Seven CWRU law students win top awards

Wednesday, August 10, 2016  /  Rate this article:
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Sharefah Almuhana
Sharefah Almuhana
This year, seven Case Western Reserve University School of Law students garnered top honors in national and international competitions.

With her essay on “Governing Shared Natural Resources of the International Seabed Area”, Sharefah Almuhana, a 2016 SJD graduate, won the Best International Future Lawyer Award.

Four students swept top honors at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 2016 Ethics and Professionalism Essay Competition, presented by and Malik Law.

And two other students -- Kathleen Harvey and Kayla Baker of the Class of 16 -- were the winners of the Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing and the Jeffrey S. Haber Prize in the Dukeminier Student Note Competition.

The main purpose of the CMBA competition is to have students examine real-world ethical challenges that they may face in the early years of their practices. This year’s topic was how to respond if a supervising attorney asks a new attorney to take an action that the new attorney thinks might be unethical.

The students whose essays swept the top honors were enrolled in Professional Responsibility with Professor Cassandra Robertson, Director of the Center for Professional Ethics at CWRU.

  • Seth Osnowitz, Class of ’17 – 1st Place. (His essay will be published in the CMBA Bar Journal.)
  • Seth Garfinkel, Class of ’17 – 2nd Place.
  • Ankita Channarasappa, Class of ’17 – Honorable Mention
  • Sarah Katz, Class of ’17 – Honorable Mention

“As a Case alumnus (Class of ‘93), I was especially proud of the number of Case students who took the time and effort to submit entries to the competition,” said Thomas M. Horwitz, Director, CMBA Ethics and Professionalism Essay Competition.

Meanwhile, the Burton prize was given to only 10 students nationwide, who were nominated by their law schools for publishing an exceptional piece of legal writing. Harvey will be recognized, along with other winners, at a special ceremony in May in Washington D.C., featuring U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

And the Jeffrey S. Haber Prize went to the best student Note in the country, selected by a panel of UCLA Law Faculty. Baker received a $1,000 honorarium for her Prize-winning Note.

Almuhana’s award is based on her research to establish a strategy to distribute the potential outcomes from exploiting the natural resources existing in common and global property areas, namely, the International Seabed Area (the Area), which is located beyond the limits of national jurisdictions and is rich in valuable mineral deposits such as nickel, copper, cobalt, iron, and manganese. The huge deposits found beneath the oceans are commercially sound and estimated to satisfy the energy needs of the world for centuries.

Almuhana is currently a legal intern in a U.S. Immigration Law firm in Laramie, WY, where she is learning about the U.S. Immigration Law and exposing to humanitarian cases regarding refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking.

These awards come at a time when CWRU Law School has heavily invested in its writing curriculum. All students take four semesters of intensive writing as part of the school’s LLEAP program.

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