MACON – Mercer Law Associate Professor Sarah Gerwig-Moore has been selected as the 2013 Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician Award winner by the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education.
Gerwig-Moore joined Mercer Law School as a professor in 2006 and soon after established the Habeas Project, the only pro bono effort in Georgia to focus on non-capital post-conviction cases. She and her students have handled 38 cases in the Georgia Supreme Court since 2006, and in total she has been counsel of record, co-counsel or collaborated in that court in nearly 100 cases. Additionally, she teaches in Mercer Law's Public Interest Practicum, is chair of the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission and serves on the board of directors of the Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative.
"Our students could have no better role model and mentor than Sarah Gerwig-Moore. Her dedication to and passion for the clients of the Habeas Project have made a tremendous impact in the lives of her clients and the law of this state," said Timothy Floyd, professor and director of the Law and Public Service Program. "Just as importantly, our students who work with Sarah learn valuable lessons in professionalism and advocacy. Her compassion, commitment and courage inspire new students each year, and the awards committee stated that they are likewise inspired by her work. I am grateful that the leaders of clinical legal education have honored and recognized Sarah in this way."
The awards committee noted, "Sarah's entire career embodies the letter and spirit of the award criteria. In particular, her work at Mercer on the Habeas Project, her work on the school's Law and Public Service Program, her involvement in her local community's preservation efforts and her significant impact as a teacher, advocate and scholar demonstrates the letter and spirit of the award."
The award will be presented to Gerwig-Moore during a luncheon at the American Association of Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Puerto Rico at the end of April.
The clinical legal section of AALS named the award in honor of City University of New York Law School Professor M. Shanara Gilbert, who dedicated her life to equality, equity and justice. Gilbert passed away in a car accident while visiting South Africa in 1996. Since then, the society has annually given out the award to honor a clinical professor who has 10 or less years of experience, but has shown a strong commitment to teaching and advocating for social justice. The awards committee looks for individuals who provide access to legal services to individuals and groups in need, have a passion for service toward clinical legal education or to the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, demonstrate an interest in global clinical legal education and lastly, have an interest in nature.
About Mercer Law School
Founded in 1873, the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law is one of the oldest law schools in the United States and the first one in the state of Georgia accredited by the American Bar Association. Mercer Law School's educational philosophy is based on a broadly shared commitment to prepare students for the high-quality, general practice of law in a day-to-day learning environment that is both strongly supportive and consistently professional. Its innovative Woodruff Curriculum – which focuses on ethics and practical skills amid small class sizes – earned the Gambrell Professionalism Award from the ABA for its "depth of excellence." With an enrollment of about 430 students, Mercer Law School is nationally recognized for its exceptional programs in legal writing, moot court, public service, and ethics and professionalism. For more information about Mercer Law School, visit www.law.mercer.edu or call 478.301.5000.