OBF Fellows Scholarship
Name: Madeline Coffey
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Law School: University of Oklahoma College of Law
Graduation Year: May 2018
Field of Law: Criminal Law
Undergraduate: University of Oklahoma, Class of 2015
Minor: Classical Studies
1. What are your short-term and long-term goals, professionally and personally?
My short-terms goals are of course to graduate and pass the Oklahoma Bar Exam. Currently, I have the opportunity to work in the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office. Long term, I want a career I find both interesting and rewarding and I have found that with criminal prosecution.
2. What made you decide to attend law school?
Coming from a family with two attorney parents, the decision to go to law school was not a difficult one to make. Growing up, I always admired my parents’ careers because it was obvious that their work was fulfilling. When I first started college I knew I wanted to choose a major that would lead to a career that I would be fully invested in. Initially, I wanted to pave a different path than my parents so I chose a major that would prepare me for the medical field. After three semesters of science classes and becoming more familiar with the medical profession, I realized what I had known all along in the back of my mind, that I wanted to be an attorney.
3. Are there any laws or social rules that completely baffle you?
I think it’s shocking voters are expected to make informed decisions on complex State Questions with the very limited information they are provided.
4. What historical figure inspires you and why?
Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher is so inspiring because she chose to apply to OU law, knowing that she was qualified to be admitted, but that she would be rejected solely for her race. Even after years of legal battles for equality that finally resulted in her admission, she still was forced to sit in designated areas of the classrooms separate from the white students. Her story is incredible to me because I was nervous coming in to law school as a white student and those nerves aren’t even comparable to how she must have felt. Further, the best resource I’ve had in law school is help from classmates, and for her, she was physically separated from that resource. Her story reminds me both to be thankful for all the opportunities I have and to work toward even those goals that seem impossible.
5. What is the most important thing you have learned in law school or undergrad?
I’ve had the opportunity to take such a variety of classes in my higher education. The lesson that applied across the board is that the harder I worked and invested myself, the more enjoyable the material became. That being said, I also learned that the appropriate work-life balance is crucial to my happiness and productivity.