This year, the Harvard Law School Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs has recognized six students from the Class of 2020 for their outstanding clinical and pro bono work: Daniel Moubayed ’20, International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC); Sarah Cayer ’20, Housing Law Clinic; Michael Ki Hoon Hur ’20, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) and Crimmigration Clinic; Chrysonthia Horne ’20, Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic; Rajiv Narayan ’20 , Health Law and Policy Clinic; and Martina Tiku ’20, Harvard Defenders.
The students were recognized for their demonstrated excellence in representing individual clients and undertaking advocacy or policy reform projects; for demonstrating thoughtfulness and compassion in their practice; and for contributing to the clinical community at HLS in a meaningful way.
Read the full post on Harvard Law Today.
As a student in the Housing Law Clinic, Sarah Cayer ’20 defended tenants in eviction proceedings, drafting challenging and technical pleadings and vigorously presented oral arguments in the Eastern Housing Court of Massachusetts. In addition, she responded to numerous questions posted on a public electronic bulletin board after the COVID19 crisis reshaped her clinical workload.
“Sarah approaches every mission with seriousness, intellect, and most notably, commitment,” said Gary Allen, Cayer’s Housing Clinic supervisor. He also noted that she “remained engaged and connected, and perhaps even energized, by the rising needs resulting from the [COVID-19] crisis.”
Cayer’s bedrock commitment and contribution to advancing the public interest is demonstrated by the fact that she had three other clinical placements (Child Advocacy Clinic, Community Enterprise Project and Health Law and Policy Clinic), was involved in three Student Practice Organizations (SPOs) (Prison Legal Assistance Project, Tenant Advocacy Project and Project No One Leaves), and had three summer public interest jobs (Health Law Advocates, National Center for Law and Economic Justice and National Consumer Law Center).
“She has an unquenchable and unyielding commitment to public interest work,” said Allen.
Chrysonthia Horne ’20 “is kind, thoughtful, meticulous, and self-effacing. Her combination of top-tier legal skills, humility, and generosity have made her an outstanding student in the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic,” according to her clinical instructors Betsy Gwin and Dana Montalto. During her three semesters at the clinic, they noted, Horne stood out for her zealous advocacy for vulnerable clients, her excellent contributions to conversations in her clinical seminar course, and her deep commitment to clinical education and pro bono service.
Horne tackled legal issues in a variety of areas, including veterans law, military law, administrative law, and freedom of information law, always with well-researched and sound legal analysis, even on topics where the statutes and regulations were brand-new.
But her work in individual cases best illustrates her unique skills. She worked with one post-9/11 Army veteran who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to military sexual trauma and struggling with homelessness, substance abuse relapses, and mental health issues. She had to prepare the client to testify about the sexual trauma and superbly navigated the competing obligations to prove her client’s case and protect her client’s well-being. She demonstrated a mature understanding of the balance between focusing on the core legal issue in the representation and providing holistic, client-centered advocacy. Her careful preparation bore fruit when the Veterans Administration granted the veteran access to benefits that it had previously denied.
Horne spent a public interest summer at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and participated in the Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project.