Henry Beshar ’22 and Stacey Menjivar ’22 are the recipients of the 2022 Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Awards. The awards are presented annually to students from each law school for outstanding clinical coursework and contributions to the clinical community. Students are nominated by full-time clinical faculty at each law school with faculty who are members of CLEA.
CLEA Outstanding Clinical Externship Student Award: Henry Beshar
Henry Beshar is honored with the 2022 CLEA Outstanding Clinical Externship Student Award, recognized for his outstanding contributions to the Criminal Prosecution Clinic. Beshar participated in the clinic this fall and winter, in a placement with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office at the Malden District Court. In the clinic, Beshar tried five cases, in addition to conducting arraignments, bail hearings, and evidentiary motions. The clinic’s director, Lecturer on Law John J. Corrigan, lauds Beshar’s “commitment to integrity and ethical conduct.”
Beshar has also participated in the Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic and the Government Lawyer: U.S. Attorney Clinic while at HLS. He spent his 1L summer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and his 2L summer at the U.S. Department of Justice. In each of these clinics and summer jobs, says Corrigan, Beshar has shown dedication to “delivery of high-quality volunteer services to disadvantaged communities, and his extraordinary commitment is demonstrated by his constancy in returning to clinical work and public service.”
“These three clinics have been the highlight of my time at HLS,” says Beshar. “I am deeply grateful to my clinical professors – and particularly indebted to Professor Corrigan. His guidance to find ways to challenge the status quo will stay with me well beyond HLS. Next year, I will clerk for Judge Johnson in the District of Wyoming. I hope to return to the Department of Justice afterwards. Following in Professor Corrigan’s footsteps, I want to serve our country in whatever modest way I can.”
“This award recognizes the valuable work for justice that so many HLS students do through externships,” reflects Beshar. “It shows that even student attorneys have the power to use law as a force for good. My late grandmother first taught me this lesson. She grew up in Germany during World War II, came to the United States in the 1950s, and, without going to law school, passed the New York Bar. She later became the first woman partner at a major Wall Street law firm where she spent more than half a century. We spoke often about the importance of living a purposeful life. She would have loved law school and experiential clinics. I wish that she could have seen my graduation.”
CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student Award: Stacey Menjivar
Stacey Menjivar is honored with the CLEA Outstanding Clinical Student Award, in recognition of her significant contributions to the Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Clinic and the Cyberlaw Clinic.
Menjivar has been a part of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) since 2018, volunteering as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking clients. She joined the clinic as a student during the spring of 2021 and continued as an advanced student this fall. In the clinic, she has represented a broad variety of clients, preparing them for hearings, drafting affidavits, filing visas, and more.
“It’s been an absolute delight to have Stacey in the clinic,” say Professor Sabi Ardalan and Clinical Instructor Cindy Zapata. “Stacey is incredibly generous with her time, and her commitment to her clients is unwavering. She is intentional about getting to know clients, their needs, and their goals for the case. Because of this, clients care for her deeply.”
This spring, Menjivar joined the Cyberlaw Clinic, where she dove headfirst into complex contract and comparative law while representing a professional artist and a human rights defender. “She works well independently, but each student who works with her speaks admiringly of her as a teammate, too,” says Assistant Director Jessica Fjeld. “Her clients have repeatedly expressed their gratitude for her brilliance and dedicated support of their work. She is an exacting and sensitive researcher, a strong writer, and eminently human in her leadership skills — everything we hope our clinical students can be.”
“My clinical experiences have been my favorite part of school, so this award is particularly meaningful for me,” reflects Menjivar. “During my time at both HIRC and the Cyberlaw Clinic, I had the pleasure of working closely with incredible women who are equal parts passion and brilliance. My clinic supervisors, Cindy Zapata and Jessica Fjeld, and clinic partners, Gina Starfield ’22 at HIRC and Juliette Brezin ’23 at the Cyberlaw Clinic, made the late nights and long weeks of clinical work some of my favorite memories at HLS.”
After law school, Menjivar will join Arnold & Porter in Washington D.C.. The lessons learned through her clinical experiences will always be proximate to her work. “Working with clients has shown me that legal work is a true partnership,” she says. “In order to move a case forward, both the client and the lawyer have to show up every single day, no matter how difficult the previous day may have been. The trust between lawyer and client requires time, consistency, and trust. The attorneys at HIRC and the Cyberlaw Clinic have always emphasized the importance of nurturing these connections. I know I will be a better lawyer, and person, because they have been my teachers.”