Ga. state Rep. Stacey Evans donates $500K to UGA law school

State Rep. Stacey Evans has donated $500,000 to the University of Georgia’s law school to create a scholarship for first-generation college graduates, the state’s flagship institution announced Friday.

The first Stacey Godfrey Evans Scholarship recipient is expected to be named this fall.

Evans, a Cobb County democrat is a UGA law school alumna and the first in her family to graduate from college, completing an undergraduate degree in economics at UGA in 2000, and law school in 2003.

“I cannot — and do not want to — imagine my life without my degrees, and I know how close I was to being without them,” Evans said. “With this gift, I hope to take some of the financial stress off of the shoulders of bright and accomplished students,” she said.

Evans has worked for the past few years in the Legislature to restore funding that had been cut from the state’s HOPE scholarship program. Evans, a native of Ringgold and the daughter of mill workers, attended UGA on a HOPE scholarship.

“This level of contribution from a single individual has the power to change the lives of future students,” UGA Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said. “Leadership giving of this nature can make the difference between a students’ ability to attend law school or having to give up that dream.”

Evans specialized in securities litigation and has litigated cases involving Medicare fraud and defamation as a partner in the law firm of Wood, Hernacki and Evans. She began a solo law practice last fall.

Evans was one of the attorneys representing whistleblowers in a lawsuit against dialysis chain DaVita Healthcare Partners, in which the company agreed to pay up to $495 million to settle the case. DaVita has denied any wrongdoing. Her involvement in that case allowed Evans to make the contribution to help students at her alma mater, she said.