National Jurist chooses Wake Forest student as ‘Law Student of the Year’ two years in a row

Photo of Sarah Saint (JD '17), who was named 'Law School Student of the Year' by National Jurist

Sarah Saint (JD '17), who was named 'Law School Student of the Year' by National Jurist

For the second time in as many years, a Wake Forest Law student has been recognized by the National Jurist as “Law Student of the Year.”

The magazine announced that Sarah Saint (JD ’17) was one of 25 “Law Students of the Year” in it second-annual feature on March 8, 2017.

Saint is the only law student from a North Carolina law school to be featured as “Law Student of the Year” and the second from Wake Forest Law. In 2016, the magazine recognized Carson Smith (JD ’16) as “Law Student of the Year.” Both served as the Pro Bono Project‘s executive director.

Dean Suzanne Reynolds (JD ’77) says, “Sarah and her work have earned this award. I remember walking into our building with Sarah her first day of law school, and I talked with her long enough to know that she was one in a million. The law school has been a better place because of her advocacy — and the world will be, too.”

Saint adds, “I am deeply humbled to be Wake Forest Law’s second ‘Law Student of the Year.’ Above all, I think this honor emphasizes the importance of living out the ‘pro humanitate’ motto of Wake Forest. Law school is a balancing act of investing in yourself while giving back to your community, and Wake Forest Law’s culture of excellence through service has enabled me to do just that. Through Wake Forest Law, I have had incredible opportunities to serve alongside passionate, dedicated future lawyers in all that I do, from coordinating pro bono projects to planning symposia to serving the LGBTQ+ community. That collaborative service is what this recognition honors.”

Following is the nomination the law school submitted for Saint to be considered as “Law Student of the Year”:

Sarah Saint is a graduate from the University of Alabama with a BA in Psychology and a MA in School Counseling.

Pro Bono Project

Sarah is an exemplary model of pro humanitate scholarship and engagement. As a frequent contributor and leader of many of Wake Forest Law’s student-run organizations, Sarah has impacted the law school and the community with her diligent and passionate pro bono endeavors.

As executive director of Wake Forest Law’s Pro Bono Project, Sarah embodies a pro humanitate commitment to volunteer outreach through her efforts to increase the quantity of offerings to current and future Wake Forest Law students. More specifically, Sarah uses a targeted approach to program development, focusing on the integration of previously established programs to encourage pro bono participation while also addressing requests from students who sought additional specialized experiential opportunities. For example, Wake Forest Law now offers a student-run environmental law program that provides pro bono service to a local riverkeeper organization.

Sarah’s journey with the Pro Bono Project began with her involvement in Teen Court, an offering that assists juvenile first-time offenders with legal aid and mentorship. From her experiences Sarah gained a working knowledge about the professional and personal benefits of pro bono service and wanted to ensure that these benefits extended to all Wake Forest Law students. With much research, Sarah lead implementation efforts to make pro bono offerings a required experience for all Wake Forest first-year law students, an effort that has maintained a successful retention rate. Under her innovative leadership, the Pro Bono Project is set to once again beat its logged pro bono service hours for the 2016-2017 school year.

OUTLaw and Election Protection Project

OUTLaw, an organization for LGBTQ+ and allied law students, is another organization led by Sarah. As president of OUTLaw, Sarah has increased student interest and involvement by combining efforts with the Pro Bono Project. Examples of OUTLaw’s service projects include assisting with advance directives for members of the LGBTQ+ community and creating a “Know Your Rights” document following the passage of North Carolina House Bill 2, otherwise known as the infamous “bathroom bill.”

The Election Protection project is another joint initiative led by the Pro Bono Project and OUTLaw under Sarah’s strategic leadership. Students and other volunteers were provided the opportunity to assist with voter registration, early voting hotlines, poll monitoring and observing, and recruiting.

Wake Forest Law Review

Education is at the core of Sarah’s mission. As a symposium editor for the Wake Forest Law Review, Sarah has dedicated many hours to further cultivating the educational experience for other law students and the greater Winston-Salem community. Her leadership, which is often meticulous and people-focused, was instrumental in the law review’s most recent symposium, “Combatting Human Trafficking: Current Trends and Cutting-Edge Issues.” Sarah continues to thread her impact into the legal-community narrative as she continues to lead planning efforts for the law review’s spring symposium.

Other Initiatives and Scholarship 

When Sarah is not engaged in her own legal studies, her focus is on people. In fact, it would be a complete understatement to describe Sarah as merely “involved” as she busies herself by engaging with a multitude of organizations, offering service as a means to make an educational and humanitarian impact. Beyond the Pro Bono Project, OUTLaw, and Wake Forest Law Review, Sarah provides further service to Wake Forest Law and the greater community as an Honor Council member, admissions ambassador, academic engagement facilitator, Deacons Lead contributor, and a Trial Bar member.

On top of her extensive pro bono reach, Sarah is a dedicated and successful law student, earning several CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Business Drafting, Evidence, Comparative Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Gender and the Law, and Property I. Sarah also won the Brooks Pierce Writing Award for her paper, “Sexual Orientation Discrimination is per say Sex Discrimination: How Baldwin v. Department of Transportation will Impact Title VII Interpretation,” a paper that earned her a research position for Lambda Legal that informed Lambda Legal’s amicus briefs in ongoing Title VII litigation for LGBTQ+ plaintiffs.