Helen Tariku, a second-year student at William & Mary Law School, was honored on Saturday, April 15 as recipient of the 2023 Oliver W. Hill Scholarship. The announcement was made during Alumni Weekend at a reception for alumni and students hosted by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA).
Tariku is a 2021 graduate of William & Mary, where she majored in government and sociology with a concentration in criminology. This summer, she will be working as a summer associate at Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC in Fairfax, Virginia, and this fall she will serve as Editor-in-Chief of Volume 30 of the William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice.
Tariku’s law school activities are extensive and include serving as Tournament Counsel for the Executive Board, National Trial Team; Associate Chair of the Honor Council; Outreach and Events Coordinator and past 1L Representative of the Business Law Society; Past President of BLSA; staff member on the Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice; General Board Member, Public Service Fund; BARBRI Ambassador; Student Admissions Ambassador; and as a member of the Women’s Law Society and Criminal Law Society.
Last summer, after her 1L year, Tariku served as a summer associate at the Institute for Defense Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia. During those 11 weeks, she learned much about the various areas of the law and focusing on the legal analysis of national security issues.
Tariku was unable to be present to receive her Oliver Hill Scholarship Award as she was in Boston competing with the National Trial Team at the Harvard Crimson Cup tournament. BLSA Vice President Blair Page ’24 accepted the award in her absence.
“I am truly honored to have received this scholarship,” Tariku said. “Oliver Hill was such a monumental figure not only in the legal sphere but in Black history and I hope to be an emblem of his legacy throughout my career.”
Oliver W. Hill (1907-2007) was a Richmond, Va., civil rights attorney who spent his career fighting to end racial discrimination, arguing Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County, one of the five cases decided under Brown v. Board of Education. He was honored by President Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1999, and, in 2005, the NAACP honored him with the Spingarn Medal for outstanding achievement.
About William & Mary Law School
Legal education in a university setting began at William & Mary in 1779. Now in its third century, America's first law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.