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May 10, 2005

Press Contacts:
Eden Harrington, Director, William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law (512) 232-7068 or Jodi Bart, Communications Coordinator, UT Law, (512) 471-7330.

Five UT Law Students Selected as UT Co-Op Summer Public Interest Fellows

Photo of Public Interest Fellows
Top (L to R): Allen Cooper, John Wise, Eden Harrington, George Mitchell (President, University Co-Op), Dean Powers.
Bottom (L to R): Lorena Leal, Cara Garcia, Ashley Morris.
Photo Credit: Robyn Eden

AUSTIN, Texas — Five students at The University of Texas School of Law have been selected as the first UT Co-Op Summer Public Interest Fellows. The fellowships are awarded to outstanding students between their second and third years of law school to support their summer public service work.

The fellowships were announced by Dean Bill Powers on Thurs., April 21 at a banquet celebrating The Sixth Annual University Co-Op George H. Mitchell Student Awards for Academic Excellence.

Each fellow will receive a $4000 stipend for the summer. The fellowships are made possible by a grant from The University Co-Op, and are administered by the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at the Law School.

“We are proud to support these students as they work toward equal justice for all and prepare for careers in public service,” said Eden Harrington, Director of the Justice Center.

The following students were selected as UT Co-Op Summer Public Interest Fellows:

Allen Cooper, '06, will work with the Fairness in Flowers Campaign, which is administered by the International Labor Rights Fund in Washington D.C. The program works to improve working conditions at flower plantations in Ecuador and Colombia, which provide most of the flowers sold in the U.S. Cooper recently completed a six-month project in Chile examining land claims of the indigenous Mapuche people, and plans to pursue a career in human rights advocacy. He is a Public Interest Scholar with the Justice Center. Cooper’s internship is co-sponsored with the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the Law School.

Cara Garcia, '06, will work with the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence in Washington D.C. on legal and policy projects involving the Violence Against Women Act. Garcia worked previously with the Women’s Advocacy Project and with the Telephone Access to Justice Project of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. She is on the board of Texas Law Fellowships and has been an officer of the Survivor Support Network at the Law School.

Ashley Morris, '06, will work with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta on litigation to protect the rights of persons prosecuted in the criminal courts and imprisoned in the jails of the South. Morris has previously worked with the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit in New York, the Texas Civil Rights Project, the Political Asylum Project of Austin, and with the Capital Punishment Clinic at the Law School. She is a Human Rights Scholar with the Rapoport Center.

Lorena Leal Trujillo, '06, will work with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund in San Antonio addressing employment discrimination issues. Trujillo serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy. She has volunteered extensively with Habitat for Humanity, the People’s Law School, and the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project.

John Wise, '06, will work with the Texas Defender Service to help provide legal representation to death row inmates in their post-conviction appeals. Wise has worked with the Texas Civil Rights Project, is a Board member for Texas Law Fellowships, and is co-chair of the National Lawyer’s Guild chapter at the Law School.

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 2004-2005, the University Co-op has committed to provide UT with over $3 million in gifts and rebates.

Related Links:
William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law:
The University Co-op:
Ashley Morris Becomes one of UT Law's First Human Rights Scholars:
Graduating Law Students Receive UT Co-Op Public Interest Awards: