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TJSL Honored at Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association Awards Dinner

November 16, 2010


It was a proud evening for Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

The Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association (EBGBA) held its 34th annual Awards Dinner on November 6th at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla and several TJSL attendees were honored at the event.

TJSL alumna Valoree Wortham ’93 was installed as the new president of EBGBA, which is named in honor of the former TJSL adjunct professor who became the first African-American Superior Court judge in San Diego, as well as being the first African-American United States district judge in San Diego.

TJSL Admissions Director Michelle Allison was honored with The President’s Distinguished Service Award for Service to EBGBA for her participation on the Committee for the Neighborhood Law School.

The Neighborhood Law School, which Allison helped organize and publicize, was a free 6-week program offering weekly workshops on various legal issues important to the general community. The workshops included Credit Clean Up / Consumer Law, Immigration Law, Employment Law / Workers’ Compensation, Search and Seizure, Landlord / Tenant, Legal Clinic and Loan Modification.

“Nearly 100 community members attended the workshops and more than 15 lawyers participated in the program,” said Allison.

Also honored with the Distinguished Service Award for her participation on the Committee was Grace Ajunwa-Dumas Usiyan, a 1987 TJSL graduate.

Teresa Watts, a third-year TJSL student, was awarded The Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps Scholarship, based on academic excellence and a commitment to community and public service.

“I am grateful to have received the scholarship,” said Watts. “I have been actively involved in the San Diego community since coming to law school. I served because I enjoyed it and because it is necessary. Never did I expect to receive a reward because of it. “

Photographs of Wortham, Ajunwa-Dumas Usiyan and Watts by Khari Johnson for the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association