NORMAN - Reggie Whitten and Michael Burrage, of Whitten Burrage Law in Oklahoma City, recently made a donation to establish the David L. Boren and Molly Shi Boren Public Service Fellowship, a summer fellowship endowment for students. This endowment will be used to support students pursuing public interest work during the summer. Fellowship recipients will be performing law-related work under the supervision of an attorney at a government agency, prosecution or public defense office, or nonprofit or providing legal assistance to people of limited means.
“OU Law alumni Reggie Whitten and Michael Burrage established the David L. Boren and Molly Shi Boren Public Interest Fellowship to honor the Borens’ commitment to public service throughout the state and nation,” said OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz, Jr. “This generous gift of $200,000 establishes the first significant endowment dedicated to students pursing public interest work during the summer. Without such a fund, many students would be unable to afford to take these largely unpaid internships. Promoting public service is core to our mission and enhances OU Law’s ability to create the next generation of leaders.”
Appropriate host organizations include, but are not limited to, Legal Aid, Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Public Defenders, District Attorney’s offices, Catholic Charities, ACLU, Trinity Legal Services, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Oklahoma Indigent Defense Services, as well as non-profit and government organizations outside the local area. Other public interest fellowships at OU Law include the Cindy Foley Memorial Indigent Defense Fellowship, the Marjorie P. Maute Memorial Public Service Fellowship and the Coats Fellowship for Summer Public Service.
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OU Law Conversations: Dean Emeritus Andrew Coats
What led you to OU Law? I have wanted to go to law school since I was a teenager. I was active in speech contests and enjoyed making oral presentations. When I was in high school, I would go downtown and watch some of the trials at the courthouse, so, I got acquainted with the courtroom rather early. I obtained a Navy scholarship to go to OU. I was a regular Navy midshipman then I served three years in the far east before coming back to law school. I wanted to attend law school and came back to OU.
OU Law Conversations: Robert Barnes
What led you to OU Law? OU Law has been part of my family since the 1920s. My great uncle was Dr. Maurice Merrill, a 1922 graduate of OU Law who then earned a Doctorate in Law from Harvard University in 1925. Merrill taught at OU Law for 30 years, published numerous seminal works in oil and gas law, constitutional law, administrative law and the law of Notice. While still in his twenties, Merrill published the seminal treatise Implied Covenants in Oil and Gas Law, which has been a cornerstone of my cases. In law school, I lived with Uncle Maurice and marveled at his longhand scrawl which was literally final copy in its first draft form. In my mind, he will always be ten times the lawyer that I ever became.