Harvard Law School student Rajan Sonik ‘12 recently received the 2012 Law Student Ethics Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Chapter. One of eleven students honored from participating local law schools, Sonik was recognized for demonstrating an early commitment to ethics through his work in a clinical program.
Sonik has completed over 2,000 hours of pro bono service during his three years at HLS. He has participated in the Health Law and Policy Clinic, the Education Law Clinic of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative, the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, where he is currently co-executive director. After graduation, he will begin work at the Medical-Legal Partnership | Boston.
“I felt very honored to receive the ACC Ethics Award,” stated Sonik. “I was nominated by one of my clinical instructors, Julie McCormack, and I am just very thankful for the complex and challenging conversations I have had with her and my other supervisors in all of the clinics I have done at HLS. My clinical experiences and the lessons I have learned from veteran practitioners have been by far the most valuable parts of my time here.”
In her nomination letter Clinical Instructor Julie McCormack wrote: “Rajan is one of the busiest and most effective people I know. He leverages connections in remarkable ways – sparking exciting collaborations between the various groups within which he operates. He lives his belief in the imperative of right acting and will continue to be the change he wants to see in the world not only through his own deeds but through the example he sets for others”
During his time at HLS’s Health and Disability Clinic, Sonik took on very challenging cases. In his first case, McCormack noted, he established a remarkable rapport with his client, a young man with severe cognitive and emotional deficits. Sonik walked his client through each complicated step of the trial, keeping him up to date and involved in decision making while managing delicate topics and situations. Due to Sonik’s hard work, the client was able to receive several years of back benefits and support.
Sonik received the ethics award, which includes a $1,000 scholarship, at the association’s 8th annual dinner held April 5th at the Union Club in Boston. The event’s keynote address was delivered by New York University Professor Arthur Miller. Last year, Andrew Childers ’11 received the association’s ethics award.
The Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel created the awards program to recognize and encourage the ethical practice of law at the earliest stages of a young lawyer’s professional career, and at the same time to shine a spotlight on ethics more generally, demonstrating that the legal community values lawyers who are guided by ethical principles.