PBCSI presented the Benjamin Hooks Distinguished Public Service Award, established in December 2009, to 10 graduating students who recorded more than 200 hours of pro bono work or community service during their time at DePaul. The 2010 Hooks Award winners included Aya Barnea, Maxmilliene Elliot, John Graves, Jenny Grobelski, Raymond Keenan, Yvette Lopez, Michael Murphy, Michael Spinnazzola, Ryan Stitt and Kristin Wood.
“Mr. Hooks was pleased to have this award named in his honor,” says Margaret Duval, PBCSI director. “And, he would be pleased with the accomplishments of all the students we recognize today.”
Law students who reported at least 50 hours of service also received awards. Each year, PBCSI helps connect law students with volunteer opportunities at local public interest organizations, such as the Office of the Cook County Public Defender and the Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries. Duval explains that partnerships like these are important to the College of Law and the community.
“Our students round out their legal education with practical work experience, and the agencies also reap benefits as significant contributions of student time can help an agency increase its impact in the community,” she says.
In fulfillment of DePaul’s mission of service, PBCSI encourages volunteerism as an opportunity for law students to gain valuable experience, insight and training, while creating stronger community ties and helping to remedy social injustices.