SPRINGFIELD, MA (09/06/2021) Ariel R. Clemmer, director of the Western New England University School of Law Center for Social Justice, has been named a 2021 Emerging Women Leader in Law by the Women’s Bar Association (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,” said Clemmer. “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 Western New England 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 Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts President Heather Gamache.
The 2021 awardees will be celebrated and honored at the WBA’s annual Gala on October 25, 2021.
Western New England University (WNE) is a private, nationally ranked, comprehensive institution with a focus on preparing work-ready and world-ready graduates. Founded in 1919 in Springfield, Massachusetts as a division of Northeastern College, WNE’s 215-acre suburban campus serves more than 3,700 students, including over 2,500 full-time undergraduates. More than 47,000 alumni have earned degrees through its 90+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and School of Law. Students come from 39 U.S. states and territories and 23 countries. Of 44,486 living alumni, 30% remain within the region, residing in the four Western Massachusetts counties and northern Connecticut.
WNE is classified among nationally ranked universities in US News and World Report, and among the Top 100 Undergraduate Engineering programs, and in the Doctoral/Professional Universities category in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. WNE ranks fifth in the country and first in Massachusetts in job placements of its graduates.