The Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association has selected Professor Kristine Huskey, director of the National Security & Human Rights Clinic at The University of Texas School of Law, to receive its 2008 Public Interest Award. She is also a fellow at the University’s Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law.
Huskey, a 1997 UT Law graduate, will be honored at the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association (TCWLA) and Foundation charity awards luncheon on Thursday, May 15, 2008, at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Austin from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Each year, TCWLA recognizes an outstanding woman lawyer in the field of public interest law.
TCWLA President Laurie Higginbotham, a 1999 UT Law graduate, said she nominated Huskey for her work representing Guantanamo detainees in Rasul v. Bush (the 2004 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that gave detainees the right to challenge their detentions in federal court) and her extensive work with other Guantanamo detainees.
“Although there were a number of outstanding nominees for the public interest award this year, Ms. Huskey was the unanimous choice of the board,” said Higginbotham, a name partner in the Austin law firm of Archuleta, Alsaffar & Higginbotham.
Huskey has been to Guantanamo over a dozen times and frequently appears in the media to discuss Guantanamo and “war on terrorism” issues. Students in the law clinic that Huskey directs have represented five Guantanamo detainees thus far, challenging their detentions under the current system, and have secured the release of four of the detainees to their home countries.
Since 1991, the TCWLA has celebrated the contributions of women lawyers in the Austin legal community. The organization’s awards program is one way that the TCWLA and its foundation can achieve its goal of strengthening the image and position of women lawyers in the community, Higginbotham explained.
She said the TCWLA also recognizes each year an outstanding lawyer in litigation, transactional, and pro bono work and for contributions to the minority community. The organization also recognizes lawyers with an Outstanding Achievement Award, the President’s Award, and an Outstanding Firm Award. In total, eight awards are given annually. At the luncheon, the TCWLA will also award $25,000 in grants to local nonprofit organizations providing legal services to women and children in the Austin area.
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