Celebrating the Class of 2007:

May 14, 2007Duke Law News

2007 Justin Miller Award Winners

“Altruism combined with realism; knowledge of fundamental principles and capacity to apply them; courage to insist on the right and patience to achieve it; understanding of the timidity of the weak; fearlessness of the domination of the powerful; sympathy for the mistakes of the indiscreet; caution of the craftiness of the unprincipled; enthusiasm for that which is fine and inspiring; reverence for that which is sacred; these are some of the attributes of great lawyers.”

Dean Justin Miller, 1930-1934

The 2007 Justin Miller Awards were presented Wednesday, May 9 at the Graduation Gala at the American Tobacco Campus. The awards honor members of the graduating class who Duke Law students believe have made enormous contributions to the Law School community and who embody the fundamental virtues described by former Dean Justin Miller.
Citizenship: Leah Nicholls
Classmates described Leah Nichols as best embodying the characteristics of the Justin Miller Citizenship Award. “She has given of her time, energy, and dedicated much of her life to helping others. Through numerous pro bono commitments and her time working across a number of student organizations, Leah has led effectively and cheerfully, left behind a model of citizenship to aspire to, and demonstrated the very best of Duke Law.” Known and respected for her dedication and tireless effort, Nicholls has contributed significantly to the Duke Law Community through her service as editor of Duke’s Journal of Comparative and International Law, participation in Duke’s Guantanamo Defense Clinic, work on the Public Interest Law Foundation Auction and Gala, service as treasurer of the Women Law Student Association, participation in both the Duke Law Bowling and Softball Clubs, and countless hours of public interest service.

“With her endless energy and cheer,” wrote one classmate in nominating Nicholls for the Citizenship Award, “Leah exemplifies the citizen that all Duke students should strive to be.”

Leadership: Brettny Hardy
According to classmates who nominated her for the Justin Miller Leadership Award, Brettny Hardy led the Duke Bar Association “with a vision of compromise and fairness that allowed the executive board to tackle both the controversial and the mundane with an unparalleled collegiality and friendliness.” Hardy’s leadership within the Duke Law community extends beyond her role in the DBA; adds another student, she also is active in the School’s various public interest programs and is “always the first one to volunteer for a task” – whether it be the Public Interest Retreat or the semi-annual Dedicated to Durham community service project.

“Brettny exhibits the true qualities of a leader: She leads by doing, she is enthusiastic, and understands that success is dependent on her team.” I truly believe the School is a better place because of Brettny’s hard work and incredible leadership.
Integrity: Linton Mann III
Described by one classmate as one of the “truest” people at Duke Law, Linton Mann received the Justin Miller Award for integrity. Having served as co-chair of the Moot Court Board, a mentor in Duke’s Mentor Program, a tour guide for the Admissions Office, and participation in the Death Penalty Clinic and Children’s Education Clinic, Mann is admired and respected for his thoughtful, yet take-charge attitude, wrote one student in nominating Mann for the award. “He does an amazing job balancing the concerns of varying constituencies as he tries to make sure that everyone is satisfied with the outcome. He treats everyone with a warm genuine smile and listens attentively to their every word.”

“For his positive energy and great discipline, he has been a great role model for me,” adds another student. “I can think of no one more deserving of this award.”
Intellectual Curiosity: Nathan Chapman
“Devoid of any agenda in his intellectual journey other than to simply know more,” wrote a classmate in nominating Nathan Chapman for the Justin Miller Award, “Nathan is open to hearing arguments from both sides of the political spectrum and from all strands of life experience. He is a model of intellectual citizenship to a community that prides itself on constant intellectual engagement. He is disciplined in his inquiry, yet fun-loving in his communication of new ideas that are constantly springing to his mind.” At the Law School, Chapman is involved in a wide variety of activities in the Law School, including the Moot Court Board, Duke Law Journal, and the Christian Legal Society.

Receiving a joint degree from Duke’s Divinity School, Chapman also brings an interdisciplinary method of inquiry to classroom dialogue and out-of-classroom discussions, wrote one student. “His intellectually curiosity is augmented by his constant desire to be exposed to as many fields of study as possible.”

LLM award for Leadership and Community Participation: Roy Guy-Green and Alejandro Sanchez-Mujica
Roy Guy-Green and Alejandro Sanchez-Mujica received the LLM award for Leadership and Community Participation. According to classmates who nominated Guy-Green for the award, “Roy is always concerned about other people and is always there for everyone – across nationalities and ages.” As the LLM representative to the Duke Law Pro Bono Board, Guy-Green encouraged LLMs and exchange students to participate in pro bono and public interest activities, “accounting for this the record level of LLM pro bono participation this year. He was also involved in a number of intellectual and social activities at the Law School, including the organization of an international and comparative law seminar and International Week2006. Prior to his arrival at Duke, Guy-Green practiced law in Jerusalem, Israel.

One student credits Sanchez-Mujica, who created an LLM blog for the class of 2007, with having the most significant impact on his fellow LLMs. Sanchez-Mujica initiated the LLM blog before arriving at Duke last fall, connecting classmates from around the world and capturing every moment of the Duke Law experience. “Leadership can be defined in many ways,” wrote one of his classmates in nominating Sanchez-Mujica for the award: “One interpretation can be a person who had the most influence on all the LLMs as a group, another is a person who made an undeniable connection between a group of strangers who arrived from different countries of the globe, and yet a third can be a person who made everyone feel it was privilege to be his friend. Alejandro is a leader because he is all of these things.”

Prior to his study at Duke, Sanchez-Mujica practiced law in Monterrey, Mexico.
Class of 2007 Faculty Award Winners

Students in the class of 2007 also received awards from Duke Law Faculty at the Student Awards Ceremony held Saturday, May 12. The following students were recognized for their service and intellectual contributions to the Law School:

Law School Advocacy Award:
Linton Mann III and Amy Denise Roy

Law School Community Award:
Julia Ilene Kohen

Pro Bono Service Award:
Lauren Alexander Mandell

Public Service Award:
Erin Anne Gerrard Ching and Christopher Maurice Richardson


Administrative Practice and Government Regulation Award:
Amy F. Curry

Business Organization and Finance Award:
Ryan McLeod

Commercial Transactions and Bankruptcy Award:
Jai R. Damle and William George Laxton, Jr.

Constitutional Law and Civil Rights Award:
Julian Yap

Criminal Law and Procedure Award:
Christian E. Dysart and James M. Markham

Dispute Resolution Award:
Yolanda Warren Brock

Family Law Award:
Justin Tremayne Wilson

Intellectual Property and Technology Award:
Samantha Ann Jameson

Interdisciplinary Studies Award:
Steven J. Schindler

International, Transnational and Comparative Law Award:
Gregory M. Sergi

Legal Theory Award:
Nathan S. Chapman

Property Law Award:
Ryan Blake Hudson

Taxation and Estate Planning Award:
Stacey Anne McGavin