University of Virginia School of Law student Nooreen Reza ’21 was named this year’s recipient of the Virginia State Bar’s Oliver White Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award.

“When possible, I have tried to use the skills I have developed in law school to support the aspirations of folks and communities facing down injustice,” Reza said. “Through pro bono service, I have had the opportunity to learn from many amazing attorneys and clients who have both inspired me and helped me become a better advocate. So, I am extremely humbled and grateful to receive this award in recognition of what are always deeply collaborative efforts.”

After graduation, Reza, a Law Alumnae Scholarship recipient, will work with the Legal Council for Health Justice as the 20th Powell Fellow in Legal Services. In the long term, she said, she hopes to continue working in legal aid and community lawyering opportunities.

At UVA Law, Reza has been a recipient of the Claire Corcoran Public Service Award, conference director of the Public Interest Law Association, a Program in Law and Public Service fellow, senior development manager of the Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law, a participant in the Employment Law Clinic, and a research assistant for Professors Richard Schragger and Crystal Shin ’10.

Shin said Reza made an impact in the classroom after the student suggested Shin use more reading material penned by community members, and not just professors or lawyers. 

“Her passion to serve vulnerable populations comes from a place of humility and integrity,” Shin said. “I have no doubt that she will be a zealous advocate, working alongside her future clients in solidarity and empowering them to take action and become change leaders in their communities.”

The award was established in 2002 to honor extraordinary law student achievement in the areas of pro bono public service and under-compensated public service work in Virginia. Amber Strickland ’17 was the last UVA Law student to win, in 2017.

The award will be presented June 17 at the VSB’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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