May 24, 2012
Rajan Sonik ’12 is the winner of this year’s Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award, recognized for performing the highest number of pro bono service hours in the Class of 2012. During his time at Harvard Law School, Sonik provided over 2,500 hours of free legal services.
The class of 2012 as a whole performed 352,120 hours of free legal service while at HLS, an average of 597 hours per student.
Sonik participated in an array of volunteer activities and clinical programs, including serving as co-executive director of the Prison Legal Assistance Project at HLS, and working at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. He also worked in the Boston community, at the Boston Medical Center, Greater Boston Legal Services, and the Medical-Legal Partnership, where he will work as an Equal Justice Works Fellow next year.
Sonik was recently presented with the 2012 Law Student Ethics Award from the Association of Corporate Counsel, Northeast Chapter.
Among the class of 2012, there were six other students who performed over 2,000 hours of work during their time at HLS: Charlotte Alvarez, Thomas Ferriss, Robert Hodgson, Samuel Levine, Anne Raven and Samuel Simon.
HLS requires all students to perform 40 hours of pro bono services but most go far beyond. This year, 97 students performed more than 1,000 hours of pro-bono service. 70 percent of the class did at least one public service clinic, with many also working over the summer and during spring break.
The Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award is granted each year in honor of Professor Andrew Kaufman, who has been instrumental in creating the Pro Bono Service Program at HLS. The J.D. student in the graduating class who performs the highest number of pro bono service hours receives the award and a $500 honorarium. The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs annually determines the winner based on records of total completed pro bono hours submitted by students.