defender of public good
years ago, Sarah Anthony, whos graduating from the Universitys
School of Law this
month, helped Billings, Montana, show the world its religious
tolerance in the face of anti-Semitic violence.
a local Ku Klux Klan member threw a brick through a Jewish familys
front window in Decembaer 1993, the Billings Coalition for Human
Rights, which she chaired, printed and distributed 10,000 drawings
of a menorah around the city.
of all faiths posted the paper menorahs in their windows that
year in a show of solidarity that made national news.
has been seeking ways to serve others since she was a teen, when
she cared for severely retarded adults and worked for an Easter
Seals program in Connecticut. At Carleton College in Northfield,
Minn., she studied with Paul Wellstone, then a political science
professor and now a U.S. senator, who taught classes such as Grassroots
Movements and Protest Politics. She also took a course from
liberation theologist Robert McAfee Brown that examined the efforts
liberal Catholic priests were making in Central America to hasten
social, economic and political change.
graduated from Carleton in 1988 with a major in Latin American
studies. After college, she set off alone for a three-month trip
to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala, armed with
only her college Spanish and a notebook.
taken by the revolutionary fervor of the times, she learned she
was better suited for other struggles closer to home.
helped Anthony land a job as a grassroots organizer with Montana
Peoples Action in Billings, where she worked with a poor
neighborhood composed mainly of native Americans and whites.
Julian Bond, chair of the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People and U.Va. history professor. He spoke in Billings
at an event her group sponsored, and she asked him abaout law
school. Bond encouraged her to pursue public-interest law at U.Va.,
which she did.
won a $15,000 Mortimer Caplin and Linda A. Fairstein Public Service
Fellowship, which provided tuition assistance for her final year
in law school and also will supplement her salary for two years,
enabling her to take a low-paying job in public-interest law.
job is at Fair Trial Initiative, a small group of lawyers in Chapel
Hill, N.C., who are concerned that the public defense provided
to indigent defendants charged with capital murder and
facing the death penalty falls short of what the authors
of the U.S. Constitution intended.
you know that defense attorneys have, on average, only three hours
to prepare for each capital case? she asks. That is
woefully inadequate representation.
plans to do something about that.