Award to be presented to Diana Comes at luncheon ceremony
NASHVILLE, Jan. 15, 2010 — Diana Comes, a student at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphries School of Law, will be honored with the state's top award for law student pro bono work at the Tennessee Bar Association's annual public service luncheon this Saturday. Held each year as part of the association's Leadership Conference, the luncheon features award winners in several categories and a keynote address by former ABA President Robert Grey.
Comes receives the Law Student Volunteer of the Year Award for her outstanding work last summer with Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS). As a first year law student, Comes provided 280 volunteer hours and worked on a range of cases including a grandmother seeking custody of her granddaughter and mother seeking to provide care to her wheel-chair bound daughter on TennCare. Reflecting on her experience, Comes said, "After a year of legal theory, it was wonderful to put what I had learned into practice, and to feel that my legal degree had the potential to make a difference."
Originally from the Sarasota-Bradenton area of Florida, Comes attended Rhodes College and now calls Memphis her "adopted home." She became interested in law school after volunteering in the area of women's advocacy as a student. While at Rhodes she also helped found a student-staffed peer sexual assault crisis hotline. She later volunteered with the Community Legal Center in Memphis where she met Linda Warren Seely, who is MALS pro bono director. Seely recruited Comes to work for MALS, which led to last summer's internship. Seely was so impressed with her work that she nominated Comes for the law student volunteer award.
The law student award is given annually to a Tennessee law school student who performs outstanding volunteer service working with an organization that provides legal representation to the poor.
A headshot of Comes is available on request.