Shannon Johnson ’15 was selected as one of two law students to receive a Merit Distinction for the PSJD Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors one law student nationwide for his or her pro bono contribution to society. The award aims to recognize the significant contributions that law students make to under-served populations, the public interest community, and legal education by performing pro bono work.
Shannon was selected for a Merit Distinction because of her single-minded dedication to immigrant youth—a group whose concerns she has been addressing in one way or another since she first encountered them at age 18. As the inaugural student in Boston College Law School’s hybrid Crim-Immigration clinic, she assisted her clinical supervisors as they developed the program into an official course at Boston College. Shannon’s recommenders focused on her ability to adapt her strategy and tactics to the idiosyncrasies of a wide range of legal fora and to the changing wishes and circumstances of her clients. They speak of her “enormous respect” for her clients, and her “incredible ability” to understand their complicated lives and serve them in a holistic fashion. In addition to her work helping develop Boston College Law’s new clinical program, Shannon partnered with the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project to create a pro bono project in which law students of all levels represent detained non-citizens requesting releases on bond.
Matt Brooks ’15 was also a finalist for the Pro Bono Publico Award for his work reviving the anti-foreclosure task force and leading the Public Interest Law Foundation.