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Great King Hall Events and the MLK Community Service Award

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Apr 25, 2011

Two of my favorite King Hall events took place on Thursday: the Public Service Graduation and 3L BBQ.

A testament to the Law School’s commitment to public service, King Hall offers an academic certification program for students seeking public service careers.  On Thursday, more than 100 third-year students received certificates for fulfilling the academic and legal work requirements.  In all, the certificate recipients completed a whopping 87,000 hours of public service over the course of their law school careers!  Amazing!  I made opening remarks at the event, which included many wonderful speakers, such as Professors Floyd Feeney, Cappy White, and Raha Jorjani, and Associate Director of Career Services and Public Interest Career Planning Kirsten Hill ’04.  Keynote speaker Patrick Mims told his inspirational story about committing his life to public service.  The graduation also featured the awarding of the prestigious Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award to Elisa Cozad, whose impressive bio you can read below.  (Personal note: Elisa drove me around on the golf cart during the inaugural Steve Boutin Invitational Golf Tournament.  Good times!)  Congratulations to all!  And thanks to the MLK Community Service Award committee members: Kelsey Blegen, Parissa Ebrahimzadeh, Hannah Labaree, Lauren Roberts, Matthew Weisner, and Michael Wu.

After the certificate ceremony, we all moved to the sunny King Hall courtyard for the 3L BBQ, where I greeted the 3L class and many members of our Alumni Board.  Kara Ueda ’00, president-elect for the board, talked about the Frank and Margaret Johns Alumni Award, which recognizes students for their dedication and involvement at King Hall.  Kara, past president Steve Boutin ‘72, and former award winner and soon-to-be Alumni Board member Natalie Johnston ’08 presented the award to Karli Bobus, Richard Nguyen and Scott Grzenczyk.  My sincere thanks to the award committee: Kara, Steve, Natalie, Gene Woo ’85, Margaret Johns ’76, Alberto Roldan ’92, Michael Van Horne ’75, Jerry Hobrecht ’83, and Associate Director of Alumni Relations Ginger Welsh.

I enjoyed the events tremendously.  Thanks to all who attended, and congratulations again to the award winners!


MLK Community Service Award winner Elisa Cozad completed her undergraduate study at the University of Washington in 2006. While obtaining her Bachelors degree she interned at the Public Defender Services in Washington D.C. and with the ACLU of Washington in their Drug Reform Project. Before starting law school she spent two years working first as a paralegal and then as an investigator for The Defender Association in Seattle. While at the Defender Association, she spent a portion of her time specifically working with the Racial Disparities Project, where she assisted in litigation challenging the Seattle Police Departments’ racially disparate enforcement tactics.

During her time in law school, Elisa worked in the Immigration Law Clinic for two years, first directly representing clients and later advising Public Defenders on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for their clients. She spent her summers working at the Georgia Capital Defender in Atlanta and the Colorado State Public Defender in Colorado Springs. Elisa also volunteered her first year with the Prison Law Office and her third year with the Federal Public Defender in Sacramento.

Elisa supported the King Hall public interest community by co-founding the 1st and 2nd Annual Gideon Day, a tradition she hopes will continue in the future. In addition, she was proud to organize the 1st Annual Steve Boutin Golf Tournament and assist with other events to raise money for public interest grants. While in law school, Elisa also enjoyed being a member of NLG and the Diversity Coalition.