Law Student of the Year: Luke Diamond, University of California, Berkeley

Luke Diamond is not your typical law student. He has founded a new clinic, developed a prospectus for a Consumer Law Journal, served as mentor and adviser for other law students, and organized Bay Area-wide meetings of law students. In addition, Diamond took a leadership role in restructuring and systematizing various aspects of our debt-collection litigation defense at the EBCLC. 

“It is difficult to overstate the impact that Luke Diamond has had on the clients, staff, and student interns of the Consumer Justice Clinic, and on the entire field of consumer protection law at Berkeley Law,” said Sharon Djemal, Director of the Consumer Justice Clinic at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) and Ted Mermin, professor of Consumer Protection Law at Berkeley Law and senior adviser to the Clinic. “From the very beginning, we have been tremendously impressed by Luke’s maturity, interpersonal skills, work ethic, intellect and extraordinarily advanced legal skills. Simply put, his legal work has been outstanding and has directly resulted in successful outcomes for his clients. His classroom work has been no less impressive.” 

He has led the charge to create a new consumer law course (on student loans and higher education policy) at the law school — drafting the petition, meeting with administrators, communicating with the proposed professor and securing twice the number of requisite student commitments to take the course. 

His advisers have seen him continue to work long after the semester formally ended, through the exam period and into vacation. He single-handedly founded EBCLC’s Consumer Rights Workshop, which has effectively trained 25 first-year law students and has resulted in more than 150 clients receiving services.

Additionally, Diamond restructured and systematized various aspects of the school’s debt-collection litigation defense, which has allowed it to increase the number of clients. In perhaps his greatest challenge, Diamond has taken on a law school administration that is highly skeptical of his idea to launch another law journal at the school. He has proposed a Berkeley Journal of Consumer Law. He has met with professors and practitioners around the country in soliciting support for the idea.

“I have been a clinical instructor for 15 years, and Luke has had more of an impact on our clinic than any other student I have ever supervised,” said Djemal.

Diamond is one of 25 future lawyers honored in the National Jurist’s inaugural “Law Student of the Year” feature