Published on: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
University of St. Thomas School of Law 3L Melissa Martinez is a recipient of the Minnesota Justice Foundation 2013 Outstanding Service Award.
Martinez, of Anoka, has volunteered as a certified student attorney with the 10th Judicial District Public Defender’s Office for more than a year, helping thousands of underrepresented individuals charged with crimes and serving as an advocate and legal advisor to many who don’t have the financial ability to hire representation. In her hundreds of volunteer hours, Martinez has represented clients at custody arraignments, pretrial hearings, jury trials and probation revocation hearings.
“Ms. Martinez is a fantastic legal advocate for the clients she represents, and she fights hard to ensure that those clients are treated fairly under the law,” Shawn Webb, assistant public defender with the 10th Judicial District, wrote in Martinez’s nomination letter. “In my 11 years with the Public Defender’s Office and five years of directly supervising the student attorneys for my office, I have never been more impressed by a student nor have I had one be more committed to public service than Melissa Martinez.”
Martinez will be honored Nov. 13 by the Minnesota Justice Foundation during the organization’s anniversary celebration.