Dan Goldman '11L
The Virginia State Bar began the award in 2002 to honor extraordinary law student achievement in the areas of pro bono publico and under-compensated public service work in Virginia. The award is administered by the bar's Special Committee on Access to Legal Services.
Goldman was nominated by the School to receive the award based on his dedication to public service during law school. He has worked on a variety of pro-bono and service projects, accumulating well over 100 hours of service during each of his three years of law school.
"Dan has immersed himself in virtually every public interest program available and brought additional service opportunities to our campus by reinvigorating fallow projects," said Mary Z. Natkin, Assistant Dean for Clinical Education and Public Service. "His commitment is exemplary, and his efforts tireless. Dan is a wonderful representative of W&L's commitment to public service."
In his first two years of law school, Goldman helped to revive the Southwest Virginia Innocence Project, taught in Roanoke's Street Law program, co-founded the W&L chapters of the National Lawyers Guild and the Middle East & North Africa Law Society, and prepared tax returns for low income individuals through the School's VITA program. Additionally, he conducted research and wrote on solitary confinement in connection with the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy and the American Civil Liberties Union.
On top of his other duties as a student attorney in W&L's Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, Goldman worked on the VC3's Solitary Watch project, a collaborative effort with journalists to detail solitary confinement conditions at prisons around the nation. Goldman is currently developing an on-line compilation of important legal decisions for SolitaryWatch.com.
"I am grateful to the bar and to W&L for this award," said Goldman. "I have greatly enjoyed the work I have been privileged to undertake so far, and I look forward to future opportunities and challenges as I move into a career in public interest law."
A graduate of American University, Goldman worked in the restaurant industry and for a law firm before attending W&L. After graduation, Goldman hopes to work in indigent criminal defense in northern Virginia.
In the meantime, Goldman plans to remain active in his public service pursuits. He and his wife are in the process of starting a not-for-profit organization to collect and distribute books and clothing to jails, homeless shelters, and drug rehabilitation facilities.
The Virginia State Bar's pro bono award is named in honor of Oliver White Hill, a life-long civil rights activist and attorney. He was one of five lawyers who argued the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregated schools were unconstitutional. Hill spent his childhood years in Roanoke and started his law practice there in 1934. Among his many honors, in 2000 Hill received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Washington and Lee. Hill died at the age of 100 in August 2007.