Five students have been selected as Public Service Scholars to work with the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law for the 2022-23 academic year. Texas Law awards these scholarships annually to a group of outstanding students who demonstrate a commitment to studying, promoting, and working in public service. The scholars work closely with the Justice Center on public service initiatives.
“The new Public Service Scholars are very impressive,” said Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center. “We look forward to supporting these new members of the Justice Center’s student advisory board and working with them to support the public service community at the law school.”
Meet the 2022-23 Public Service Scholars:
Justin Atkinson ’24 is a board member of the Public Interest Law Association, a panel coordinator for Getting Radical in the South (the GRITS conference), and a founder of the Gender Violence Law Caucus. He is a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program’s Title IX Project, having previously worked on the project as a team lead as a 1L. He spent last summer working with the HIV Unit of Legal Services NYC in Brooklyn.
Amelia Austern ’24 is a board member of the Public Defense Group and is also involved in the Public Interest Law Association and If/When/How. As a 1L she participated in a variety of pro bono projects and served as a team lead for the Parole Project and the Expunction Project. She spent last summer working with The Legal Aid Society of New York in its criminal defense practice. She is currently a student in the Immigration Clinic and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Expunction Project.
Emani Brown ’24 is involved in the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association, the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society, and the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy. She has participated in various pro bono projects, including Pro Bono in January and the Parole Project. She spent the summer working with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin and is serving as the 2022-23 Ozmun Fellow with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas.
Lea Kokenes ’23 is involved in the Public Interest Law Association, the Public Defense Group, and If/When/How, and is a member of the Texas Law Review. As a 2L, she served as a Pro Bono Scholar with the Expunction Project. She spent the summer after her 1L year with the Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office in Charlotte, North Carolina and the summer after her 2L year with Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem in New York. She has participated in the Actual Innocence Clinic and the Housing Clinic and is currently interning with the Texas Fair Defense Project.
Lauren Schoen ’24 is a board member of If/When/How, staff editor of the Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, and a member of the Texas Law Review. As a 1L, she served as a lead student counselor for the Gender Affirmation Project. She spent last summer working with the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York. She is currently a student in the Civil Rights Clinic.