Law School Recognizes 2015 Public Service Student of the Year

Dean Nancy Staudt and Andrew Cook - 2015 Public Service Student

Graduating law student Andrew Parrish Cook, JD ’15, was named the 2015 Public Service Student of the Year at a recent ceremony sponsored by the School of Law and the Public Service Advisory Board. The award is presented to the graduating JD student who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment and dedication to serving those most in need.

Cook was recognized for the extensive time he has invested with the ArchCity Defenders and St. Louis County Public Defender’s offices, both through the law school’s Clinical Education Program and on his own. Cook has clocked roughly 1,200 public service hours, including participation in a full trial and in evidence gathering for the seminal ArchCity report on St. Louis County’s policing tactics, which were eventually confirmed by the Department of Justice. Cook was also a legal observer in Ferguson during the protests. Cook’s goal is to continue his public interest work in St. Louis after graduation.

While in law school, he tutored high school students at Northwest Academy of Law for the ACT test, volunteered for Places for People, and spent six weeks tutoring a Bosnian immigrant in civics for his citizenship test. Cook also has taken on four mentees through the Law Mentoring Program, participated on the library director search committee, and was instrumental in bringing the first Prison Performing Arts program to campus.

Active in student government, Cook served as SBA president and SBA Community Service chair. He supported the Public Interest Summer Program, representing SBA to the Public Service Advisory Board; organized the first MLK Day of Service; and oversaw the institution of a community service requirement for student groups seeking funding.

Before law school, Cook worked for the Oklahoma Innocence Project and was directly involved in the University of Oklahoma’s Panhellenic charity drives.

Other nominees for the award this year included Aissatou Barry, Susannah Porter Lake, and Amy Xu.

The following students were also honored for their commitment to public service: Heather Brown, Michael Daniel Derrick, Peter A. Heagney, Susannah Porter Lake, Claire Melvin, and Alice Stewart were recognized as David M. Becker Public Service Fellows, and Charles Watkins, as a Stuart L. Oelbaum Public Interest Fellow. Katharine Finley was named the Clinical Legal Education Association Outstanding Clinic Law Student.

Additionally, 43 students received the Dean’s Service Award for logging 75 or more hours of community service during their three years of law school. These students were Kaitlin Atlas, Aissatou Barry, Nicholas Bergeon, Heather Brown, Tess Castner, Jonathan A. ClowAndrew Cook, Daniel Coultas, Mary Meghan Daly Snyder, Katharine Finley, Benjamin A. Guthorn, William Herrington, Sarah Hirschfeld-Sussman, Kevin John Holt, Jason Adam Katims, Maebetty Kirby, Jessica Kraft-Klehm, Susannah Porter Lake, Claire Melvin, Christopher Moran, Danielle Dutervil Mubarak, Noah Mullin, Annie Murawski, Ian T. Murphy, Madelaine Newcomb, Kaitlyn Pennington-Hill, Flora Sarder, Amanda Schwartz, Jillian Sharp, Stephen J. Shaver, Kelly Kathryn Simon, Amanda J. Skeel, Tamara Leora Slater, Alice Stewart, Cassie Stokes, Michael Toomey, Marissa Vitolo, Charles Watkins, Brett Weinstein, Victoria L. Williams, Amanda Wolter, Katherine Wutchiett, and Amy Xu.

The Pro Bono Pledge Participant Award, received for completing 50 hours of public service, was presented to Nicole Berkowitz, Lucas Deppermann, Jeffrey Dunn, Lillian Talbot, and Chloé Woods.

Judy Uelk, Spring 2015