GrowingTreasury of Public Servants
The law school’s investment in public service is paying dividends
In the five years since Elena Kagan ’86 became dean of the law school, HLS’s historically significant support for public service work has grown even stronger. The number of graduates choosing that field immediately after graduation has jumped nearly 25 percent. Services that the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising provides to students have expanded dramatically, as has the school’s Low Income Protection Plan, which helps qualifying graduates pay back their loans. And a new Public Service Initiative will soon pay the third-year tuition of any student who commits to five years of public service postgraduation. Equally important are fellowships to enable students and graduates to do public service work (many of which were created or expanded during the campaign). Snapshots follow—of some of the people who made the opportunities possible and some students and alumni who are benefiting.
As the recipient of the first fully funded Maria, Gabriella & Robert A. Skirnick Public Interest Law Fellowship, Lindsey Schoenfelder ’07 was able to pick her “dream job”—providing legal services to immigrant workers, with a particular focus on women’s issues such as sexual harassment in the workplace. “For new attorneys it can be so difficult to make the jump from law school to public interest law,” she says. “I feel as though the Skirnick was a key bridge between me and what I wanted to do.”
A few other Skirnick Fellows each year receive income supplements to work at public interest organizati