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ADA, Okla. – East Central University hosted the annual Law Day celebration on April 11, in the Chickasaw Business and Conference Center.

The day began with a panel discussion about careers in the law that was chaired by Legal Studies senior Sarah Osborn of Seminole. The panel was comprised of ECU graduates. They were paralegal Lesley Smith, court clerk Brittany Sollazzo and current law students Sofia Evans, Jaymin McClarty, Liv Cummins, and Sydney McClaskey.

The keynote address was given by Jennifer Barnes Kerns who is a 2002 Legal Studies graduate of ECU. Kerns, an Ada native, is a graduate of Byng High School. She attended the University of Houston Law Center, earning her law degree in 2005. She is a Chickasaw Nation citizen and served as a prosecutor for the Chickasaw Nation Division of Justice for three years. Kerns then joined the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service Officer. Her posts have taken her to the US embassies in South Korea, Mexico, Thailand, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. She is currently preparing for her next post in Laos and will soon enter foreign language training in Virginia. Kerns held a special meeting after her speech to talk more about careers at the U.S. State Department or other international work.

The public was invited to tour the Native American Legal Clinic at ECU. Students from the ECU Legal Studies program work with Oklahoma Indian Legal Services attorneys to meet the unmet need in Southeast Oklahoma. This semester seven students are working in the clinic and over 100 legal services have been provided.

Scholarships to Legal Studies and Political Science students were also awarded during Law Day by the ECU Foundation, Inc. Notably, the newly endowed Legal Studies Alumni Scholarship was awarded to Ada native Adrie Marr. Marr also received the Dean Peterson Scholarship and the Martha Kilgore Scholarship. Each of these scholarships was funded by friends and graduates of the Legal Studies program.

For more information, please contact Department of Politics, Law, and Society Chair Christine Pappas at

Cutline: Jennifer Barnes Kerns (left) speaking to Law Day attendees. Adrie Marr (right) pictured with each of her scholarship certificates presented at Law Day.

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