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SULC student Crystal Etue named a Finalist for the Brown Award for Excellence in Legal Writing

Crystal Etue, a part-time, evening student, was named a finalist for the 23rd annual Brown Award. The Judge John R. Brown Scholarship Foundation awards five prizes in recognition of “Excellence in Legal Writing in American Law Schools.” Crystal is the first SULC student to be named a finalist for this award.

Crystal’s article, Johnson v. United States: A Breach of the Social Contract? was published in the 43rd volume of the Southern University Law Review. Her article considers the Supreme Court’s decision in Johnson v. United States, which declared the residual clause of the Armed Career Criminal Act void for vagueness. The article argues that the Court’s decision was inconsistent with decades of jurisprudence and that the Court had the responsibility to enforce the act as it had in the past.

Crystal explained, “The Johnson ruling came down the summer I was interning at the U.S. Attorney’s office. I witnessed first hand the impact it would have on our justice system as numerous sentencing appeals began to flood in. I knew then I wanted to research the case further and gain a better understanding of how the Court came to its decision.”

Crystal is a social studies teacher at Zachary High School and veteran of the United States Air Force.  During her tenure at the Law Center, she has been a member of the Law Review and a Teaching Assistant. She has clerked for Federal District Judge Shelly Dick and was an intern with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In addition to her teaching obligations and law school commitments, Crystal is a wife and mother of 4.  She credits much of her success to the love and support she receives from them.  Crystal will graduate with honors in May 2017.