Spencer R. Butcher

Spencer Butcher

JD, 2020



The Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Student Award

This award is sponsored by the Clinical Legal Education Association to honor a student or students who, in the judgment of the faculty, has excelled above others in a clinical course. The winner this year, Spencer Butcher, will receive a certificate from CLEA. Spencer earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from Santa Clara University.  

Faculty said: “Spencer brought with him to the Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Services Clinic a passion for criminal defense work and he excelled in every aspect of his clinic work during a particularly challenging year. During the fall semester, Spencer was assigned to work as co-counsel on a case which ordinarily would have entailed a secondary role. The case presented a difficult set of facts regarding a claim of sexual assault among acquaintances and a challenging series of five legal issues. Midway through the semester, he was required to step into the lead counsel role. Spencer took over and conducted the client representation and briefing process on his own - a first in the clinic. His work was outstanding across the board, but he particularly stood out during the preparation and mooting for his oral argument, where he developed a cutting argument style while maintaining his genuine warm demeanor. After navigating all the difficulties with his case, the student's oral argument was canceled at the final hour because of the COVID-19 outbreak. As he had done all year, Spencer expressed no personal frustration at this disappointment but rather continued to show only dedication and commitment for his client.”