Reena Naik LAW ’21 was honored as the winner of the 2021 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Writing Competition at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s annual meeting, held on December 13, 2021. Her paper, “High Evidentiary Burdens and Challenges to Obtaining Evidence for Immigrants Facing Deportation,” was supervised by Professor Susan DeJarnatt. It will be published by the bar association in a forthcoming issue of Philadelphia Lawyer.

“I’m delighted, but not surprised, by Reena’s success in this competition,” DeJarnatt said. “Her paper was exceptionally well-written, offered a strong legal analysis, and demonstrated fluency in a complex area of the law.”

Naik said she was motivated to write the paper by her experiences in an independent practicum with the Tahirih Justice Center. “I saw firsthand how difficult it was for immigrants to collect documents from their native countries. I wanted to explore this topic more in depth and research possible solutions,” she remarked.

The paper, written for Professor DeJarnatt’s Introduction to Public Interest seminar, was the perfect opportunity. “Professor DeJarnatt has been tremendously supportive of my interest in immigration law since I was a 1L and I am truly thankful for her mentorship,” Naik said. “This paper explores the specific challenges immigrants face in collecting evidence for their relief claims. It also offers potential solutions to this issue such as increasing representation in court and creating a database of volunteer expert witnesses.”

DeJarnatt noted that Naik is the 14th Temple Law student to win the Ruth Bader Ginsburg competition in the 19 years it’s been offered, a testament to Temple’s historically strong Legal Research and Writing program but also to Temple Law students’ grit and determination. “Temple’s Legal Research and Writing program sets students up for success by building a strong foundation,” she said. “It also helps that our curriculum offers so many opportunities for them to explore their legal interests and passions. But really, it’s our students who push themselves to grow as legal writers and thinkers, who deserve the recognition. I’m delighted for Reena, and for each of the past winners who got to see their hard work pay off.”

Temple’s Legal Writing program is currently ranked 7th nationally by US News and World Report.