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February 17, 2005

Press Contacts: Kristi Couvillon and Sam Megally, Texas Law Fellowships, (512) 232-1099, tlf@mail.law.utexas.edu or Jodi Bart, UT Law Communications, (512) 471-7330.

Texas Law Fellowships Announces 2005 Excellence in Public Interest Awards Honorees

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Law Fellowships is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2005 Excellence in Public Interest Awards. They are: Betty Rodriguez, an attorney with the Travis County Juvenile Public Defender’s office; Allison Wetzel, Juvenile Public Defender for the Travis County District Attorney’s office; Michael Marin, a trial attorney with Vinson & Elkins, LLP; UT Law professors Bill Allison, Robert Dawson and David Shepard, and students of the UT Law Actual Innocence Clinic; and Maunica Sthanki, a third-year UT Law student. More information about the recipients is available here.

Each year, TLF recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of public-interest law by honoring at least one public-sector attorney, one private-sector attorney, one law professor, and one law student with this award. This year’s awards are unique in that, rather than recognize a lone professor for their public-interest work, TLF has chosen to honor the entire Actual Innocence Clinic for their important and groundbreaking work toward exonerating prison inmates who did not commit the crimes of which they were convicted; the Clinic continues to work on several cases in hopes of freeing wrongly-imprisoned criminal defendants.

The awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The event is generously hosted by Bill and Stephanie Whitehurst each year at their Austin home, which is located at 2703 Westlake Drive. Admission is complimentary; heavy hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Directions and further information about the honorees are available by clicking to www.texaslawfellowships.org and following the link that appears at the top of the page.

Related Links:
Public Interest Award Recipients: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2005/tlf_bios.pdf
Texas Law Fellowships: www.texaslawfellowships.org
Texas Law Fellowships to Host Annual Fall Auction, Oct. 14: http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2004/100704_tlfauction.html