LSU Law Class of 2021 graduate David Guidry was recently named the recipient of the Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award for his work in the Juvenile Defense Clinic.
Mr. Guidry represented clients in Juvenile Court in East Baton Rouge Parish on five petitions, including delinquent and status offenses. Mr. Guidry impressed us with his trial preparation. He thoroughly and diligently prepared for adjudication with very little prompting and took the lead on developing his case, exemplifying what we hope to see from a first chair student attorney. He meticulously reviewed and re-reviewed the evidentiary rules, preparing responses for every imaginable objection by the District Attorney to ensure his defense was airtight and that all his evidence would be admitted. What impressed us most, however, was not his trial acumen but his rapport with his clients and their families.
Family members needed support navigating the juvenile legal system in a way that would be advantageous for their child. Mr. Guidry navigated the situation with grace, compassion, and confidence. He reached out when he needed advice or assistance and managed his relationships with his clients’ families in ways that made them feel heard and understood. Through it all, Mr. Guidry never lost touch of the principle that his client’s wishes were to guide his representation.
In the course, Mr. Guidry was a quiet leader. Other students looked to him as an example, and his simulated oral advocacy blew us all away. Though not the most outspoken student in the class, Mr. Guidry’s contributions were always thoughtful and contributed immensely to both other students’ learning and our own. We are grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and work with Mr. Guidry, and we are excited to see all he accomplishes as a leader in the public service in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) created the award to honor students who have excelled in a clinical course, and students are based on
- Excellence in the field work component of the clinical course determined by the quality of the student’s performance in assisting or representing individual or organizational clients or in undertaking advocacy, community development, education, or policy reform projects;
- Excellence in the seminar component of the clinical course determined by the quality of the student’s thoughtfulness and self-reflection in exploring the legal, ethical, strategic, professional, and other pertinent issues raised in the particular clinic; and
- The nature and extent of the student’s contribution to the clinical community at the student’s law school, if relevant.