Student Leadership Award

The National LGBT Bar Association’s Student Leadership Award is the organization’s highest honor for law students. The award recognizes a law student who has demonstrated leadership within their school and in the surrounding community, especially in the area of LGBTQ+ equality. The winner will be awarded with free registration for the 2019 Annual Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair where they will be officially recognized and a congratulatory plaque.

The LGBT Bar is delighted to announce that our 2019 Student Leadership Awardees are Chan Tov McNamarahCornell Law School, and Candelario SaldanaUniversity of Miami School of Law.

Chan Tov McNamarah is a 2019 graduate of Cornell Law School, from Kingston, Jamaica. At Cornell, Chan Tov served on the Cornell Law Review, Cornell International Law Journal, and the Moot Court Board. He is also a monthly contributing writer for the LGBT Bar Association’ of New York’s LGBT Law Notes. Before law school, he received his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College. This fall, Chan Tov will begin his legal career at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s New York office. While in law school, Chan Tov devoted his time to writing on topics including Title IX protections for queer youth, the effect of LGB identity on judicial decision-making, as well as how prejudice against sexual minorities affects trials. His writing has been published or is forthcoming in the Cornell Law Review, Cornell International Law Journal, and the Dukeminier Awards Journal. The Cornell Law faculty awarded his forthcoming Law Review Note, On the Basis of Sex(ual Orientation and Gender Identity): Bringing Queer Equity to School with Title IX, the Herbert R. Reif Prize — granted to the student Note best exemplifying “skillful and lucid use of the English language in writing about the law.” In addition, a paper of his on anti-queer bias amongst jurors won the Williams Institute’s Jeffrey S. Haber Prize, annually granted to the best student writing on sexual orientation and gender identity law. In his spare time Chan Tov enjoys fly-fishing and cooking Jamaican cuisine.

Candelario Saldana graduated from the University of Utah with B.A. degrees in Political Science and Gender Studies. While at Utah, he held several leadership roles within the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center. As Campus AIDS Project Director at Utah, he designed and implemented awareness campaigns, organized speaker events, and oversaw successful fundraising efforts. He also served on the Executive Board for the LGBTQ organization on campus. He recently graduated from the University of Miami School of Law. He graduated Cum Laude, received the Outstanding Graduate Student Award at the University of Miami’s Lavender Celebration, received honors for his pro bono work during law school, and received the Outstanding 3L Hope Community Service Challenge Award for having the highest community service hours in his class (an award he also received is 1L year). During his time at Miami Law, Candelario participated in an alternative spring break program at the Mississippi Center for Justice in Jackson, working on immigration and food stamp issues. During his 1L summer, he was a legal intern at New York Legal Aid’s Immigration Unit, working with unaccompanied minors. As a second year, he participated in the Immigration Clinic and served on the Race and Social Justice Law Review, International Moot Court, and as Social Chair of OUTLaw. He was awarded runner-up in the Michael Greenberg Writing Competition for his case note on the effects that Trump’s decision to end DACA has on LGBTQ+ dreamers. As a third-year law student, he was the President of OUTLaw, a Fellow for the Immigration Clinic, and served on the Race & Social Justice Law Review. As President of OUTLaw Candelario helped establish a fund at the school to continue supporting other LGBTQ+ and ally students in attending Lavender Law. He successfully raised over $10,000 during the last 2 months of his time at Miami Law. Candelario also served on the National LGBT Bar Association’s Student Congress as Vice Chair for the Florida and Puerto Rico Region. Candelario will be joining Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in their Capital Markets group in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Previous Awards:

  • 2019

    Winners – Chan Tov McNamarah, Cornell Law School, and Candelario Saldana, University of Miami School of Law

  • 2018

    Winners – Nicole Schladt and Faris MohammedEmory University School of Law
    First Runner Up – Ashley Fasano, University of San Diego School of Law

  • 2017

    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

  • 2016

    Winner – Joshua Treybig, Seattle University School of Law
    Winner – Kathleen Cullum, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

  • 2015

    Winner – Adam Grogan, Albany Law School
    Winner –Paul Sautter-Walker, Albany Law School

  • 2014

    Winner – Deborah Lolai, Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
    Runner-up – Brenna Ragghianti, Elon University School of Law

  • 2013

    Winner – Mieko Failey, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
    Runner-up – Elizabeth Dooley, Stanford Law School

  • 2012

    Winner – Michelle Garcia, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
    Runner-up – Adam Chang, University of Hawaii, Manoa

  • 2011

    Winner – Jason C. Beekman, Cornell Law School
    Runner-up – Ashland Johnson, University of Georgia School of Law

  • 2010

    Winner – C. Hays Burchfield, University of Mississippi
    Runner-up – Danielle Hawkes, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law