Awards and Fellowships

The clinic offers several Awards and fellowships each term to College of Law students who have completed at least Clinic I and preferably Clinic II. A fellowship will allow the selected student to be classified as a Graduate Research Assistant (GRA).

The Paul D. Coverdell Clinic Service Awards

The Paul D. Coverdell Clinic Service Awards are made possible each year by a contribution from the Trammell Foundation.  They are awarded to the students who excel in their work in the clinic. The late Senator Paul D. Coverdell was an early, strong supporter of the clinic. He assisted in its initial funding and in securing recognition for the Clinic In Congress and in the Internal Revenue Service. The Trammell Foundation is a local private foundation, which is trusteed by three tax partners at the law firm of Alston & Bird. The Foundation provided the clinic with a grant to establish the clinic and has since provided additional grants to underwrite the cost of a portion of the clinic’s operations. The students who are selected to receive The Paul D. Coverdell Clinic Service Award will receive a cash award and plaque from the Foundation.

The Atlanta Bar Association – Tax Section – J.B. Moore Awards

The Atlanta Bar Association – Tax Section in conjunction with a contribution from the Moore family provides for the J.B. Moore awards to Georgia State University College of Law Students who demonstrate exceptional client service while working in the Philip C. Cook Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Beginning in the late 1920′s, J.B. Moore was a small town southern Georgia solo practitioner who for over 40 years represented average citizens. One of his lasting contributions was successfully convincing the State Legislature to legalize the forerunner of current day insurance companies. One of his clients in the later years described Moore as:

“An individual of remarkable charm, genuine humility and rare sense of humor.  Mr. Moore prevailed in many contests because of the respect felt for his complete integrity.”

Student Fellowships

Trankina Family Tax Clinic Fellowships

The Trankina Family Fellowships will be awarded to one or more students who have completed the clinic course and who are selected to work in the clinic. The fellowship is provided by the generous support from Timothy Trankina, a 1989 graduate of the College of Law. The student or students who will be selected to receive a Trankina Family Fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clinic and a desire to provide service to the low-income individuals whom the clinic serves.

Ginny and Kelly Smith Tax Clinic Fellowships

The Ginny and Kelly Smith Fellowships are awarded to one or more students who have completed the clinic course and who are selected to work in the clinic. The fellowships are provided by the generous support from Ginny and Kelly Smith (J.D. ’96, J.D. ’95). The student or students who will be selected to receive a Smith fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clinic and a desire to provide service to low-income individuals.

Michele and James Young Fellowships

The Michelle and James Young Fellowships are awarded to one or more students who have completed the clinic course and who are selected to work in the clinic. The fellowships are provided by the generous support from Michelle Young (J.D. ’96). The student or students who will be selected to receive a Young Fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clinic and a desire to provide service to low-income individuals.

The Dean R. Morley Fellowships

The Dean R. Morley Fellowships are awarded to one or more students who have completed the clinic course and who are selected to work in the clinic. The fellowships are provided by the generous support from Mark Mesler (J.D. ’87) to honor Dean R. Morley, a former supervising attorney in the clinic. The student or students who will be selected to receive a Smith Fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clinic and a desire to provide service to low-income individuals.

Jason and Allyson Wiggam Fellowships

The Jason and Allyson Wiggam Fellowships are awarded to one or more students who have completed the clinic course and who are selected to work in the clinic. The fellowships are provided by the generous support from Jason Wiggam (J.D. ’10) and his wife, Allyson Wiggam. The student or students who will be selected to receive a Wiggam fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the clinic and a desire to provide service to low-income individuals.

J.B. Moore Family Fellowships

The J.B. Moore Fellowships are awarded to one or more students who have completed the Clinic course and who are selected to work in the Clinic. The student or students who will be selected to receive a J.B. Moore Family Fellowship must have demonstrated outstanding service in the Clinic and a desire to provide service to the low-income individuals whom the Clinic serves. The fellowship is provided by the generous support of the Moore family in honor of J.B. Moore. For over 40 years beginning in the late 1920’s, J.B. Moore practiced as a sole practitioner in a small South Georgia town.  He represented a wide range of clients from the indigent, average individual to the small businessman.  One of his lasting contributions while serving in the Georgia State Legislature, was shepherding through legislation to legalize the forerunner of the current day insurance companies. One of his clients in the later years described Mr. Moore as: “an individual of remarkable charm, genuine humility and rare sense of humor. Mr. Moore prevailed in many contests because of the respect felt for his complete integrity.”

Duties Associated with Fellowships:

The recipient of a fellowship has three responsibilities:

  1. Work with clients in resolving federal tax controversies,
  2. Mentor Clinic I students; and
  3. Participate in the administrative activities of the clinic. Administrative duties include screening calls and taking potential client information, mailing and working with the clinic’s various data basis. The specific duties are contained in a “Desk Book” located at the GRA Administration Desk.

Selection for Awards and Fellowships

There are several factors taken into account when determining who will be selected to receive an award or fellowship, as follows:

  1. Superior Performance in the Clinic. A student must have performed at an outstanding level in tax clinic courses. During his or her course work, a student must have demonstrated a strong commitment to the mission of the clinic. Normally, only students who have received a grade in the clinic courses of at least B+ will be awarded a fellowship. Receiving a grade of B+ or higher will not guaranty a fellowship.
  2. Management Skills and Collegiality. A student must be able to provide quality training and guidance for less experienced student attorneys. During prior clinic experience, a student must have exhibited respect towards peers, the clinic administration, clients, the IRS and the Office of Chief Counsel. A student must have demonstrated a genuine willingness to assist other students in having a valuable clinic experience.
  3. Mature Judgment. A student must be able to command the trust and respect of fellow students by demonstrating mature judgment and reason with respect to professional and ethical issues, the operation of the clinic, and service to clients.
  4. Status as Student. A student must be registered in the Law School as a part-time or full-time student. In some cases taking other courses in the University may qualify for a fellowship, such as students taking the master’s of taxation or master’s in professional accountancy.

Commitment and Compensation for the Fellowship

Compensation for the fellowship will vary based on the student’s availability, the clinic’s needs and resources, and on the college’s limitations on GRA appointments. GRAs are eligible for tuition waivers, monetary stipends, and a combination thereof. Generally, a GRA during the fall and spring semesters is awarded either a full or half GRA position. A full GRA during the fall or spring semesters provides for full tuition waiver and a cash stipend of at least $2,000. The half GRA provides for a half tuition waiver and a cash stipend of at least $1,000. These amounts vary during the summer session.

A student receiving a full GRA appointment is required to work a minimum of 10 hours on average each week during the 14 week term in the clinic. A student awarded a half GRA appointment is required to work a minimum of 7 hours each week. The number of required hours will depend on the amount of cash stipend. Each semester, 2-3 GRA’s will be requested to work during the week prior to the first week of class. If you are unable to do so, please inform Professor Blasi or Mr. Timm at the time you express your interest in a clinic fellowship.

The recipient of a clinic fellowship represents the clinic to clients, new student attorneys, the IRS, the Tax Court, and private practitioners. As such, a clinic fellow is expected to exhibit professional appearance and demeanor. As with all clinic students, a fellow will wear business dress when attending a meeting with the IRS or appearing in Tax Court and business casual when meeting with clients. At other times when working in the clinic, it is expected that the fellow will wear appropriate dress, which does not include t-shirts or short shorts.

The clinic director or associate director provides an evaluation of the fellow’s performance each semester. The evaluation will determine whether the fellowship will be awarded in a subsequent term, and it will affect the quality of external recommendations that are solicited. The fellow is required to provide a monthly time sheet certified that they have completed the required hours.

For information concerning the awards and fellowships contact Professor Blasi, the clinic director, or Mr. Timm, the associate clinic director.