May 10, 2011
The Tulane 34 Award, presented annually to the 34 graduates who best exemplify leadership, service, and academic excellence, this year is recognizing five Tulane University Law School graduates. Named for the year in which the university was founded, 1834, the award is among the most coveted university-wide honors bestowed upon students.
“This impressive showing is a great credit to the Law School and, above all, to the extraordinary individuals who have earned this recognition,” said Tulane Law School Dean David Meyer.
Among the 2011 “Tulane 34” honorees who have distinguished themselves throughout the collegiate life are law graduates Ian Furman, Brian London, Tyler Maulsby, Emma Rebhorn, and Nadja Tilstra. All five law students, along with the 29 other award recipients, will be honored at a campus ceremony Wednesday (May 11) evening.
A glimpse of the accomplishments and contributions of these remarkable students follows.
Ian Michael Furman
Ian Furman, a graduating joint degree student in law and business, has received several academic honors, including the law school Dean’s Scholarship and selection as a 2008-2009 Jones Scholar. Further evidencing his academic excellence, Furman graded onto the prestigious Tulane Moot Court Board, serving as chair of the John R. Brown Admiralty Competition and later as co-chair of the Inter-American Sustainable Development Law Moot Court Competition. Energetically committed to community service, Furman has volunteered with the Pro Bono Project of New Orleans, the Children’s Bureau in New Orleans, Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, and the Louisiana State Bar Association’s Access to Justice Program. Before entering law school, Furman’s passion for education led him to Teach For America, where he taught math in a New Orleans East high school just as Hurricane Katrina struck and forced the school’s closing.
Upon learning he was one of this year’s Tulane 34, Furman says he felt both honored and humbled.
“One of the important factors that influenced my initial decision to come to Tulane was the university’s commitment to service,” Furman stated. “Having spent time in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina doing Teach For America, I was also motivated by the opportunity to give back to a great American city. As I move now into my professional life, I look forward to continuing to represent Tulane proudly through pro bono work and community service to others.”
William Brian London
W. Brian London’s academic achievement has earned him numerous awards and honors, including the Rufus C. Harris Award, the Joseph Modeste Sweeney Award, the Liskow & Lewis Scholarship, as well as others for obtaining the highest grades in multiple classes. As a 2010-2011 Senior Board Member of the Tulane Law Review, London is responsible for guiding and mentoring students who author articles, as well as executing two competitions to determine which student articles to publish in the law review. A volunteer for research of children’s cancer, the third-year law student also has devoted numerous hours to Tulane’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) and Tulane’s Legal Assistance Program (TULAP).
Working more than 800 hours of pro bono service through organizations including the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, the Orleans Public Defenders Office, the Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana, and the Bronx Defenders, Tyler Maulsby’s energetic and tireless example of service to the community has inspired many students to follow his lead. Just to name a few of his many initiatives, Maulsby is one of several founders of the non-profit organization Community, which aims to change the vision of community service from obligation to opportunity, as well as ALLIES, a program designed to provide more substantive resources to inmate counsel in Angola’s law library. Maulsby also serves as chair of the 2010-2011 Tulane Moot Court Interschool Trial Program, leading six student trial teams on the national competition circuit.
“I’m truly honored to receive such a distinction and I can’t tell you how proud I am to be standing in the company of such extraordinary people,” said Maulsby. “I came to law school because I believed that the best way I could make an impact was to become a lawyer and advocate for people who wouldn't otherwise have a voice. This award inspires me to continue on this path and will be a constant reminder that even the smallest things can have a tremendous impact.”
Emma Rebhorn’s passion to provide representation for indigent defendants has led her to volunteer tirelessly with the Orleans Public Defenders Office. As co-chair of Street Law, a Tulane law program that educates high school and vocational program students about practical aspects of the law and the legal system, Rebhorn has volunteered countless hours in training law students how to effectively communicate the law to young people who previously had been aware only of its punitive aspect and in going into the schools in the community to communicate this important information. Rebhorn also is treasurer of the Public Interest Law Foundation and chapter president of the Tulane National Lawyers Guild.
Nadja E. Tilstra
A graduating law student from Reistertstown, MD, and recipient of the Cullen R. Liskow Scholarship, Nadja Tilstra’s international volunteer efforts have brought light to Cairo, Egypt; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and Cape Town, South Africa. Her dedication to service also extends to the local community with her work through the Tulane Domestic Violence Clinic, Innocence Project New Orleans, and the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center. Further, Tilstra volunteers at NO/Aids Task Force and Habitat for Humanity. Holding the executive board position of PILF (Public Interest Law Foundation) Auction Chair, Tilstra also is the managing editor of the Tulane Law Review, and a member of the International Law Society and National Lawyers Guild.