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SKADDEN PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWSHIPS
The Skadden Public Interest Fellowships, created in 1989 in honor of the 40h anniversary of the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, is one of the best known of the postgraduate fellowships. Since its inception, the Skadden Fellowship Foundation has awarded twenty-five fellowships nationwide each year to graduates working in public interest law organizations providing civil legal services to poor, elderly, homeless and disabled individuals, children and persons deprived of their civil or human rights. Two Penn Law students received these fellowships this year.
Damon Hewitt Lí00, currently clerking for the Honorable Eric L. Clay, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, received a Skadden Fellowship to work with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York. Hewitt will be working to ensure that children at risk for suspension or expulsion, and children referred to juvenile authorities, continue to receive the educational services to which they are entitled. His project will challenge the denial of basic and special educational services to children both before and after they enter the juvenile justice system. He will also work with ďat-riskĒ children to prevent their involvement with the juvenile justice system.
Throughout his years at Penn, Hewitt was an active member of the Law School community. He was one of four Public Interest Scholars chosen each year to receive a two-thirds scholarship based on his past public interest work, his commitment to public interest and his leadership and future as a public interest practitioner. He lived up to this scholarship serving as President of Pennís Black Law Students Prestigious Fellowships Granted to Young Alumni & Students Association and spending his time working for the Philadelphia Urban Law Student Experience and the Penn Advocates for the Homeless. Additionally, he worked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and the US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division during the summers between law school.
Jennifer Pokempner Lí00 clerking with Judge Andre M. Davis, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, received a Skadden Fellowship to work at the Juvenile Law Center in Philadelphia. Pokempner will work with former Skadden Fellow Laval Miller-Wilson Lí95 on a project involving older children in foster care. Pokempner will represent youth who are ďaging outĒ of the foster care system and advocate for their rights to receive adequate educational and other services that will allow them to live independently as adults. She will participate in litigation to ensure the rights of older youth in foster care and contribute to a statewide task force on foster care and independence. She will also prepare materials to educate judges and attorneys on the rights of children in foster care.
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