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by Ann Murray*
Penn Law School graduates have consistently pursued and attained highly coveted jobs in the public interest world: post-graduate Public Interest Fellowships. These Fellowships provide funds to recent law school graduates wishing to begin careers in service to society. Through the years the Fellowships have grown in stature as fellows have pursued projects that have had great, often maverick, impact on American communities. This year, the Law School has an impressive crop of new lawyers entering public interest careers through these prestigious programs.
“These awards honor both our students and the Law School,” notes Dean Michael A. Fitts. “National organizations, receiving applications from top-notch candidates from law schools nationwide, have recognized the talent, leadership, and commitment of our students and graduates. At the same time, these Penn Law alumni will now be able to begin their careers pursuing their own goals and interests in ways that are beneficial to the communities they will be serving.”
Over the past several years, the Law School has been coordinating its public interest efforts in substantial ways through the Public Service Program and the Career Planning & Professionalism Office to offer students the base from which to launch their public interest careers. The Law School is home for the American Bar Association’s 2000 Pro Bono Publico Award-winning Public Service Program, which has broadened its work with students in myriad ways that expand students’ horizons and expertise.
“Recent initiatives, including the Sparer Summer Fellowship Program, the Public Interest Scholars curriculum and the expansion of student-initiated legal clinics, have created a strong culture of public service both at Penn and in the broader public interest community,” notes Susan Feathers, Director of the Public Service Program.