Wake Forest University Law Student Selected as 2018 Winner of Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service

Wake Forest School of Law student Emily Scotton has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service. The award is given annually to a Wake Forest University law student in recognition of outstanding pro bono service to the community and is presented at the school’s special Pro Bono Honor Society dinner. 

A third-year law student, Emily was also recognized as one the nation’s top 20 law students by the National Jurist “Law Students of the Year” list and has completed over 150 pro bono hours this year alone. Additionally, Emily and Wake Forest University Law School Professor Margaret Taylor founded the Family Preparedness Project (FPP), which works with individuals in preparing much needed powers of attorney for family members at risk of being detained or removed from the country. She has also assisted refugees through the Naturalization Project and represented first-time juvenile offenders in Teen Court.

"With Emily Scotton, the Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award has once again recognized a law student who makes us all proud of the pro bono spirit of Wake Forest law school,” said Wake Forest University School of Law Dean Suzanne Reynolds. “Emily has worked tirelessly to help address critical issues for immigrant families and she was the driving force behind the program that provided durable powers of attorney for residents in Forsyth County who are at risk of deportation. I, personally, had the opportunity to participate in the project that gave a face -- actually, two faces -- to the immigration debate, and I felt a part of something really important.”

“On behalf of Smith Anderson, we congratulate Emily for her extraordinary commitment to service,” said Gerald Roach, Smith Anderson Managing Partner and Wake Forest Board of Trustees member. “Emily is a truly inspiring combination of an intellectually-gifted person who also has a passion to help provide pro bono legal assistance to underserved populations. We are enthusiastic about the commitment that Wake Forest has to pro bono initiatives and are pleased to support it.“

Emily was a Park Scholar at North Carolina State University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to her pro bono work, she is a Smith Shaver Scholar, teaching assistant and moot court member at Wake Forest.

The criteria for the Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service are that the recipient must:

  • Be a Pro Bono Honor Society member (society members are students who complete 75 hours of pro bono service over a three-year period or 50 hours in one year);
  • have 100 or more pro-bono hours within three years or 75 hours or more within one year; and
  • exhibit passion, creativity, dedication and commitment to serving those in need.

In addition to the Smith Anderson Pro Bono Award for Exceptional Service award, the financial generosity of Smith Anderson has also enabled the Wake Forest School of Law to open the Smith Anderson Office of Community Outreach, which houses the Pro Bono Project and Public Interest Law Organization. 

For more information about Wake Forest University School of Law, visit law.wfu.edu.

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