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Ariel Clemmer Named 2021 Emerging Women Leader by Women’s Bar Assoc.

SPRINGFIELD — Ariel Clemmer, director of the Western New England University School of Law Center for Social Justice, was named a 2021 Emerging Women Leader in Law by the Women’s Bar Assoc. (WBA). The award honors women attorneys who have demonstrated professional excellence or had a significant professional achievement in their first 12 years in the legal profession, and promote the status of women in the legal profession or contribute meaningfully to the equal participation of women in a just society.

“I am so honored to receive this WBA award and recognition,” Clemmer said. “Directing the WNE Center for Social Justice has been a dream come true. I’m tremendously grateful to engage in such rewarding work every day alongside my team, the community we serve, and our passionate students, faculty, volunteers, and partners.”

The university’s Center for Social Justice works toward advancing social justice through research, advocacy, education, innovation, and public engagement. It is designed to strengthen collaborative efforts between the School of Law and the region to work toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive society.

“The center has grown tremendously under Ariel’s leadership. Its cutting-edge Consumer Debt Initiative engages in important economic and racial-justice work in Springfield, and its Sealing and Expungement initiatives are part of essential criminal-justice reform activism that is long overdue,” said Western New England University School of Law Dean Sudha Setty.

In addition to providing these crucial services to the community, the center has conducted Know Your Rights trainings, provided financial support for initiatives that seek to measure and mitigate the legal fallout from COVID-19, and hosted nationally recognized speakers like Evan Wolfson, the legal architect of the marriage-equality movement.

Clemmer is among six to receive this prestigious award. “This year’s group of Emerging Women Leaders is exceptional in their talent and their accomplishments thus far in their careers,” said Heather Gamache, president of the Women’s Bar Assoc. of Massachusetts.

The 2021 awardees will be celebrated and honored at the WBA’s annual gala on Monday, Oct. 25.

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