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February 3, 2005

Press Contact: Jodi Bart, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330.
Photo of the Soros Fellows
OSI Soros Justice Fellowship recipients Kenavon Carter and Kristi Couvillon

Law Students and Adjunct Professor Honored with OSI Fellowships

AUSTIN, Texas — Two current students and an adjunct professor at The University of Texas School of Law were recently awarded the prestigious Open Society Institute Soros Justice Fellowships. A total of 18 fellowships were awarded to people from across the U.S.

Kenavon Carter, ’05, and Kristi Couvillon, ’05, received two of eight Advocacy Fellowships. Michele Deitch, an LBJ School adjunct professor who teaches classes that are cross-registered at the Law School, received one of six Senior Justice Fellowships. Soros Justice Fellows conduct one and two year projects and receive stipends of $35,000 to $97,000.

Carter said he will launch a project to reduce racial profiling by law enforcement agencies in Texas through public education, grassroots mobilization, and impact litigation.

Couvillon said she will implement the American Bar Association Guidelines on defense representation in death penalty cases in Texas and the surrounding states. The goals of the project are to improve the quality and availability of competent legal representation for indigent defendants through grassroots efforts, direct casework, coalition building, and communications strategies.

In addition, Deitch plans to build consensus about the need for accountability and transparency in prison operations, to promote support for the concept of independent oversight and routine external prison reviews, and to provide reformers with detailed knowledge about these oversight mechanisms in order to help them argue more effectively for specific changes in law and practice.

"It is a great honor to be selected for a Soros Justice Fellowship. The Law School is delighted that OSI has recognized Kenavon Carter, Kristi Couvillon and Michele Deitch for their leadership and commitment to improving our criminal justice system. Their innovative projects will potentially have a significant impact on important societal issues," said Eden Harrington, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law.

The Soros Justice Fellowships comprise the largest fellowship program supporting criminal justice reform in the U.S. OSI believes that social change is created by employing diverse strategies including media advocacy, scholarship, legal advocacy and community organizing.

Related Links:
OSI Fellowships Release:
Michele Deitch named Soros Senior Justice Fellow for work on prison reform: