Skip to main content

The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service_2017

Congratulations to the 2017 recipient of The Dick Thornburgh Prize for Legal Service!

S. Marisa Rodrigues

During Marisa’s first year of Law School, she volunteered as a translator in order to help facilitate communication between those seeking assistance and colleagues at the Immigration Law Clinic. Once enrolled there, she worked extensively, often putting the client’s needs ahead of her own. So when the time came in the Spring of 2016 to submit the asylum application for one of her clients, she spent many nights at the clinic as she sought to balance the need to prepare for my final exams with the need to finish a timely application that was well prepared and researched. It was not always possible to find a good balance, but the concern for a human life was more important than making top grade, and she not only submitted a successful asylum application but was also able to perform to the best of her abilities in her school work and even obtained the highest GPA since she had started.  Marisa also volunteered to participate in a medical-legal partnership at UMPC Children’s Hospital, which leveraged work at the clinic, which provided her the opportunity to commit two evenings per week to provide Spanish speaking patients with immigration and other legal-related assistance. She also volunteered for the Name Change Project in cooperation with Reed Smith, where she assisted individuals who elected to legally change their name.