Sean Riddell wins social justice scholarship

Sean Riddell, who graduated Monday, May 16, from Wayne State University Law School, was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veterans Scholarship in recognition of his work promoting social justice.

The award is presented each year to WSU undergraduate and graduate students who best exemplify the values of the university's students who fought fascism in Spain in the 1930s. This is the 33rd year the scholarships have been given.

Recipients will be honored Friday, June 17. Riddell will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Riddell of Detroit was a leader and active participant in numerous organizations while a student at Wayne Law. He was elected co-facilitator of Wayne Law's chapter of the National Lawyers Guild in his first and second years of law school. The National Lawyers Guild is a bar association dedicated to protecting human rights and civil liberties.

Under his leadership, students involved in the guild have consistently advocated for a more inclusive community. As a second-year student, he was the lead organizer for the guild's Mideast Regional Conference, which featured 10 speaker panels, including topics such as the Detroit housing crisis, the school-to-prison pipeline and emergency management.

In February, Riddell was honored as an Outstanding Law Student of the Year by the National Lawyers Guild Detroit and Michigan Chapter.

Through the Keith Center Students for Civil Rights, Riddell was involved in hosting high school students from metro Detroit at the law school to discuss ways in which the high school students can positively affect their communities.

He served as director of The Journal of Law in Society's 2016 symposium, "A Tribute to Professor Emeritus Edward J. Littlejohn and His Work with Race, Racism, and the Law," in March.

Additionally, Riddell has been active in the American Civil Liberties Union and the Wayne Law Team, a group of students who researched issues for the DeBoer v. Snyder marriage equality litigation team.

For the past year, Riddell worked part time for the civil rights law firm of Goodman & Hurwitz PC in Detroit. He will be working for the legal aid organization Counsel & Advocacy Law Line in Southfield after taking the bar examination.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2009 with a major in American culture and minors in music and history.

Published: Mon, May 23, 2016