Alumni and Students Honored at Ninth Annual Public Service Awards
On February 7, 2014, members of the Cornell Law community convened at the Association of the Bar of New York to celebrate the Ninth Annual Public Service Awards. This year, eleven current Law School students and six alumni were honored for their outstanding dedication to public interest law.
Candidates for the awards are nominated by Law School alumni, faculty, and administrators, and are reviewed by the Faculty-Student Public Service Committee. “Every year I am so impressed by the commitment and talent demonstrated by the awardees” says Karen Comstock, assistant dean for public service.
The alumni awardees, listed below, represent a range of graduation years and specializations. George Cohen ’57 has had an extensive career as a labor lawyer, negotiator, and mediator. James Yoon ’03 prosecutes human smuggling, complex immigration fraud, and international violent crime.
The work of other alumni honorees includes directing a state-wide public defender system, representing plaintiffs in class-action civil rights litigation, and representing indigent clients in matters of housing and employment issues.
“Every one of the honorees has such humility,” says Comstock. “They think it’s wonderful to receive an award simply for doing what they love.”
2014 EXEMPLARY ALUMNI PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS HONOREES
George Cohen ’57, Director, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Washington, D.C.
Joseph Krakora ’83, Public Defender, State of New Jersey
Cyrus Mehri ’88, Partner, Mehri & Skalet LLP
Alicia Plotkin ’80, Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Assistance of Western New York, Ithaca, NY
Judith Whiting ’86, General Counsel, Community Service Society, New York, NY
James Yoon ’03, Senior Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice Human Rights and Special Prosecutions, Washington, D.C.
STUDENT PUBLIC INTEREST PRIZES
Freeman Award for Civil-Human Rights
Awarded annually to the law student or students who have made the greatest contributions during his or her law school career to civil-human rights: Rufus Burgess, Diane Furstenau, Alissa Goetz, Gabriel Monroe, Alicia Paradis, Kaitlyn Wright
Stanley E. Gould Prize for Public Interest Law
Awarded annually to a third-year student or students who have shown outstanding dedication to serving public interest law and public interest groups: Tiffany Chiu, Donial Dastgir, Shuting Yang
Seymour Herzog Memorial Prize
Awarded annually to a student or students who demonstrate excellence in the law and commitment to public interest law, combined with a love of sports: Daniel Dubois, Matthew Signorile