National Jurist and PreLaw Magazines today released the names of the 2022 Law Student of the Year honorees, featuring New England Law | Boston student Agnes Kolbeck.
The complete issue is available to view online at https://bit.ly/NJspring2022.
Agnes Kolbeck is a third-year law student specializing in tax and litigation. She is a Phi Alpha Delta Society Scholar, a Sandra Day O’Connor Honors Scholar, a Charles Hamilton Houston Enrichment Program Honors Scholar, and has earned Dean’s List recognition every eligible semester of her law school career. She also recently received a CALI Excellence for the Future Award for earning the highest grade in one of her classes.
Kolbeck’s academic excellence is matched only by her passion for justice. She says she seeks “to inspire other students who share [her] identity – particularly first-generation law students of color – to see their power and motivate them to excel academically and give back to their communities.”
“Growing up, I was surrounded by polarities. I was raised in both Belize and the south side of Chicago and had the privilege of attending private school in the suburbs. I witnessed the struggles of those from my communities as they tried to make the best of their lives. Despite being surrounded by gang violence, teen pregnancy, and poverty, the families that I knew strived for greatness. Seeing these polarities and injustices lit a fire in me to become a person who has the information, and to relay it back to my communities. I sought to balance inequities and advocate on behalf of those who do not have the capacity to do it themselves. To me, legal education is a privilege and comes with a responsibility to pass on knowledge to those who are most in need.”
Admired and respected by her peers and professors, Kolbeck holds leadership roles in multiple student organizations including the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and the First Generation Students Program. This year, she helped form BLSA’s first-ever Thurgood Marshall Moot Court Team, which completed four arguments and made it to the Elite Eight round of competition. As Program Manager of the First-Gen Program, she has helped students prepare for and find internships by assisting with applications and conducting mock interviews. Kolbeck has also lent her voice to the Student Bar Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and Mental Health and Wellness Committee to support students in need.
“When I heard the news that Agnes Kolbeck was named a top law student of the year, I was absolutely thrilled, but I can’t say I was at all surprised,” said Dean Lisa Freudenheim. “She is universally known among peers, faculty, and staff as an extremely dedicated, driven, and inspiring student. Her positivity is infectious. She is always willing to offer assistance, whether it’s doing research for an academic center or speaking with prospective students about her law school experience. All of us here at New England Law are incredibly proud of Agnes and so glad she’s been given this deserved recognition.”
In her first year at New England Law, Kolbeck volunteered with the school’s CORI Initiative under the Center for Law and Social Responsibility, as well as the Volunteer Lawyers Project, completing enough hours to make the Massachusetts Pro Bono Honor Roll. She has also completed extensive research for the Center for International Law and Policy tracking reparations and transitional justice initiatives around the country in response to the murder of George Floyd.
Outside of New England Law, Kolbeck has demonstrated her potential in the legal field by working as a judicial intern for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in the summer and fall of her 2L year. At the same time, she was an Intellectual Property and Trademark Law Practicum Student at Sunstein LLP. This past summer, she interned for the Federal Tax Clinic at Harvard University where she advocated on behalf of low-income taxpayers and appeared in Federal Court. Kolbeck has secured a post-graduate judicial clerkship with Associate Justice Mary Thomas Sullivan at the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
Learn more about each of this year’s honorees at https://bit.ly/NJspring2022.