Wayne Law student honored by National Lawyers Guild chapter

Wayne State University Law School third-year student Sean Riddell was honored Sunday, Feb. 14, as an Outstanding Law Student of the Year by the National Lawyers Guild Detroit and Michigan Chapter.

"I feel both grateful and energized to have been given the Outstanding Law Student of the Year Award," Riddell said. "It is powerful to be honored in the same space as heroes like Ron Scott, who was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party chapter in Detroit and the leader of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality. Additionally, it is rewarding to be honored by the National Lawyers Guild, a community of endlessly compassionate and courageous people."

Riddell was elected co-facilitator of Wayne Law's chapter of the guild his first and second years of law school.

"In the National Lawyers Guild, I was fortunate to find a group of passionate, hardworking student advocates," Riddell said. "Not only has the guild been a forum for political collaboration but also a safe space for friendship and support."

Under his leadership, students involved in the guild have consistently advocated for a more inclusive community. They hosted high school students from metro Detroit at the law school to discuss ways in which the high school students can positively affect their communities. The guild also has organized speaker panels on topics such as voters' rights and water as a human right.

"It is important to recognize that the things I have accomplished are due in large part to the Wayne Law chapter of the guild," Riddell said. "We are one of the largest and most well-organized student chapters in the nation, composed of a passionate and hard-working team of students. Although I was the person handed the award, it was the group as a whole that truly accomplished the goals we set out to accomplish."

Originally from Grand Blanc, Riddell lives on Detroit's east side. During law school, he has been active in the Keith Students for Civil Rights, American Civil Liberties Union and The Journal of Law in Society. He also was part of the Wayne Law Team, a group of students that researched issues for the DeBoer v. Snyder marriage equality litigation team.

Past Wayne Law students to be named Outstanding Student of the Year include Kathleen Garbacz and Nicholas Klaus, both Wayne Law class of 2015, and Eliza Qualls Perez-Ollin, class of 2014.

Published: Fri, Feb 19, 2016

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