On April 21, Professor Anthony Thompson had a big surprise for his Offender Reentry Clinic class: citations from the New York State Department of State. The unusual recognition came to the class for fighting discrimination against ex-offenders when they are denied state licenses to be security guards.

"Tony Thompson and the class gave applicants access to legal services they wouldn’t have had," said Joel Barkin, deputy secretary of state for public affairs at the New York Department of State. "These citations are recognizing how important the clinic has been.”

“I’ve been teaching here for fourteen years and I’ve never had a government agency we opposed recognize us,” said Thompson, who recently won a Distinguished Teaching Award. “This is one of the best litigation clinics I’ve ever taught. I was completed taken aback by the quality of the preparation and its zealousness. This team bonded, and that’s what happens when people litigate with passion.”

The high level of teamwork arose from the “community Tony set up in his classroom,” said Adam Gardner '11. Julia Brown '11; Krystal Quinlan '11; Adam Gardner;  Maryanne Wallace '10; Colleen McCormack-Maitland '10; Jason Richman '11; Lauren Jones '10; and Kara Werner '10, each received an individual citation for their "contribution to advance the work of the Department of State" as part of the Offender Reentry clinic. The citation is signed by Secretary Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez and Administrative Law Judge Ziedah F. Giovanni.

Posted April 26, 2010