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Three Recent Alum Receive Pro Bono Distinction Award

The Philadelphia Bar Association recently recognized Steve Bertil ’16, Azadeh Erfani ’16 and Rachel Silver ’16 with the 2016 Eve Biskind Klothen Law Student Pro Bono Distinction Award—given to students from area law schools for their outstanding pro bono and public interest work during law school. Bertil, Erfani and Silver devoted hours of their time to pro bono legal work through Villanova Law’s in-house clinics, student organizations and externship placements.

Bertil, a Public Interest Scholar, served as co-president of the Pro Bono Society and co-director of the Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP). He was active in Villanova Law’s Interdisciplinary Mental and Physical Health Law Clinic and had an externship at the Medical Legal Community Partnership in Philadelphia. Bertil also performed pro bono service at Face to Face Legal Clinic and New York Legal Assistance Group.

Erfani, also a Public Interest Scholar, served as president of the Immigration Law Society and the National Lawyers Guild at Villanova Law. She completed an externship at Friends of Farmworkers, where she represented victims of labor trafficking, and she has advocated for immigrants through her work with HIAS Pennsylvania and at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.

Silver helped win asylum for a 14-year-old girl while working in Villanova Law’s Clinic for Asylum, Refugee and Emigrant Services (CARES). She is a member of the Philadelphia Bar Association Immigration Law Committee and is active in national immigration groups. Silver has worked at HIAS Pennsylvania and performed pro bono service for the ACLU and Wills for Heroes.

Click here to learn more about Villanova Law’s pro bono and public service opportunities.