CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Anoush Baghdassarian is the recipient of the 2022 Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Award. Graduating with an unprecedented 4,000 pro bono hours during her time at Harvard Law School, Baghdassarian is a stand-out student in the clinical and pro bono community, according to Harvard’s official website.
Having participated in a variety of clinics spanning international human rights to government lawyering, Baghdassarian’s résumé is a model of devotion to knowledge, advocacy, and selflessness.
The Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Award is granted each year in honor of Professor Andrew Kaufman ’54, who has been instrumental in creating and supporting the Pro Bono Service Program at Harvard Law School. The award is given to a J.D. student in the graduating class who exemplifies the pro bono public spirit and an extraordinary commitment to improving and delivering high quality volunteer legal services to disadvantaged communities.
Anoush’s personal drive began long before arriving at Harvard Law; growing up, Baghdassarian’s connection to her Armenian heritage sparked her mission to address and prevent human rights violations. She founded Rerooted Archive, an archive collecting the testimonies of Syrian-Armenians to document the Armenian community of Syria before, during, and after the Syrian conflict.
“It has been a 100-year open wound that I felt so intensely that I began doing what I could to close it, and importantly, what I could to prevent other communities from suffering from the same affliction, the same impunity, the same ethical loneliness,” says Baghdassarian. “The intrinsic motivation to help heal these wounds has been my guiding star in each endeavor I have undertaken.”
After graduation, Baghdassarian will work at the International Criminal Court as a visiting professional through the support of the International Legal Studies fellowship.