How ''The O.C.'''s Sandy is setting a good example - U.C. Berkeley law students honor Peter Gallagher's character with a fellowship

By Allison Hope Weiner
Updated April 30, 2004 at 04:00 AM EDT

You’ve heard of the Fulbright. How about the Sandy Cohen? Inspired by The O.C.’s do-gooder attorney (Peter Gallagher), students at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall Law School (Cohen’s alma mater) created a fellowship to help students choose public-sector work over lucrative law firm gigs. ”We see the liberal truth in him,” says John Kim, founder of The OC at Boalt, which raised $1,000 in dues and through fund-raisers like a faux Newport prom. Gallagher also kicked in $1,000. ”Instead of going after fame and fortune, these kids decided to take a walk on the wild side and support the public defender’s office,” he said about presenting the inaugural award to first-year student Jason Balitzer. ”He won by writing a great essay about how the O.C. character influenced him to go into criminal work,” says Kim. ”We wanted to give this to someone who was into criminal defense but who also liked the show.” Our kind of fellowship!