Campus News

Record number of law students take part in summer of service

In addition to providing first-rate legal training for its students, the University of Georgia School of Law is instilling in them the need to serve. This service comes in a variety of forms, and the benefits and communities served are just as diverse.

A record-breaking 36 law students are taking part in a summer of service in Georgia; Washington, D.C.; New York City; and other locations around the U.S. and the world. Work placements include nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations; local, state and federal government agencies; state and federal prosecutor’s offices; and criminal defense practices, both trial and appellate. Five positions have an international focus.

Resources supporting School of Law students in their public interest endeavors this year also reached a high point—$68,000, an increase of $15,000 from 2016. The funding comes from a partnership with the Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation and the school’s Melburne D. and Jacqueline K. McLendon Endowment and the Edward D. and Carol J. Spurgeon Public Service Fellowship Fund, as well as the Dean Rusk International Law Center Global Externship Overseas and student-run Equal Justice Foundation resources.

“This record number of student placements and financial support for public interest fellowships exemplifies our law school’s and our students’ strong commitment to public service,” School of Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “Our students are eager for opportunities to serve, and I am very pleased the school was able to count on alumni and alumnae and external funding sources to make our students’ dreams of contributing to state and society possible this summer.”

Below are the recipients of 2017 public interest summer fellowships. Each student’s anticipated year of graduation is indicated in parentheses.

Justice John Paul Stevens Fellowships
Recognizes students for their commitment to public service and potential for excellence.
• Dana M. Leader (2018), American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law, Washington, D.C.
• Gilbert O. Oladeinbo (2019), New Jersey Institute of Social Justice, Newark, New Jersey

Melburne D. and Jacqueline K. McLendon Fellowships

Provides funds for practical legal education and training in civil and criminal law.
• Jarrell Bogan (2018), Western Circuit Public Defender, Athens

• Austin Cohen (2019), Georgia Capital Defender, Atlanta

• Rachel N. Goldberg (2018), Atlanta Legal Aid Society & U.S. Court of Appeals for 11th Circuit Judge Jill A. Pryor, Atlanta
• Ted Huggins (2019), Fulton County District Attorney, Atlanta
• Vesselina Kotzeva (2019), DeKalb Juvenile Public Defender, Atlanta
• Deborah Nogueira-Yates (2018), Northern Circuit District Attorney, Danielsville

• Lyddy O’Brien (2019), No Peace Without Justice, Brussels, Belgium

Edward D. and Carol J. Spurgeon Public Service Fellowship
Supports a rising second- or third-year law student who has demonstrated a commitment to public service.
• Sarah A. Mirza (2019), Project South, Atlanta

Dean Rusk International Law Center Global Externship Overseas
Provides students with funds to travel to international placements for global practice preparation.

• Lauren Brown (2019), War Child, Amsterdam
• Rebecca “Becca” Wackym (2019), Legal Unit of the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, Israel

Equal Justice Foundation Fellowships

Provides stipends to support summer public interest law placements (funded by an annual auction conducted by the UGA law student organization)
• Michael L. Baker (2018), Atlanta City Attorney, Atlanta

• Kody Brown (2018), Hall County Public Defender, Gainesville
• Chanel O. Chauvet (2018), CARE USA, Atlanta

• Jennifer Cotton (2019), Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack & Human Rights Watch, New York City

• Robert Daily (2019), U.S. Department of Treasury, Washington, D.C.

• Brooke Dumont (2019), Western Circuit Public Defender, Athens
• Vesela Eminovska (2019), Georgia Department of Community Health, Atlanta

• Chase C. Graham (2018), Cobb County District Attorney, Marietta

• Madison Hahn (2019), Blue Ridge District Attorney, Canton

• Randall Hurston (2019), Georgia Capital Defender, Atlanta
• Conor Kruger (2019), Cook County State’s Attorney, Chicago, Illinois
• Jamie McDowell (2018), Fulton County Solicitor’s Office, Atlanta

• Shawn E. McKenzie (2018), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta

• Molly A. Munson (2018), U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee Program, Atlanta
• Amanda Payne (2019), New York Attorney General, New York City, New York

• Claire H. Provano (2018), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta
• Robert “Cap” Russell IV (2019), Brunswick Circuit District Attorney, Brunswick
• Taylor Samuels (2019), State’s Attorney of West Palm Beach, Florida

• Jamila A. Toussaint (2018), Federal Communications Commission, Washington, D.C.

• Alina L. Venick (2018), Georgia Legal Services Program, Gainesville
• Nicholas “Nick” Vretakis (2018), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Washington, D.C.

• William H. “Liam” Ware (2018), St. Louis County Prosecutor, St. Louis, Missouri

• John “Jack” Van Why (2019), U.S. Attorney’s Office, Atlanta
Yun Jung Yang (2018), Office of Public Advocacy, Anchorage, Alaska