Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Awarded to First Recipients

Colleen Melody

Colleen MelodyA 2004 graduate of the University of Washington, she received degrees in Spanish and Law, Society and Justice. Since graduation, she has completed a volunteer internship with The Defender Association and currently works for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington.

Colleen has always been interested in the law and public service – her senior project for UW was a policy analysis. The connection to public service law, she said, is clear because “it provides justice in the public forum. There is something very satisfying about working with people and providing them access to justice, public justice.”

To be able to walk out of law school with no debt, said Colleen, means you can go directly to work in public service. “It’s difficult to accept a lower paying job when you have a large student loan debt. The Gates PSL Scholarship gives you a lot more freedom in choosing a job that speaks to your passion.”

Colleen is “excited about getting to know the other scholars,” and immersing herself into the existing public interest offerings at the law school, such as the Public Interest Law Association. “I can’t think of a better way to spend three years!”

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