2022 Professional Student Recipient
Amanda Joos is a second-year student in the Duke University School of Law, expected to earn her Juris Doctor in May of 2023. Amanda has distinguished herself to her peers, professors, and the North Carolina community in the dimensions of selflessness, generosity of service, character and integrity.
Amanda was nominated by eight individuals including professors, classmates, and program advisors. All emphasized her tremendous spirit for service and goodwill. In a joint letter from the leadership of the Duke School of Law’s Pro Bono program and Civil Justice Clinic, the authors wrote:
Amanda is always generous, kind, professional, and a pleasure to be around. We often feel like we have an additional co-worker ready to jump in to help the team whenever it is needed. It is not every year that we have a student like Amanda, one who makes us wonder how we will keep things going when they graduate.
Her program advisor, Jennifer Caplan, and her classmate, Sydney Engle, wrote of Amanda’s enduring faith that moved her in service to others. When asked why she had dedicated over 400 hours of pro bono and clinic work, above and beyond her peers, Amanda referenced Acts 20:35 (New King James Version): “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Amanda earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Clarion University, near her hometown in Pennsylvania. She then earned a Master of Arts Management, after which she worked as the Orchestra Manager for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Herself a trained opera singer, Amanda spent four years managing the 62 musicians of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra. The heavy labor negotiations of this role would later influence Amanda’s interest in labor law. Growing up, Amanda was invested in her faith and throughout her formative years remained a dedicated member of the Northmont Presbyterian Church. While steeped in a culture of service and support, Amanda and her family also experienced financial hardship. It is this relationship with service and the firsthand experience of hardship that inspired Amanda to pay generosity forward, in gratitude— not just as a choice, but as a calling and a duty.
Amanda has participated in four separate pro bono and clinic projects at Duke. She is coDirector of the Duke Veterans Assistance Project where she volunteers and trains others to help veterans gain access to benefits. In the Duke Fair Chance Project, she helps residents with previous convictions gain pathways toward employment and housing. Her monumental work in the Duke Civil Justice Clinic included serving as the Eviction Advice Clinic Coordinator and managing over 60 student volunteers during the critical mass of eviction filings at the end of COVID-era eviction moratoriums. She also finds time to assist low-income North Carolinians with estate planning and advance directives through the Duke Health Care Planning Project. The summer of her first year in law school, concurrent with her pro bono and clinic efforts, Amanda completed a full-time internship advising the National Labor Relations Board on labor organizing votes. Amanda passionately volunteered these legal services on top of her demanding law school commitments.
This is only a window into all that her nominators wrote about Amanda. For her steadfast spirituality, persistent concern for others, tireless devotion to service, and demonstrable integrity and character, Duke is proud to name Amanda Joos as the professional student recipient of the 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.