2015 CLEA AWARD

University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law recent graduate Bill Hardegree (JD 14) was recently awarded the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Student Award.

CLEA recognizes law students who have excelled in clinical fieldwork in law school by providing high quality representation to clients, and who have engaged in exceptionally thoughtful, self-reflective participation in an accompanying clinical seminar. The award is based on excellence in case work and the quality and extent of the student's contribution to the clinical community at his law school. Bill was lauded for, among other things, his ability to set the pace and the standard for his colleagues in his diligence, preparation, thoughtfulness, and motivation to be the best lawyer he can be.

In his mid-semester reflection, Bill Hardegree listed his tenets of life as "passion, diligence, and integrity. He said, "I am extremely passionate about my work. "...If I submit a trial brief with my signature, I will make sure that it is truthful, aesthetically appealing, and better than any sample brief. It may not be perfect, but my diligent pursuit of the best fueled by my passion will make it a contender for perfection."

In her nomination letter for Mr. Hardegree, Professor Donna Harkness notes several things about Bill that make him the ideal candidate for this award. She states that in his daily work, Bill lived up to his previously noted tenets, making every effort to take maximum benefit from the clinic and to hone his professionalism and litigation skills. He handled four cases in which he represented eight children. He deliberately chose his cases to give himself a wide range of experience: a highly contested, complex severe child abuse case involving four children ages seven to one; a guardianship for two Central American unaccompanied minors escaping from violence in their home country; a delinquency for a youth facing transfer to adult court, and foster care review for a dependent-delinquent youth in a residential treatment program. He accomplished representation with knowledge, persuasion, and reflection, routinely logging twenty to twenty-five hours per week. Bill not only plans ahead strategically, he seeks out feedback on how he can improve at every juncture.