Four members of the Class of 2021 honored with VBA awards

Apr 16, 2021

Four members of the Class of 2021 have been honored by the Vanderbilt Bar Association for their outstanding contributions as students, and three student organizations were recognized for outstanding contributions to the life of the law school.

Asha Menon received the Chris Lantz Award, presented each year to the graduating student “who demonstrates a dedication to developing a sense of community among his or her classmates with a strong capacity for leadership and commitment to his or her legal studies.” The award was endowed by the Class of 2011 to honor the memory of their friend, classmate and former Vanderbilt Bar Association President Chris Lantz. Menon was a notes editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, president of the Co-Counsel Mentoring Program, and winner of the Lightfoot Franklin & White Best Oralist Award.

Kira Benton received the Damali K. Booker Award, presented annually to the graduating student “who has a keen dedication to legal activism and a demonstrated commitment to confronting social issues facing both Vanderbilt Law School and the greater Nashville community.” Benton was a Justice-Moore Family Scholar and served as president and pro bono director of the Vanderbilt Legal Aid Society, as secretary of the American Constitution Society, and as treasurer of the Immigration Law Society.

Samantha Furman received the Philip G. Davidson Award, presented to the graduate “chosen by the Vanderbilt Bar Association Board of Governors, who is dedicated to the law and its problem-solving role in society, and who provides exemplary leadership in service to the law school and the greater community. Furman was president of the Black Law Students Association.

Esther Lee was honored with the Jordan A. Quick Award, given to the graduates “judged to have made the greatest contribution to the quality of life at the law school through their leadership with the Vanderbilt Bar Association.” Lee was president of the Vanderbilt Bar Association for 2020-21. She served as authorities editor for the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, as a site leader for Street Law, as president of the Legal Aid Society, and was a Garrison Summer Fellow.

Three student organizations were also honored for outstanding contributions: The Voting Rights and Advocacy Society for community service, the Investment and Securities Club for academic programming, and the Law Students for Social Justice for overall excellence.

“I appreciate the exceptional contributions to the law school these students have made as leaders and role models and congratulate them for the recognition they have deservedly received,” said Chris Guthrie, Dean and John Wade-Kent Syverud Professor of Law.


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