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Pepperdine Caruso Law Clinical Education Program Announces Clinical Legal Education Student Awards 2023

The Pepperdine Caruso Law Clinical Education Program is pleased to announce that the recipients of the Clinical Legal Education Student Awards for 2023 are Deepika Chandrashekar, Chloe Wigul, and Brooke Lindsey.

Clinical Legal Education Outstanding Clinical Student or Team Award:

  • Deepika Chandrashekar and Chloe Wigul in the Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic

From professors Curt Cutting and Rebecca Powell:

Deepika Chandrashekar and Chloe Wigul acted as the lead attorneys in an appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, preparing the briefs and presenting oral argument. The case presented many challenges, but Deepika and Chloe provided zealous advocacy of the highest level and overcame various obstacles, ultimately producing a victory for their client.

Their client was Glenn Leonard, an inmate in Oregon state prison. Mr. Leonard, who had experienced a brutal assault by a fellow prisoner, brought a civil rights lawsuit against prison officials, alleging that they failed to take action when he warned them he was in imminent danger. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants, finding that Mr. Leonard failed to demonstrate any triable issue of fact.

The Ninth Circuit appointed Pepperdine’s Ninth Circuit Appellate Advocacy Clinic to represent Mr. Leonard on appeal. The case was assigned to Deepika and Chloe, who prepared briefing on an accelerated briefing schedule that provided half the time typically allotted for a Ninth Circuit appeal. At oral argument, all three members of the panel were active in questioning the students. The questions revealed some internal disagreement between the judges about how to resolve the case. Ultimately, the Ninth Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of Mr. Leonard, concluding that the district court had improperly granted summary judgment. As a result, the case will be remanded to the district court so that Mr. Leonard can proceed with his claim for damages as a result of the assault.

Clinical Legal Education Outstanding Externship Student Award:

  • Brooke Lindsey at the US Attorney's Office, Civil Division, in Washington, DC

From professor Nancy Hunt:

In her externship in the Civil Division at the US Attorney's Office in Washington, DC, Brooke Lindsey distinguished herself as a capable advocate with skills beyond her limited experience as a 2L. She is a fast and cheerful worker, who understands the honor of working at the USAO and contributes very meaningfully to the work of the office. Undeterred by complex issues, she dives in fully; her intellectual curiosity and desire to "get it right" are readily apparent in the initiative she takes in going beyond the initial premises or paths suggested by her supervisors. She has added great value to her office and has done so with great humility. In the workshop (seminar) component of the program, Brooke is a thoughtful contributor who is a model of how students--and attorneys--should reflect upon their experiences and use those reflections to actively seek the best path forward for them. She likewise comments with wisdom and humility in response to issues other students are facing. She is the "whole package"--intelligent, hard-working, conscientious, mission-driven, teachable, and humble. Pepperdine Caruso Law is proud to call her one of ours.