The National LGBT Bar Association’s Student Leadership Award is the organization’s highest honor for law students. The award recognizes a law student(s) who has demonstrated leadership within their school and in the surrounding community, especially in the area of LGBTQ+ equality.
The National LGBT Bar is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2021 Student Leadership Award is Julio Cazares, University of Mississippi School of Law, and the first runner-up is Demetrius Williams, Emory University School of Law.
Julio Cazares was born and raised in Holland, Michigan and is a 2021 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law where he received the faculty-selected John Robin Bradley award for his commitment to social justice and promise for the future of Mississippi and the nation. In 2018 Julio received his Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a first-generation, gay, Mexican-American, Julio developed a passion for social justice, equal access to the law, and LGBTQ+ rights at an early age. In 2018, Julio was the first Mexican-American Senator elected to the Ole Miss Law Student Bar Association. He also served as a Staff Editor for the Mississippi Sports Law Journal, the Vice-President of Ole Miss’s OUTLaw Chapter, as a Student Clinician for the Mississippi Innocence Project, and as the 2020-21 Vice-Chair for the National Latina/o Law Student Association. Julio is an active member of the LGBT Bar Association and attended his first Lavender Law Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He continues to serve as a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and hopes to begin his public service career after taking the North Carolina Bar Exam this July.
Demetrius Williams is a rising 3L at Emory University School of Law. Being from a military family he was born in Germany, but is from Hinesville, GA. For undergrad, Demetrius attended Georgia State University where he studied the intersection of law and society, focusing on how marginalized groups are adversely affected not only by laws but societal norms at large. He had always served as a coach and mentor since his days as a tutor in elementary school but his passion to help others was sparked in undergrad while serving as an RA. Demetrius has carried this into law school via his involvement on campus taking on as many mentees as he can! While he is focusing his law school studies on the transactional/corporate route, Demetrius has been fortunate to serve as a research assistant for Professor Dorothy Brown applying a critical race theory lens to doctrinal law classes. Demetrius is honored to receive this recognition, and his hope in his legal career is to make things better for those coming up behind him.
Winner – Julio Cazares, University of Mississippi School of Law
First Runner-Up – Demetrius Williams, Emory University School of Law
Winner – Ian F. Tapu, University of Hawai’i
First Runner-Up – AK Shee, University of California, Los Angeles
Winners – Chan Tov McNamarah, Cornell Law School, and Candelario Saldana, University of Miami School of Law
Winners – Nicole Schladt and Faris Mohammed, Emory University School of Law
First Runner Up – Ashley Fasano, University of San Diego School of Law
Winner – Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis, Stanford Law School
First Runner-up – Andy Blevins, Willamette University
Second Runner-up – Beck Zucker, The George Washington University Law School
Winner – Joshua Treybig, Seattle University School of Law
Winner – Kathleen Cullum, Indiana University Maurer School of Law
Winner – Adam Grogan, Albany Law School
Winner –Paul Sautter-Walker, Albany Law School
Winner – Deborah Lolai, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Runner-up – Brenna Ragghianti, Elon University School of Law
Winner – Mieko Failey, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Runner-up – Elizabeth Dooley, Stanford Law School
Winner – Michelle Garcia, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Runner-up – Adam Chang, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Winner – Jason C. Beekman, Cornell Law School
Runner-up – Ashland Johnson, University of Georgia School of Law
Winner – C. Hays Burchfield, University of Mississippi
Runner-up – Danielle Hawkes, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law