Law School Announces 2021 Summer Public Service Fellows
The U of A School of Law Summer Public Service Fellowship Program provides paid public service fellowships to promising law students interested in public service careers. It is part of the law school's broader effort to fulfill the university's mission as a land-grant institution.
Margaret Sova McCabe made it a priority to create the program during her first year as dean. The program is now in its third year. First- and second-year law students are eligible for the fellowship, with preference given to first-year students and to those with an interest in, and demonstrated commitment to, public service.
"I am incredibly proud of our law school's commitment to supporting students as they initiate their public service careers," said Annie Smith, associate professor of law and faculty director of the public service and pro bono program at the law school. "This year's summer fellows are an inspiring group of law students determined to use their legal education to make a difference."
THE 2021 SUMMER PUBLIC FELLOWS
- Elise Baroni, Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow, will work at the law office of Shelby County Public Defender.
"It is so great that that we get this opportunity at the University of Arkansas School of Law because it allows us to serve not only the Northwest Arkansas community, but communities around the country," Baroni said. "This fellowship is a vehicle for lasting and meaningful positive change in so many lives and communities."
- Kristina Ranney, Law Dean's Circle Fellow, will work at Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
"I am going to be working with the homicide unit this summer, and I am very excited to have the opportunity to help provide justice and closure to victims' families," Ranney said. "I am also looking forward to learning more about the different ways I can use the law to bring positive change to the criminal justice system."
- Crystal Smith will work for the Federal Defender's Office.
"So many people in Arkansas are underserved and the justice gap continues to grow despite efforts to minimize its effects on the unmet legal needs of Arkansans," Smith said. "This disparity affects low-income families and the most vulnerable citizens of society. A career in public service would not only provide me with the opportunity to explore this challenge head on, but it would also provide a means to connect with those who wish to achieve the same goal."
- Samantha Doss will work for Legal Aid of Arkansas's Economic Justice work group.
"These fellowships are critical and allow people like me to start pursuing a lifetime of service without compromise," Doss said. "So much public interest work is poorly funded, if at all. I would not be able to commit to full time work at Legal Aid, or I would have to put off my dream and work somewhere else for the summer just to make ends meet. This program reflects the value the law school places on public service and supporting its students. In fact, it is one of the reasons I applied to the University of Arkansas in the first place!"
- Imogen Ryan, Raffaelli Lineberger Public Service Fellow, will work at Benton County Circuit Court with Hon. Robin Green.
"This fellowship will give me invaluable experience working with an accomplished circuit court judge and help me narrow down what area I want to work in," Ryan said. "It will also provide me with experience and exposure that will be beneficial in finding a job after law school."
- Abigail Meharg will work for Legal Aid of Arkansas's Pro Bono Program.
"I believe that this is a field that requires a lot of grit, patience and compassion, and I am eager to see what a typical day entails for a public interest attorney," Meharg said. "I would like the funders of these fellowships to know that, without them, I do not know how I would have been able to perform an unpaid internship this summer."
- Nathan Quimbo, Squire Patton Boggs Foundation Public Policy Fellow, will work for Buffalo River Watershed Alliance.
"My work with the Buffalo River Foundation will give me the real-world experience needed to become a successful environmental lawyer for the state of Arkansas," Quimbo said.
- Brandi Greene, Gearhart Family Endowed Diversity Fellow, will work at Criminal District Court, Dallas County, with Hon. Audra Riley.
"I am looking forward to getting hands-on experience and applying what I have learned in class to real world situations," Greene said.
- Mason Gates, Rose Law Firm 200th Anniversary Public Service Fellow, will work for the Mississippi Center for Justice.
"This fellowship has made it possible for me to move to a community that is ripe for systemic change, evaluate a field of law that I'm interested in pursuing a career in and give back to those in need," Gates said. "And I can do all this without having to take out hefty student loans."
- Brittany Hawkins will work at Lone Star Legal Aid.
"This fellowship provides the opportunity to embrace different nuances of legal experience —advocacy, justice issues and environmental concerns — that would be difficult to obtain otherwise," Hawkins said. "This is so impactful to see during law school because it takes theory from the classroom and uses it to paint a realistic picture of the tangible impact the legal field has on our neighbors and our community."
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas' economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.
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