Dugger, '22, and Tomlinson Dick, '22, Named NSBA Rise Award Recipients

26 Apr 2022    

Alan Dugger and Rachel Tomlinson Dick holding their awards

Alan Dugger, ’22, and Rachel Tomlinson Dick, ’22, have been named the Nebraska State Bar Association (NSBA) 2022 Rise Award Recipients. The Rise Award is given to a law student(s) from each of Nebraska’s law schools for the exemplary dedications to, and contributions in support of, programs sponsored by the Nebraska Lawyers Foundation throughout their law school career.

Dugger and Tomlinson Dick were both nominated by Professor Ryan Sullivan for their contributions to the Tenants Assistance Project (TAP).

Alan Dugger receiving an awardAlan Dugger has been an integral contributor to the TAP since its early stages in 2020 while completing his clerkship with the Lincoln Commission on Human Rights. During the 2020-21 school year, Alan covered eviction hearings and created eviction defense packets nearly every week, racking up hundreds of pro bono hours. In the summer of 2021, Alan took leave from his full-time clerkship several mornings per week in order to volunteer with TAP. He requested and obtained senior certification as soon as it was permissible so that he could contribute in a more advanced role at the courthouse. Recognizing these efforts, the NSBA Volunteer Lawyers Project awarded Alan with the Summer 2021 Outstanding Student Advocate Award. In the fall of 2021, Alan was one of the students to initiate the student chapter of the Tenant Assistance Project, where he helped to recruit other law students interested in volunteering with TAP and to coordinate presentations at the law school on topics related to housing justice. Within this organization, Alan served as TAP Courthouse Coordinator, training and mentoring new law student volunteers at the courthouse. Alan’s dedication and contributions to TAP culminated in his participation in the College of Law Civil Clinic, where he was selected to co-lead the Tenants’ Rights Project, a Clinic outreach project that supports numerous housing justice initiatives, including TAP.

Racehl Tomlinson Dick receiving an awardRachel Tomlinson Dick began working with the TAP as one of the first 2L volunteers recruited to assist with creating the eviction defense packets. Rachel also spent much of her holiday break in 2020 volunteering at the courthouse, and continued to volunteer at the courthouse whenever her class schedule permitted. Early in her TAP tenure she took on the role of recruiting, training, and mentoring other students to help with the creation of the packets, a position she still holds.  Through this role, she has created or reviewed eviction defense packets for no less than 500 cases. In fact, she handles the creation of the packets for every continued matter, sometimes up to 20 a week. Rachel was also a co-founder of the TAP Student Organization at the College of Law where her leadership has been invaluable.  In this role she helped to coordinate several TAP and housing justice presentations at the law school, and recruit over 20 first- and second-year law students to volunteer with TAP.  Last fall she continued her work with TAP by wearing many hats: as a student in the Civil Clinic, often covering multiple shifts a week at the courthouse; serving as the eviction defense packet coordinator for the TAP student organization; taking point in creating all of the weekly hearing lists, handling EDPs for all continued cases, and making eviction defense packet assignments; leading several presentations on TAP at the College of Law, at main campus for undergraduate students, and to the community; and conducting in-depth research into Nebraska’s housing laws and helping to draft proposals to improve them. Rachel was recognized for her efforts by the NSBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, who awarded her the Fall 2021 Outstanding Student Advocate Award.  This spring, Rachel was hired as a teaching assistant in the Civil Clinic where she leads the TAP component of the curriculum, training and mentoring her peers as they become acquainted with the TAP program, and coordinating eviction defense packets and courthouse assignments.