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UK Law Student is First Recipient of "Law Student of the Year" Award from Legal Aid of the Bluegrass

November 28, 2018

Third-year law student Julie Greenlee was presented with the Legal Aid of the Bluegrass 2018 Law Student of the Year award this month. Greenlee is the first UK Law student to receive this honor according to Josh Fain, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG).

“Never before have we presented a Law Student of the Year award at our Fayette County Bar Association Pro Bono Recognition Event,” said Fain.  “We decided to do so this year because Julie’s work was so exemplary and deserving of special recognition.  We at Legal Aid of the Bluegrass are incredibly thankful for all of her hard work.”

According to Fain, Greenlee is a strong presence in the LABG office and has had a positive impact on the many people she has served.  “Julie is an amazing example for others of what you can do and the people you can help,” said Fain. “Her commitment to pro bono and helping others is amazing.  It’s not often we come across a student who volunteers their time so freely to others.”

Greenlee, a Lexington native, has actively engaged in pro bono work.  She interned with Legal Aid of the Bluegrass the summer between her second and third years of law school and continues to be active during this school year.  “Just let me know what I can do” is a common statement made by Greenlee at the LABG office in Lexington, according to Fain. Greenlee’s work has varied from clerical tasks and client intake to in-depth research and writing projects. 

“I was blessed growing up with all I had, but my parents made sure that I knew not everyone was as blessed as me,” said Greenlee.  Her mother has been involved in international volunteer work since Greenlee was very young, and the exposure she had to dire situations of people all over the world had a great impact on her. “I learned from a young age that helping others isn’t just about doing a good deed. When you realize at a young age that people everywhere are in need of help, helping people becomes a necessity.”

Greenlee said that providing pro bono assistance is not only a good experience, but also rewarding. “It’s nice to work with all of the wonderful people involved in pro bono work,” said Greenlee.  The knowledge of law that is needed to navigate the legal system is powerful according to Greenlee, and she enjoys applying her knowledge and skills in a manner that helps others who are often engaged in life-altering situations.  “Our profession is in good hands,” according to Fain.

The event, hosted by Legal Aid of the Bluegrass and the Fayette County Bar Association Pro Bono Program, recognized additional awards including Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, Barbara A. Kriz, a graduate of UK Law.

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass serves 33 counties and its mission is to resolve the most important problems of low income and other vulnerable people by providing high-quality legal assistance through direct representation, education, advice, advocacy and coordination with other community resources.