a clinical program and who are committed to professional ethical behavior in their careers.
Michael was nominated by Immigration Law Clinic (ILC) professor Irene Scharf, who proudly described how he was able to “identify important ethical issues and analyze them during the course of his representation” making “him an excellent candidate."
The honor was celebrated at an Awards Ceremony at the Institute of Art in Boston on April 25 where, in addition to Mr. Dueñas, awards were given to students from Harvard Law School, Roger Williams University School of Law, New England School of Law, Boston University School of Law, Boston College Law School, Northeastern University School of Law, Suffolk University School of Law, University of Maine Law School, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Vermont Law School, and Western New England College School of Law.
The entire UMass Law community is proud of Michael’s achievements in the Immigration Law Clinic. His extraordinary ethical behavior was demonstrated throughout the year in his work with clients in the ILC and deserves to be celebrated.
Volunteering with CARA Family Detention Project
Michael volunteered with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project in Dilley, TX during spring break, where he provided legal aid to immigrant women and children in preparation for credible fear interviews and asylum hearings. He explained his experience as "one of the most emotionally exhausting weeks" of his life.
Michael and other volunteers provided legal assistance to over five hundred women and children during this week.
"There were several hundred mothers there, with their children, unable to go home," he said. "They no longer had a home. All of these mothers had horrific stories. They fled as result of violence. They were here asking for help. Asking for a new home."