Graduating law student Aerial Nashay “Shay” Irby was awarded the 2013 David Grant Clinic Student Award for her demonstrated excellence in the representation of clinic clients and for her commitment to the representation of poor persons in her career. The award, named for the late St. Louis civil rights lawyer who fought for equality throughout his career, honors the top graduating students in the Legal Clinics.
Shay worked in a variety of ways in the SLU LAW Clinics, including directed research for Professor Patricia Harrison working on clemency petitions for battered women, as well as in the criminal defense clinic, spending most of her time helping a young man facing a murder charge. According to Professor Susan McGraugh, who taught Shay in her summer clinic and presented the award to her, Shay’s biggest accomplishment in her law school career may be as founder of the SLU Wrongful Conviction Organization.
“This isn’t one of those hold bake sale organizations,” McGraugh said. “Shay and her fellow students worked to free persons wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. This was a Herculean effort-most lawyers wouldn’t try this feat but Shay did, and I’m immensely proud of her efforts.”
The other award finalists were Stephanie Allen, Julie Houska, Lindsay O’Rando, Elizabeth Sheehan and Dale Sweet.