Five members of the OU College of Law family will receive awards from the Oklahoma Bar Association in recognition of their professional accomplishments and contributions to the legal profession. OU Law student Taylor J. Freeman Peshehonoff and OU Law alumni Judge Patricia G. Parrish, Ed Abel, Cody Brooke Jones, and Ashley Ray will be presented with their awards at the OBA Annual Meeting this week at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
Read more about each recipient below.
Taylor J. Freeman Peshehonoff (OU Law 3L), Ada
Outstanding Senior Law Student Award, University of Oklahoma College of Law
As a third-year student at OU Law, Taylor Freeman Peshehonoff currently serves as the managing editor of the Oklahoma Law Review and as director of the Undergraduate Mock Trial Competition with the Board of Advocates. As a former high school mock trial competitor and founder of the OU Mock Trial team, she is passionate about competitions and oral advocacy. During law school, her competition involvement has focused on moot court. Her team placed first in the 1L Moot Court Competition, and she and her partner won the Thurgood Marshall Federal Bar Association Moot Court Competition last spring. At both competitions, she was recognized as a top speaker: top 10 best speaker in 1L Moot Court and third overall best oralist at the Federal Bar Association competition. This year, she will be a second-year member of the National Moot Court competition team.
Freeman Peshehonoff also serves as a teaching assistant for the 1L legal research and writing course, a position in which she helps first-year law students become more comfortable with the Bluebook and develop their legal writing style. She is an active member of the Organization for the Advancement of Women Lawyers. Additionally, her comment, “Title VII’s Deficiencies Affect #MeToo: A Look at Three Ways that Title VII Continues to Fail America’s Workforce,” was selected for publication in the Oklahoma Law Review this fall.
Freeman Peshehonoff’s work with Conner & Winters (OKC), Hall Estill (OKC) and Ward & Glass (Norman) solidified her desire to litigate. Immediately after graduation, she will clerk for Judge Leslie Southwick at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Jackson, Mississippi. She hopes this experience will provide her with a unique perspective on a breadth of legal issues for when she returns to Oklahoma City in August 2021.
Judge Patricia G. Parrish (OU Law ’82), Oklahoma City
Award of Judicial Excellence
Retired Judge Patricia G. Parrish is the 2019 recipient of the Award for Judicial Excellence.
For more than 35 years, Judge Parrish has dedicated her time to serving the community and the legal profession.
Her 15 years of service to the Oklahoma judiciary began as a special district judge – a position she held for less than two years before becoming a district judge in 2004. The experience she gained in private practice contributed to her extraordinary performance as a judge. She understood what it means to represent clients in litigation, both simple and complex. She realized that the clients, not the attorneys or the judge, are the ones seeking their “day in court.” She treated each litigant and attorney with dignity and respect, and was meticulous and conscientious in her trial preparation.
Ed Abel (OU Law ’66), Oklahoma City
John E. Shipp Award for Ethics
The 2019 recipient of the John E. Shipp Award for Ethics is Ed Abel, who has long represented the highest standard of ethics in the legal profession. While a staunch advocate for his clients, he has always maintained civility and professionalism.
The local and state bar associations, as well as the community, consider him a leader. He has served in various leadership roles for the Oklahoma Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, American Board of Trial Advocates and American College of Trial Lawyers.
Through his hard work and ethical approach, Abel has secured a number of six-figure verdicts and has been elected by the OU College of Law faculty as an honorary member of Order of Barristers.
The legal profession also looks to him as a mentor. He has long shared with young lawyers the appropriate approach to litigation and serves as a role model to students as well. He frequently teaches at OU Law and is a member of the Board of Trustees for Mid-American Christian University.
Cody Brooke Jones (OU Law ’12), Edmond
Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award
Cody B. Jones is a recipient of the Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award for her February 2019 Oklahoma Bar Journal article titled “Issues in Unplanned and Poorly Planned Estates,” which she co-authored with Ashley Ray.
The Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award is presented to the author of the best Oklahoma Bar Journal article.
Jones is an attorney at McAlister, McAlister, Baker & Nicklas PLLC in Edmond. Her practice focuses on estate planning, estate and trust administrations, probates and guardianships. She received her undergraduate degree from OSU and her J.D. from OU Law, where she served on the editorial board of the Oklahoma Law Review. She is a member of the William J. Holloway Jr. American Inn of Court and the OBA Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section Legislative Committee.
Ashley Ray (OU Law ’19), Newcastle
Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award
Ashley M. Ray is a 2019 recipient of the Maurice Merrill Golden Quill Award for her article titled “Issues in Unplanned and Poorly Planned Estates,” which she co-authored with Cody Jones. The article was published in the February 2019 issue of the Oklahoma Bar Journal, which focused on estate planning.
Ray is an associate with the Edmond firm of McAlister, McAlister, Baker & Nicklas PLLC. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance summa cum laude with distinction from OU in 2016. In 2019, she graduated with honors from OU Law.
During law school, she served as an assistant managing editor of the Oklahoma Law Review, was a member of the ABA Client Counseling Team and was a member of Phi Delta Phi honor society. She was selected to serve on the Code of Academic Responsibility Appeals Board. She also was the recipient of the Oklahoma Law Review’s 2019 Outstanding 3L Award and received several academic scholarships.
Ray focused her law school studies in the areas of taxation, estate planning and business. Before joining her firm as a law clerk in the spring of 2018, she volunteered at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma and interned at the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office. She was also employed by the law school as a research assistant to the director of externships.
Outside of work, she volunteers at her church’s community outreach events and children’s activities.
Note: This list only reflects the awards presented by the Oklahoma Bar Association. Other alumni and students are often recognized by OBA sections, committees and other entities at the association’s annual meeting.
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