AUWCL Celebrates Advocates during 17th Annual Cicchino Public Service Awards Dinner

(Left to right) Billy Cicchino (younger brother of Peter Cicchino), Regina Tamés (LL.M.) ’01, Judson Kempson ’16 and Lydia Edwards ’06


Courage is often the better part of freedom. If you want to make a happy and good life for yourself and help secure such a life for others, you must be brave.

                                           - Peter M. Cicchino


On April 18, over 130 AUWCL students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the Cicchino family gathered for the 17th Annual Cicchino Public Service Awards Dinner. This annual event, named in honor of the life and legacy of Professor Peter M. Cicchino, highlights the work of public interest advocates and awardees and recognizes those who have dedicated their time in service of others.

This year, keynote speaker Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and head of Civil Rights at the Department of Justice, gave an inspiring speech about access to justice, service, and the importance of maintaining integrity in the practice of law. Award winners Judson Kempson, Lydia Edwards, and Regina Tamés also delivered heartfelt remarks about their lives and their passion for social justice.

The awards dinner recognized all of the AUWCL graduates who will be beginning their careers as public interest attorneys with the assistance of fellowships such as the Equal Justice Works Fellowship (Henrissa Bassey ‘15 and Maricela Lechuga), the Immigrant Justice Corps Fellowship (Kathryn Kimball and Cecilia Lopez), the Skadden Fellowship (Charlotte Tsui), and the NAPABA Law Foundation Partners and In-House Counsel Community Law Fellow (Theresa Lau), to name a few.

During the event, the AUWCL community celebrated those graduates, along with students who completed the Pro Bono Honors Pledge during their time at AUWCL. This year 161 graduating students completed the pledge, performing over 55,535 hours of pro bono service. This year’s Pro Bono Excellence Award for the student with the most number of pro bono hours went to Chris Keeler, who contributed 1,634 hours of service during his tenure at AUWCL.

The event concluded with the presentation of the 2016 Peter M. Cicchino Awards to the following individuals:

  • Judson Kempson ‘16 – Winner in the Category of Current Washington College of Law Student
  • Lydia Edwards ’06 – Winner in the Category of Alumna or Alumnus Whose Work is Primarily in the United States
  • Regina Tamés (LL.M.) ’01 – Winner in the Category of Alumna or Alumnus Whose Work is Primarily Abroad or in International Law

Special thanks to: Jasmeet Kaur Sidhu, Kelly Noble, Jennifer Dabson, Ripple Weistling, Michael Marcela, Sima Mirkin, and Professors Ezra Rosser, Elliott Milstein, Diego Rodriguez-Pinzon, Daniela Kraiem and Amy Myers for their tremendous efforts in making this year’s event a success.