31 members of the Class of 2023 complete Pro Bono Pledge

Thirty-one members of the class of 2023 were recognized in April for completing Vanderbilt Law School’s Pro Bono Pledge, through which students commit to complete at least 75 hours of pro bono legal work and community service during their law school careers. At least 50 of those hours must be served in law-related activities and at least ten hours must be performed in Nashville. The program is administrated by the Public Interest Office.

Kaylee Brilhart received special recognition for volunteering 1,668 hours of pro bono service during her time at VLS. Brilhart plans to work as a public defender.

Collectively, VLS students reported a total of 6,699 pro bono and community service hours through the Pro Bono Pledge program during the 2022-23 academic year. VLS students also perform thousands of hours of pro bono legal work each year in Nashville through summer and semester externships with local government offices, district attorneys and public defenders, and local legal nonprofits, and through their work in the Legal Clinics, the Shade Tree Clinic, and other Law School programs.

Six members of the Class of 2023 were recognized for completing the Law School’s Pro Bono Pledge in 2022 and again in 2023:

  • Kaylee Brilhart
  • Justin Brooks
  • Toni Cross
  • Vanessa Demaral
  • Lara Sverdlik
  • Marina Yousef

Twenty-five members of the graduating Class of 2023 completed the Pro Bono Pledge during law school, either in their 2L or 3L year:

  • Karalyn Berman (2022)
  • Jacqueline Beveridge
  • Divya Bhat
  • Madeline Flynn
  • David Friedman
  • Melissa Gerdts
  • Kelly Guerin
  • Lynn Gurksey
  • Tasia Harris (2022)
  • Samantha Hunt
  • Emily McKenna Jewell
  • Paul (Jonghyun) Lee (2022)
  • Victoria Mayhall (2022)
  • Molly McCue
  • Lyndsey McDivitt
  • Skye McGinley
  • Reagan Johanson McQueen
  • Anna Perry
  • Samuel Puliafito
  • Melissa Rolseth
  • Cates Saleeby (2022)
  • Palmer Smith (2022)
  • Sage Snider
  • Laura Taylor
  • Celia Woodhull

Thirteen members of the Class of 2024 completed the Pro Bono Pledge during this academic year:

  • Jared Bauman
  • Emma Harrison
  • Madeline Moriarty
  • Morgan Peck
  • Alissa Osberg
  • Connor Rasmussen
  • Victoria Schmit
  • Grace Su
  • Madeline Claire Thompson
  • Patience Tyne
  • Rafaela Valderrama
  • Joseph Vettiankal
  • Hannah Zhuang

“The Pro Bono Pledge is a voluntary program through which students commit to dedicate a portion of their time during law school to pro bono service,” said Assistant Dean for Public Interest Spring Miller, whose office administers the program. “The purpose of the Pledge is to encourage every student to begin to cultivate a commitment to public service, which is a basic tenet of the legal profession. I want to thank these graduates and students for helping to keep a vibrant culture of service thriving here in our law school community.”