Rhode Prize Winner 2022: Sarah Schendel

The winner of the Deborah Rhode Prize 2022 is Sarah Schendel of Suffolk University Law School for her paper, “Due Dates in the Real World: Extensions, Equity, and the Hidden Curriculum” (Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 35, Iss. 2 2021). Sarah Schendel is an Associate Professor in Suffolk University Law School’s Academic Support Program. Before her move into academia, Sarah was an immigration attorney for 7 years, representing immigrants facing deportation, seeking security and safety in the United States.

Sarah Schendel’s winning paper skillfully contests the often-heard claim that inflexible due dates in Law School are necessary preparation for the ‘real world’ of legal practice. This Article argues that the ability to not only ask for an extension, but also to avoid procrastination, anticipate when an extension will be needed, and communicate professionally in that request, is a skill law schools must teach. The committee particularly appreciated the way that the article brought together educational pedagogy, actual cases of attorney discipline, and legal ethics to make a case for extensions in law school – and in the “real world” – making us think about our own practice as law and legal ethics teachers as much as contributing to legal ethics scholarship.

For those interested, the paper is available on SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3922907

Honourable Mentions:

  • Atinuke O. Adireban, for the paper “Racial Allies” published in (2022) 90 Fordham Law Review. Adireban’s paper makes a comprehensive empirical analysis of the under-representation of black lawyers in public interest law organisations and a compelling argument for reform to address this under representation.
  • Tamara Butter, for the paper “Ethics in Practice in Asylum Law: Asylum Legal Aid Lawyers’ Moral Reasoning in Respect of ‘Hopeless Cases.’” to be published in (2022) Legal Ethics. Butter’s paper reports on qualitative interviews with legal aid lawyers doing the important work of representing asylum seekers in Europe. The analysis in the paper brings together common law and civil law legal ethics traditions to highlight the way these lawyers think about the ethics of how they represent these clients, even in hopeless cases.
  • Noah Rosenblum, for the paper “Power-Conscious Professional Responsibility: Justice Black’s Unpublished Dissent and a Lost Alternative Approach to the Ethics of Cause Lawyering” in (2022) 34 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. Rosenblum’s paper is excellent historical scholarship opening up an alternative ethical rationale for public interest litigation, which has been sadly lost in the way the law developed.

Members of the 2022 Prize Committee were Prof. Christine Parker, Melbourne University, Australia; Prof. Helena Whalen-Bridge, National University of Singapore; and Prof. Matthias Kilian, University of Cologne, Germany.