Clinic Highlight

Julie Pirtle Receives Clinical Legal Education Association's
2012 Outstanding Student Award

May 26, 2012

DeKalb, Ill. - The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) awarded third-year law student Julie Pirtle with the 2012 Outstanding Student Award at Northern Illinois University College of Law for the academic year 2011-2012. Ms. Pirtle was presented with her award during the College of Law’s Commencement Ceremony on May 26, 2012.

2012 CLEA Award winner Julie Pirtle.

2012 CLEA Award winner Julie Pirtle.

The Clinical Faculty at Northern Illinois University College of Law nominated Ms. Pirtle for CLEA’s Outstanding Student Award based on her outstanding performance and professionalism in the Domestic Abuse Clinic during the Fall 2011 semester. As a student in the Domestic Abuse Clinic, Ms. Pirtle represented survivors of domestic violence in a variety of civil legal matters. Ms. Pirtle provided zealous representation to survivors of domestic violence in order of protection cases and also assisted one particular client with a complicated divorce matter which involved the drafting of complex pleadings and extensive negotiation with opposing counsel. Ms. Pirtle was a diligent advocate for her clients, but also demonstrated empathy and compassion under often stressful circumstances.

Ms. Pirtle excelled in the seminar component of the Domestic Abuse Clinic. She was an active participant in class discussions, provided meaningful feedback and assistance to her fellow students, and was always prepared to discuss class readings as they related to her clients’ matters. Ms. Pirtle gave a thorough and well-researched presentation to the class regarding Illinois’ Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (VESSA) and regularly participated in case rounds. Moreover, Ms. Pirtle’s journal entries and participation in supervisory sessions demonstrated her thoughtfulness and ability to reflect not only upon her own work and individual performance, but also the many barriers and challenges faced by her clients.