Eight third-year students at The University of Texas School of Law have been honored by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law with Graduating Student Awards.
This annual award recognizes graduating students for their extraordinary commitment during law school to using the law to serve others. The faculty selection committee considered the applicants’ work in the public interest, pro bono, government, legislative, and other nonprofit sectors, as well as participation in law school clinical courses, pro bono projects, and student groups. At least one award specifically recognizes commitment to pro bono activities and at least one award specifically recognizes commitment to government service, in addition to other service. Dean Ward Farnsworth and Eden Harrington, the director of the Justice Center, presented the recipients at the Law School’s annual Ice Cream Social/Celebration of Service.
The class of 2017 Graduating Student Award winners are:
Paige Duggins was president of Texas Law Fellowships, and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program focusing on educational equity. She was community service chair of the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society and a Teaching Quizmaster. She participated in the Law School’s Civil Rights Clinic. She interned with the Texas Civil Rights Project, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Adia Mercado-Montero clerked for the Office of the Attorney General of Texas in the Transportation Division and interned for Judge Guy Herman as a court investigator. She also interned for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and Travis County District Court Judges Lora Livingston and Orlinda Naranjo. She was symposium editor for the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy. (Special Recognition for Government Service)
Anya Morgan was a founding board member of the Texas Chapter of the National Lawyers’ Guild and pro bono director of OUTLaw. She was a board member of Getting Radical in the South (GRITS) and president of the Texas Law Yoga Club. She interned with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York and the Texas Civil Rights Project. She participated in the Civil Rights Clinic and the Domestic Violence Clinic, and helped lead pro se clinics for the Law School’s Trans Name and Gender Marker Project.
Briana Perez interned with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in San Antonio, the Texas Civil Rights Project, and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project in New York. She participated in the Law School’s Civil Rights Clinic, the Human Rights Clinic, and the Immigration Clinic. She was secretary of the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students’ Association for two years.
Lochlin Rosen was a project manager for the Juvenile Lifers Project as a 1L and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program as a 2L. He was a co-director of Getting Radical in the South (GRITS) and president of the Public Interest Law Association. He interned with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and the Texas Defender Service. He participated in the Capital Punishment Clinic and the Criminal Defense Clinic.
Cristian Sanchez headed up the Law School’s Trans Name and Gender Marker Project as a Mithoff Pro Bono Scholar. He was vice-president of OUTLaw. He interned with the Bernardo Kohler Center and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project in Los Angeles. He participated in the Immigration Clinic, the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic, and the Civil Rights Clinic. (Special Recognition for Pro Bono)
Coco Sprague was active in the Women’s Law Caucus and the Student Bar Association. She interned with the Federal Public Defender in Houston, the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, and Capital Area Private Defender Services. She participated in the Juvenile Justice Clinic and the Criminal Defense Clinic. According to her student nominator, “Coco does something for each of her clients every day. She is always thinking about how she can better present them. She is a model public defender.”
Alex Stamm helped draft the Civil Rights Clinic report on deaths in Texas jails. As a student in the Criminal Defense Clinic, he tried a case and won a not-guilty verdict. He interned with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and the Texas Civil Rights Project. He was associate editor for the Texas Law Review and a Teaching Quizmaster. He is a class of 2017 Chancellor.