Stephen I. Singer has received the Orleans Public Defenders 2015 Clyde Merritt Award. Established in 2012 to honor one of the stalwart advocates for public defense, Clyde Merritt, the Clyde Merritt Award recognizes commitment and fight for the cause of public defense in New Orleans.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Steve Singer led the effort to rebuild, restructure, and reform the public defenders' office, establishing the high level of client-centered vertical representation of OPD today. He was instrumental in moving the office from a part-time contract structure to a full-time, fully-staffed defender office. He remains a staunch advocate for indigent defense and the continued reform of New Orleans’ criminal justice system. As Singer put it in 2006, “We are fighting for real justice for real people for the very first time.”
Singer currently serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Law at Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, supervising the criminal defense clinic.