NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma College of Law and the John Foley of Oklahoma City family have created a new fellowship to be awarded to an OU law student in recognition of indigent defense services rendered. The fellowship honors the memory of Professor Cindy M. Foley, who worked for 19 years in the OU College of Law Criminal Defense Clinic, representing those who could not afford legal representation and training students to become, in her words, "the best lawyers money can't buy." Foley died on Aug. 10, 2010, from cancer.
The Cindy Foley Memorial Indigent Defense Fellowship was established to honor her dedication to pro bono service and award a $1,000 stipend to one law student for 200 unpaid hours of indigent defense services to the public and performed during the summer.
After earning a Juris Doctor from OU in 1983, Foley began her career in the Oklahoma County Public Defender's Office. She was recognized for "Outstanding Accomplishment" by the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in 1988.
"Cindy knew better than anyone that her clients were real people with real problems who needed real help but who had no money," said John Foley, Cindy Foley's husband. "She learned how to be a real and caring trial lawyer while working in the trenches of the Public Defender's offices. There is no better training."
The fellowship is made possible by donations from Foley's family and friends, including many from the OU community. Last fall, OU law students, faculty and staff reinstated a 5K race around campus called "Race Judicata" and donated the proceeds, $2,500, to the Foley fellowship fund.
"Cindy will always be remembered fondly by students, colleagues, lawyers and judges," said Cheryl Wattley, professor and director of clinical education in the OU College of Law. "With this fellowship, we honor her by encouraging a student's interest in representing criminal defendants who may not have financial resources but who do have an undisputed right to effective legal representation."
In addition to the Foley fellowship, the college annually recognizes law students for pro bono services by awarding the Coats Fellowship for Summer Public Service to four law students in the amount of $1,000 each and the Marjorie P. Maute Memorial Pro Bono/Public Service Fellowship to one law student in the amount of $1,500.
On April 19, Luis Arango-Petrocchi was awarded the first Foley fellowship. Cody Jones, Abigail Townsend, Mallory Carlberg and Felina Rivera-Brown received the Coats fellowship. Allyson Kucera was awarded the Maute fellowship.
For immediate release
Media contact: Evie Klopp Holzer, (405) 831-0709
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