Law School Students of the Year: 2018


Naming a Law School Student of the Year is among this magazine’s greatest challenges because there are so many smart, passionate, worthy students who could be honored. If you have any doubts about the next generation of lawyers, we can show you a stack of nominating letters describing students who have overcome a host of obstacles and are resolved to helping others.

In our Spring National Jurist issue, we honored Nicole “Nikki” Endsley, a 3L at Georgetown University Law Center, as our Law School Student of the Year, for her role in fighting for refugee rights. (Pictured above) The daughter of a refugee — her mom fled Vietnam at age 14 — she plans to continue this effort after graduation. 

Finalists included Justin Rhuda, a 3L at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Before law school, he was a Marine Captain who served in the Persian Gulf. In law school, he has provided pro bono counsel to homeless veterans and juvenile offenders and taught constitutional law to public high school students in working-class neighborhoods.

Also honored was Akilah Browne, a Fordham University School of Law part-time student who was named a Skadden Fellow and is dedicating her career to New York City’s affordable housing preservation. 

Angel Sanchez, a 2L at the University of Miami, was another of our print magazine honorees. Sanchez was sentenced to 30 years for attempted murder as a 16-year-old. He received his GED while serving time and learned enough about law in the prison library to successfully win appeal and reduce his sentence, gaining release after 12 years. Today, the Miami-born, second-year student is in the top 5 percent of his class.

Here's a link to their stories.

However, the National Jurist wanted to honor another 12 students whom we felt deserved recognition as well. Click on the name to go to their stories.

Fatima Agosto, Drexel University Kline School of Law 

Stephanie Barrera, Western State University College of Law

Ashley DiMuzio, Wake Forest University School of Law 

Joaquin Gallegos, University of Denver Sturm College of Law 

Angelica Gonzalez, Seattle University School of Law  

Sather Gowdy, Gonzaga University School of Law 

Katelyn (Katie) James, New York Law School 

Taylor Matook, Quinnipiac University School of Law  

Alexis Poul, Concordia University School of Law

Noelia Rivera-Calderon, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law

Jennifer Salva, Washburn University School of Law 

Stephen Scott, West Virginia University College of Law 




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