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Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Clinical Team Award Goes To….

St. Thomas University 2Ls, Nina Korneva and Cindy Llanes have been selected as the 2020 Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Clinical Team Award recipients. On behalf of CLEA Awards Committee Co-Chairs Kele Stewart and Jane Stoever, Ms. Korneva & Ms. Llanes were recognized for excellence in clinical fieldwork and collaboration. 

Professor Michael Vastine, Immigration Clinic faculty, shared why St. Thomas Law had nominated Ms. Korneva & Ms. Llanes for the CLEA Outstanding Clinical Team Award for their Immigration Clinic work,

“Cindy and Nina exhibited everything we look for in a team. Seamless partnership, professional approach to hours (no limits, when the job required it), and individual and collective growth (creating the support – and space – for each other to practice and meet their goals). They also exhibited everything we look for as advocates. Empathetic client relationships, emphatic court advocacy, diligent pursuit of positive outcomes against all odds, completing international scavenger hunts to gather evidence. They also were model of mentees. In class, being focused and on point and insightful; in supervision meetings, driving an agenda and thinking independently, providing feedback to others; and out of class, working independently and effectively. For their efforts, they won relief for one detainee, in a challenging legal case. They well-positioned another for discretionary relief in a challenging factual case, while developing an alternative (“back-up”) case plan for the client. Perhaps most significantly, by taking time to develop this latter client relationship, they helped a client make steps toward both genuine rehabilitation and acknowledgment of their chemical abuse issue, resulting in an apparent transformation and reshaping of their priorities. True to form, Cindy and Nina continue to serve their clients long after the end of the semester, as one client has a trial mid-summer.

Their consistent and excellent work leads to their selection as our excellent 2019-20 representatives – of a truly great clinical cohort – for this formal recognition from the Clinical Legal Education Association.”

Congratulations, Nina Korneva & Cindy Llanes!


Yamile Rodriguez

Author Yamile Rodriguez

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