Elizabeth A. Stawicki is the first Patricia Hassett legal fellow, a fellowship in honor of Patricia Hassett, who was among the College’s first women law professors. Stawicki also holds a research faculty appointment at Newhouse.
Stawicki served as legal counsel for more than seven years at a non-partisan state watchdog agency. Before that, she earned numerous national awards as a news correspondent. Stawicki also writes and speaks about cameras in courtrooms and other open court initiatives in the U.S. and in Uzbekistan (Regional Dialogue).
Stawicki joins the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), one of the nation’s premier non-partisan open government organizations specializing in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
For the past seven years, Stawicki served as Legal Counsel at the state of Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor’s Office. As Counsel, she conducted high-profile investigations of state agencies and publicly funded organizations. One of those investigations led the University of Minnesota to overhaul and suspend its Psychiatry Department human subject drug trials. She also provided legal counsel and analysis to 60 auditors as well as interpreted Minnesota’s version of FOIA in responding to public data requests.
As a news correspondent, Stawicki reported for Minnesota Public Radio and was a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She also filed reports for the Associated Press, BBC World Service, CBS Radio, American Public Media’s Marketplace, and Reuters. Stawicki was one of 12 journalists selected nationally for a Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan.
Stawicki earned six national journalism awards including two ABA Silver Gavels (ABA’s highest honor for legal journalism) for coverage of Minnesota’s landmark tobacco trial and for reporting on racial disparities in Minnesota’s criminal justice system.
Stawicki also earned a “Gracie” from the Alliance for Women in Media for best documentary about Minnesota’s child protection system and a National Headliner for investigative reporting that exposed wide gaps in the FAA’s ability to monitor the commuter airline industry