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Berkeley Law School Has A Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship, As They Should

By 01.29.13

Yesterday The Awl published a really cool article titled “What Made The O.C. Great, Bitch,” which looked back on the four season run of the fast-burning Fox teen soap. I read it because I have a lot of free time and will read anything with The O.C. in the title, and if you were a fan of the show when it debuted 10 years ago (WHAT), or if you came to it later via DVDs or Netflix, I recommend checking it out. A little light on the Oliver-bashing for my taste, but I’m someone who could watch a GIF of him getting eaten by a shark for literally days, so take that with a grain of salt.

But I digress. Anyway, here is one particular paragraph from the article that blew my brain to smithereens.

The show’s fanbase watched so attentively that, years later, IMDB still lists continuity errors like “When Haley is seen at the club dancing, her hair is curled. When she’s leaving the club her hair is straightened” (Season 1, Episode 22, “The L.A.”). At UC Berkeley, Peter Gallagher’s role on the show has been immortalized by the Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship, which supports law students working in the Orange County public defender’s office. This is something that exists in real life.

It really is.

I have no idea how I didn’t know about this. And it gets better: according to this 2006 history of the fellowship, it “is commonly called ‘The Sandy’ or ‘Sandy Cohen Public Defender Fellowship for Lawyers Who Dare to Dream,’” and is funded in part by “an annual O.C. Totally Awesome Prom fundraising event,” which I would like to know more about no later than this very moment, if possible. The whole thing is preposterously silly from top-to-bottom, and I would eat it for dinner if I could.

As far as I can tell, there is only one potential downside here: I don’t know if it still exists. I did some extensive research (five minutes of Googling), and I haven’t found anything more recent than 2006. I hope it hasn’t withered away, though, if only because the concept of some confused foreign student winning the fellowship in, like, 2050 and mumbling “Who the f-ck is Sandy Cohen?” is hilarious to me. It’s the little things, you know?

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TAGSPETER GALLAGHERsandy cohenthe o.c.

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