Florida State University Law Professor Wins National Award

Paolo Annino
Posted at 2:30 PM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 14:30:00-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A law professor at Florida State has been awarded for his longstanding commitment to helping low-income clients get their legal needs met.

Florida State University College of Law Professor Paolo Annino has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Father Robert Drinan Award.

This prestigious national award is presented by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities to a faculty member or administrator whose public service work is "truly extraordinary."

“Father Robert Drinan is a long time hero of mine who never stopped fighting for the needy in our nation and around the world,” said Annino. “I am very fortunate to work with brilliant, hard-working public interest FSU law students and to have the support of the FSU College of Law and The Florida Bar Foundation to help children in our community. I am humbled to receive the Father Drinan award on behalf of my students and the children we represent.”

Annino, the Glass Professor of Public Interest Law, has focused most of his pro bono work on children. He has served as director of the Children’s Advocacy Clinic at the College of Law Public Interest Law Center since 1995 and was previously a legal services attorney and a public defender. 

He also created the Children in Prison Project in response to the wave of Florida children being swept into the adult criminal system and the Health Care Access Project to advocate for fragile children and developmentally delayed children.

More recently, Annino created a project at the clinic to provide legal support to pro bono attorneys and public defenders on juvenile life without parole cases.

“Paolo’s creative advocacy on behalf of children is just one of the reasons he is so deserving of this prestigious honor,” said FSU College of Law Dean Erin O’Connor. “He also helps instill the ethic of pro bono service in his students by inspiring them to continue working on behalf of the public good after graduation.”

The award will be presented to Annino at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco on January 4, 2017.