Law Student of the Year: Angelique Ryan, Elon University

Elon Law third-year Angelique Ryan has combined pro bono work with travel to represent clients with great legal needs.

“During her tenure as a student at Elon, Ms. Ryan has undertaken remarkable efforts to ensure access to justice by those in need, including civilly detained women and children, noncitizen criminal defendants, refugees, and indigent defendants in the criminal courts,” said Assistant Professor Heather Scavone, director of Elon Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic.

In March 2015, Ryan led a group of six Elon Law students on an alternative Spring Break trip from Greensboro, North Carolina to south Texas to provide pro bono legal representation for immigrant women and children detained indefinitely in harsh conditions in Karnes Detention Center.

Ryan also designed an interdisciplinary winter-term study abroad opportunity in order to advocate on behalf of one of Elon Law’s Humanitarian Immigration Law Clinic clients by representing him at a visa interview with the U.S. State Department in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ryan worked with the individual’s mother, in Raleigh, North Carolina, and drafted a memorandum of law arguing in favor of family reunification between the individual — a refugee from Somalia — and his mother, whom he had been separated from for thirteen years due to the civil war in Somalia.

Ryan also serves as vice president of the Innocence Project and president of the Elon Law Democrats student organization. Her experience includes externships at Alamance County and Guilford County Public Defender’s Offices. She has served as an intern at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

Ryan is one of 25 future lawyers honored in the National Jurist’s inaugural “Law Student of the Year” feature.