Graduating Law Students Receive University Co-op Public Interest Awards
AUSTIN, Texas—Six students at The University of Texas School of Law have been
awarded University Co-op Public Interest Awards in honor of their extraordinary
commitment to public service.
This annual award honors graduating law students for work in non-profit, government
or legislative sectors and for pro bono legal and other volunteer activities. Each
student will receive a $5,000 award made possible by a grant from the University
Co-op, and administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law
at the Law School.
The students will also be recognized at the University Co-op Awards for Excellence
in Graduate Education banquet on Wednesday, May 16.
“We are delighted to honor these outstanding graduating students. They are
dedicated to the highest callings of our profession–serving the public and
increasing access to justice for underserved individuals and communities,”
said Professor Eden Harrington, director of the Justice Center at UT Law.
“We commend them for their commitment to public service and are pleased to be
able to recognize their many contributions to the Law School and the public
The following students have received University Co-op Public Interest Awards for
Shelly Chattopadhyay has accepted a position as an Honors
Attorney with the National Labor Relations Board where she will help to protect
the rights of workers. She has worked as a Baron and Budd fellow for the
Capital Area AIDS Legal Project and as a law clerk for the Bastrop County
D.A.’s Office and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Eagle Pass. As a result of
her work in Eagle Pass, Chattopadhyay has drafted a domestic violence code for
the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas and is working with the Tribe to adopt
it into law. At the Law School, Chattopadhyay was notes editor for the Texas
Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, membership chair for the American
Constitution Society, and treasurer for Street Law. She is a Phi Beta Kappa
graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Parisa Fatehi has accepted a clerkship with U.S. District Court
Judge Vanessa Gilmore in Houston. She is currently an intern with the Center
for Public Policy Priorities, and previously interned with the Texas Civil
Rights Project in Austin and the National Employment Law Project in New York
City. At the Law School, she was a student attorney with the Immigration Law
Clinic and the Transnational Worker Rights Clinic. Fatehi has also been
president of the American Constitution Society, a Human Rights Scholar with the
Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice, and a Public
Service Scholar with the Justice Center. She is co-chair of Concerned Students
for LRAP (Loan Repayment Assistance Program) and co-founder of the Middle
Eastern Law Students’ Association. Fatehi will graduate in May with dual
J.D./Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She
is a Plan II honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
Elizabeth Hardy has accepted a judicial clerkship at the South
African Constitutional Court and hopes to pursue a career in international
criminal law and death penalty defense. Hardy has participated in the Rule of
Law Clinic, helping to defend Guantanamo detainees and challenging the Military
Commissions Act. She has been involved with death penalty advocacy as a summer
associate at Williams and Connolly and Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw and as a law
clerk for the Texas Defender Service. At the Law School, Hardy was a Human
Rights Scholar with the Rapoport Center, the administrative editor of Texas Law
Review, and a participant in the Supreme Court Clinic and the Capital Punishment
Clinic. Hardy is an honors graduate of Yale University.
Shirley Horng has worked as a law clerk for the Public Defender
Service for the District of Columbia, the Texas Civil Rights Project in Austin
and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Eagle Pass, helping those who lack access to
justice. She was the vice-president of Texas Law Fellowships, secretary of the
Public Interest Law Association, and a Public Service Scholar with the Justice
Center. She also has been a student attorney with the Housing Law Clinic and
the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Law School. Horng is a Phi Beta Kappa
graduate of Plan II at the University of Texas at Austin and plans to pursue a
career in public interest law.
Tom Linney has worked as a Baron and Budd fellow at the Texas
Humane Legislation Network researching and drafting legislation to promote the
humane treatment of animals. He was instrumental in establishing Animal Law as
a course at the Law School and founded the UT Law chapter of the Student
Animal Legal Defense Fund. Linney has worked with Texas RioGrande Legal
Aid’s Telephone Access to Justice Project and as an intern for Senator
Eliot Shapleigh and the Texas Legislative Council. At the Law School he served
as the president of the Environmental Law Society and the vice-president of the
Public Interest Law Association. Linney is an honors graduate of the University
of Texas, El Paso and hopes to pursue a career working in the field of animal
Elizabeth Wagoner has accepted a position at Make the Road by
Walking in Brooklyn, NY, where she will develop a project to provide legal
services, civil rights training, and impact litigation to support low-income
immigrant women workers. She also worked for Make the Road by Walking as a
legal intern during the summer of 2005 and the fall of 2006. Wagoner is
currently a law clerk with Deats, Durst, Owen and Levy in Austin, where she
researches employment discrimination claims. She has also worked on labor law
issues as a Peggy Browning Fellow for Unite Here in New York and as a student
attorney in UT Law’s Transnational Worker Rights Clinic. She is
active with the National Lawyers Guild, the Student-Farmworker Alliance, and the
Public Interest Law Association, and is co-chair of Concerned Students for LRAP.
Wagoner is a magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University.
About the University Co-op:
The University Co-op is a not-for-profit corporation owned by the students, faculty
and staff of The University of Texas at Austin. In 2005–2006, the University
Co-op provided UT with over $4 million in gifts and rebates.
University Co-op Public Interest Awards for Graduating Law Students:
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law: