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LSC’s Toby Merrill and Nnena Odim were among the 2020 honorees of the Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit, which showcased the astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law and policy. The honorees—each of whom were nominated by HLS students, faculty or staff—are powerful voices in their respective fields, whether they are sitting on a high court bench, standing in front of a classroom, or marching in the streets. View the full list of honorees here.


toby merrillToby Merrill, JD’11, Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, is a visionary public interest advocate. She is the Founder and Director of the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School. Under Merrill’s inspiring leadership, the Project has shaped the field and become the preeminent advocate for low-income students who have been defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges. Individual clients are eager to put their trust in Merrill because they can see in her genuine compassion and humility combined with unparalleled expertise and talent. Through trailblazing litigation strategies that have produced national headlines, Merrill and her colleagues in the Project combat the massive fraud perpetrated against students and taxpayers by for-profit colleges and oppose the government policies that enable the predatory industry to cheat students. Moreover, Merrill is an inspiring clinical teacher. She has trained and mentored a new generation of consumer law advocates who are carrying forward the torch of public interest advocacy.


Nnena Odim is an attorney, teacher, mediator, trainer, and consultant. Odim began her career at Harvard Law School in 1997 in the Law School’s first-in-the-nation AIDS Law Clinic. Today she leads the Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic at The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, which is a critical resource to victims of domestic violence, most of whom are people of color and many of whom are immigrants, and a phenomenal learning experience for countless students. In addition to her contributions as a community advocate through the Clinics, Odim has worked with the Harvard Mediation Program and Harvard Program on Negotiation to provide training for students and various community members. Odim also designed and led numerous conflict management training programs for several businesses and agencies, including Coca Cola Enterprises, the Boston Public Schools, and the Massachusetts Housing Authority. In 2013, Odim was a Top Women in the Law award recipient from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. In 2015, she received the Harvard Law School Dean’s Award for Excellence.
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