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Elon Law student selected for inaugural ABA committee

Abigail Seymour L'17 is one of a select group of law students from across the nation invited to join the American Bar Association's new Civil Rights and Social Justice Law Student Committee.

Abigail Seymour L'17

An Elon University School of Law student with a passion for immigration law and criminal defense has been named a member of the American Bar Association’s inaugural Civil Rights and Social Justice Law Student Committee.

In her new role starting this summer with the ABA section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, Abigail Seymour L’17 will work with some of the nation’s preeminent attorneys and legal minds on issues affecting the most vulnerable people in the United States.

The committee will initiate projects that “have a substantial impact on society” while bringing attention to issues it believes the section should address. Members also will have the opportunity to continue their efforts with the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice following graduation.

“Applying to the committee felt right to me for the kind of law I want to practice and the things that interest me the most,” said Seymour, whose particular committee focus will be on immigration law. “We’ll have an opportunity to do a lot of really good social justice work.”

Upon graduation next year and passing the bar exam, Seymour will be the seventh attorney in her family over the past four generations - including her grandfather, Whitney North Seymour, who served as president of the American Bar Association in the 1950s and argued several cases before the United States Supreme Court.

Today, inspired by her own experience adopting a son from Guatemala, Seymour has made immigration law a cornerstone of her legal education. She has worked with Elon Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic, and she has interned for the Guilford County Public Defender’s Office and the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina.

"Throughout her time at Elon, Abigail has prioritized social justice as the focus of her student organization involvement and many service activities,” said Assistant Professor Heather Scavone, director of the Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic. “She was instrumental last year in organizing an advocacy trip to represent civilly detained immigrant women and children in Karnes, Texas, with claims for immigration relief such as asylum and withholding of removal. Abigail also served last summer as an Immigrant Justice Fellow in Elon Law's Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic where she represented eligible individuals with requests for deferred action pursuant to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

“Abigail will undoubtedly make a meaningful contribution in service to the ABA via her participation in the Civil Rights and Social Justice Section."

Seymour is an Oaks Scholarship recipient and has won several Elon Law accolades, including Best Overall Performance Award in Legal Writing and Communications and the Best Client Presentation Award for Public Law & Leadership. She’s been active with the Elon Law Democrats, the Pro Bono Board and the Women’s Law Association, among other activities.

“We really wanted to find students who were passionate about making change in our society and making a difference,” said Andrew Rhoden, a student board member of the American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights & Social Justice and a driving force behind the creation of the law student committee. “There aren’t that many civil right attorneys out there and these are future leaders in our profession.”



Eric Townsend,
5/6/2016 8:40 AM