The Pro Bono Award

Established in 2000, the Law School’s annual Pro Bono Award is presented to a graduating J.D. student who demonstrates an “extraordinary commitment” to service and who exemplifies the values of pro bono through delivery of critical legal services to underserved communities. Award recipients are selected, based not only their hours of pro bono, but also on the scope of their volunteer work and leadership in the law school community. The graduates who are honored with the pro bono award, have logged well in excess of the 75 hours required to meet the Pro Bono Challenge. In recognition of their achievement, the awardees are formally recognized at the Law School’s graduation ceremony and receive a gift commemorating their pro bono contributions.

Kara Hafermalz

2023 Pro Bono Award Recipient Kara Hafermalz ’23

Kara Hafermalz ’23 is this year’s recipient of the annual Pro Bono Award. Kara was commended for providing more than 465 hours of pro bono service with numerous organizations including Gideon's Promise, Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, Virginia Capital Representation and Resource Center, and the Virginia Innocence Project Pro Bono Clinic.

During her three years at the law school, Hafermalz served on the Submission Review Board of the Virginia Journal of Law & Politics, served as the President for If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, and served as a Head Peer Advisor.  She worked as a summer legal intern for the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls and Weil Gotshal & Manges, New York.

After graduation, Hafermalz will relocate to New York to work as a debt restructuring associate in the Manhattan office of Weil Gotshal. More

Previous Pro Bono Award Recipients

  • Maggie Woodward '22
  • Kolleen Gladden '21
  • Miranda K. Russell '20
  • Amy Fly '19
  • Megan C. Keenan ’18 (co-winner)
  • Cory K. Sagduyu ’18 (co-winner)
  • Clayton Read Pasley ’17 (co-winner)
  • Rachel Ellen Simon ’17 (co-winner)
  • Jacob Edward Aronson ’16
  • Madeline J. Starbranch ’15
  • Carolyn Jean Rumer ’14
  • Thomas Samuel Silverstein ’13
  • Evan Grant Didier ’12
  • Erin Colleen Houlihan ’11 (co-winner)
  • Rachel Lauren Paul ’11 (co-winner)
  • Daniel Aaron Grossman ’10 (co-winner)
  • Kristin Jo Uicker ’10 (co-winner)
  • Rebecca Dopkins Vallas ’09
  • Ryan Scott Faulconer ’08 (co-winner)
  • Amy Lynn Woolard ’08 (co-winner)
  • Rachel Elizabeth Cella ’07
  • Ryan Tharen Almstead ’06
  • Heather Schroeder Eastwood ’05
  • Areshini Pather ’04
  • Angela Adair Ciolfi ’03
  • Maria Monique Mlynar ’02
  • Amy Julia Collins ’01
  • Jason Mark Zuckerman ’00 (inaugural recipient)