Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2007-08-30

Eddie L. Koen, Jr., a third-year student at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, received the 2007 Alabama State Bar's Pro Bono Student Award.

The annual award recognizes a student at an Alabama law school who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and contributions to equal justice in the state.

Koen, of Huntsville, has volunteered hundreds of hours assisting lawyers from other states who represent people on Alabama's death row. His work for law firms in Chicago, Ill., Los Angeles, Calif., and the District of Columbia has included interviewing ex-jurors and conducting library research of media coverage.

Koen is 2007-08 national chair of the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), which has 200 chapters at law schools nationwide. He was BLSA's national death penalty moratorium chair in 2006-07, has been a BLSA southern region board member, and was founder of the region's law journal.

He has served as Cumberland's honor court chief justice and chair of the school's Thurgood Marshall Symposium. He is a member of 100 Black Men of Birmingham and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Koen is the son of Frances and Eddie Koen, Sr.

About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.