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January 28, 2002

2002 EPIC awards given to public-minded foursome

By Stephanie McNicoll


The Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) at the School of Law will host its sixth annual EPIC Inspiration Awards Ceremony and Reception on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the law school. The fund-raising event will begin with the awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

The 2002 EPIC Inspiration Awards will be presented to four Atlanta residents who have made outstanding contributions to the public interest. They are: Donald Hollowell, civil rights leader and retired partner with Arrington & Hollowell; Frank Alexander, professor of law at Emory and director of the Project on Affordable Housing and Community Development; Jack Martin, criminal defense attorney; and Jim Martin, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources and former state representative and chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Dorothy Toth Beasley, senior judge of the State of Georgia, will present the awards.

The event is the major fund-raising endeavor for EPIC, a student organization that promotes law in the public interest. The event allows EPIC to provide stipends for law students pursuing summer internships at public interest agencies. Donations are invited at various levels with a minimum of $25 requested. Inquiries about contributions and reservations should be directed to Sue McAvoy, Emory’s public interest advisor, at 404-727-5503 or

Founded by Emory law students in 1988, EPIC promotes awareness and increases understanding of public interest law, encourages and assists in the employment of Emory law students in public interest positions, and acknowledges the professional responsibility of lawyers and law students to make legal services more accessible. President Neal Cohen currently heads the organization.

“The money raised from the Inspiration Awards is divided into a number of $4,000 summer grants,” Cohen said. “Students interested in public interest law go out into their communities and find their own internship. Then they come to us and apply for funding.”

“Public interest organizations cannot afford to fund summer law clerks on their own,” Cohen continued. “These grants not only provide a needed service, but expose Emory law students to public interest work.”

The 2001 awards ceremony, which raised approximately $45,000, allowed 11 law students to pursue summer law positions in agencies such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation. In 1999, EPIC’s inspiration awards ceremony received the Outstanding Group Project Award from the National Association for Public Interest Law.