MORGANTOWN, W.Va.—Four West Virginia University College of Law students are working in public defender’s offices around the state this summer.
Andrew Cooper, Jordan Dishong, Jennifer Kenel and Graham Platz are Sprouse Fellows. They each receive a $5,500 stipend to work for 10 weeks in for a state or federal public defender.
“Sprouse Fellowships allow students to provide support to busy public defender offices and their clients while they earn real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney,” said Jennifer Powell, director of the WVU Law Center for Law and Public Service.
Cooper is working for the Fifth Circuit Public Defender Corporation in Spencer, West Virginia. At WVU Law, he is a member of the West Virginia Revitalization Association. Cooper is from Spencer and earned his bachelor’s degree from WVU in 2009. He also holds a master’s degree from WVU in Secondary Education.
Dishong’s fellowship is with the Federal Public Defender of the Northern District of West Virginia in Clarksburg. At WVU Law, she is a member of Lugar Trial Association and Women’s Leadership Council and was a junior editor of Family Law Quarterly. Dishong is from Lexington, Kentucky, and graduated from Radford University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
Kennel is working at Public Defender's office for Preston County in Kingwood, West Virginia. She is a member of Lugar Trial Association, Public Interest Advocates and the Animal Legal Defense Fund at WVU Law. Kenel is from Olney, Maryland, and graduated from WVU with bachelor’s degrees in criminology and political science in 2017.
Platz’s fellowship is with the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of West Virginia in Charleston. He is a member of the Moot Court Board and Lugar Trial Association at WVU Law. Platz is from Charleston and graduated from WVU in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
Supported by the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest, the Sprouse Fellowship program is named in honor of the late James Marshall Sprouse (1923-2004), a U.S. Fourth Circuit Judge and justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. WVFLIPI is a non-profit that funds work experiences for WVU Law students at public interest legal organizations.
Photo above: Jordan Dishong, Graham Platz, Andrew Cooper, and Jennifer Kennel.