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Congratulations to Andrea L. Johnson, former Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic student.  She is a 2011 Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award Recipient.

Andrea L. Johnson is a third year law student at Columbia Law School in New York. Andrea founded a new Columbia Law School spring break initiative, a pro bono “Care-a-Van,” that brought Columbia Law students to five Wisconsin tribal reservations in order to provide legal services. The students, in partnership with a local organization, hosted wills clinics where they met individually with tribal members to discuss the importance of estate planning and draft wills. In four days, the eleven students drafted 75 wills—more than the host organization could have drafted in a year and a half on its own.

Columbia Law School will not only send another group of students to Wisconsin this spring but will also expand the Care-a-Van projects to two reservations in the Southwest. Moreover, as a result of Johnson’s work in organizing the project, several other law schools in the Midwest and Southwest now plan similar activities.

Johnson’s peers have recognized her unique dedication, energy and talents. One of her peers said, “The Care-A-Van was an intense cultural experience for students who spent hours working one-on-one with grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles who shared stories of how their families have been deeply affected by drug trafficking, alcohol and poverty.” Students worked substantively with federal Indian law and estate law to help clients make sure their families would be cared for. During the trip, Care-A-Van participants identified additional pro bono projects for the Indian tribes on which they will be working throughout the semester.

Johnson’s pro bono work extends beyond her work on tribal reservations. She has done significant pro bono work for the Law School’s Center for Sexuality and Gender Law. She has also worked with Sanctuary for Families’ Battered Immigrant Women’s Project and its Courtroom Advocates Project; Columbia Society for Immigrant & Refugee Rights; and other organizations.

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  1. Congratulations to Clinic Student Andrea Johnson for Pro Bono Award for Public Service Work on Tribal Reservations http://t.co/5X7BnhTB

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