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UH Law Center student Nurain Ali wins national Susman Godfrey Prize

University of Houston Law Center student Nurain Ali

University of Houston Law Center student Nurain Ali

June 05, 2023 — University of Houston Law Center 1L Nurain Ali has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Susman Godfrey Prize. Nominated by professors, Ali was recognized for her leadership capabilities of integrity, perseverance and diligence fashioned by unique trials.

“She is determined to be a leader in the legal profession,” Meredith Duncan, Alumnae College Professor of Law and Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Metropolitan Programs, said. “Her work ethic and dedication to her law school studies consistently demonstrate her will to succeed.”

The daughter of emigrants from India, Ali was evaluated for the award based on her resume, transcript and letters of recommendation. After varied application stages and a virtual interview with lawyers from the national boutique litigation firm, she was selected as a winner and presented with $3,000 and the opportunity to participate in a summer clerkship in any Susman Godfrey office.

“I was humbled and excited to learn I had received the Susman Godfrey award,” Ali said. “The award is a testament to all of my hard work, and as a first-generation law student, it is nice to know that I am not only on the right track but excelling.”

Established in 2020, the award recognizes the academic merit and outstanding performance of 12 law students of color annually. It targets growing and maintaining diversity in civil trial litigation, with 2023 Susman Godfrey winners chosen from colleges such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and Colombia.

“The prize is given to people who are diverse, which is growing in importance in this field,” Ali said. “It says that I must be doing something right, marking this as a moment of achievement because I didn’t have anyone in my family that I could watch to guide me here, and it is a moment of gratitude for UH Law Center and Professor Duncan for the opportunity presented.”

Ali is a member of the Student Advisory Committee for the Career Development Office, the First-generation Law Student Society, the Energy and Environmental Law Student Society and the 1L Section Representative of the Student Bar Association.

“Law school is a really long journey, and grades are not the only markers of success,” Ali said. “Things such as the Susman Godfrey award are also indicative of success. It is a testament to what I am doing, the connections I am building, and how I am excelling outside of my grades.” 

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