For four years, 2018-21, The Defender Initiative hosted the Calhoun Family Fellows. The Calhoun Family Fellowship was established by Jerry Calhoun (BA, Seattle University '67) to advance equal justice.

The fellowship, inspired by Jerry Calhoun's association with Bryan Stevenson and The Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, provides a tremendous opportunity for Seattle U Law students to advance their skills and training to promote equal justice.

In the first summer of the fellowship, four students worked on projects addressing youth justice issues, including racial disparity and sentencing and diversion. They worked with The Defender Association of King County's Department of Public Defense and with Community Passageways.

Hyun-Mi Kim, Michael McCorkle, Noe Merfeld, and Jacob Walsh were the inaugural Fellows. Mr. Calhoun generously invited and funded the Fellows in 2018 and 2019 to join him and his family to visit the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice established by The Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama.

The 2019 Fellows were Jessica Alvarez, Catherine Bentley, McKenzi Hoover, Braelah McGinnis, and Tori Sullivan. They also worked on equal justice issues, focused on youth, and worked with Defender attorneys and Community Passageways. They participated in meetings with other advocacy groups and in both years, the Fellows met with successful lawyers and judges.

Graduation photo of Tori A. Sullivan Lavoie

Faculty Trust Scholar

Tori A. Sullivan Lavoie

Congratulations to Tori Sullivan Lavoie ’21, who was the recipient of the 2021 Faculty Trust Scholar award at graduation. Tori Sullivan Lavoie was a 2019 Fellow.

Summer 2020 Fellowship presentation

One of the highlights of the 2020 Summer Fellowship was the presentation by the Fellows on reparations to the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission.

The 2020 Fellows were Mynor Lopez, Carsen Nies, Dontay Proctor-Mills, and Sam Sueoka.

"States can and Should Reevaluate Sentencing for Inmates Serving Life Sentences," Mynor Lopez, National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) blog post, August 28, 2020

The 2021 Summer Fellows are:

  • Cait Nold
  • Callan Oki
  • Timea Soos
  • Cole Story
  • Maddison Story
  • Andrea Velazquez


Robert C. Boruchowitz
Professor from Practice and Director of the Defender Initiative