Suffolk University Law School will award the first John Joseph Moakley JD ’56 Scholarship in fall 2011, drawing from an endowment established by the late congressman before his death ten years ago.

The Moakley Scholarship will provide a significant grant to a Law School student who has shown a commitment to public service. The scholarship is for Massachusetts residents in need of financial aid, with careful review of students from the 9th Congressional District, which Moakley represented.

The first Moakley Scholarship recipient will be Brian O’Hara, a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College. He will be the third member of his family to attend Suffolk Law School when he begins his legal studies in the fall. O’Hara, whose career interests include the court system and health and biomedical law, plans to pursue a career in public service.

“Suffolk University and its Law School have always placed a high premium on service, and Joe Moakley was the personification of a caring public servant,” said Law School Dean Camille Nelson. “One of the last services Congressman Moakley rendered was to establish this scholarship fund so that students could find opportunity in the study of law, just as he did as a veteran after World War II.”

Moakley also bequeathed his congressional papers to Suffolk University, and they have served as the foundation of the Moakley Archive and Institute at Suffolk University.

In the 10 years since the congressman’s death, the Moakley Archive and Institute has served as a resource for scholars and researchers, promoted and offered opportunities for public service, and collected oral histories and additional materials related to Moakley and the issues he addressed during his long political career.

“The Moakley Scholarship is a significant asset as we continue to encourage community engagement,” said Nelson.” The Moakley Archive and Institute provides a fine complement to our clinical programs, the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service and the pro bono work of our faculty, administrators, staff and students.”