As Harvard Law School's Public Service Venture Fund enters its fourth year, HLS is looking back on all that its awardees have accomplished since the first awards were conferred in 2013.
January 15, 2016
The National Association of Law Placement's Board of Directors recently recognized Alexa Shabecoff, assistant dean for public service at the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising at Harvard Law School, with a Service Excellence Award for her ongoing commitment in developing resources for and sharing her knowledge with the NALP public interest community.
September 27, 2015
In 1965, Ralph Nader wrote "Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile." The exposé made one reputation (his) and destroyed another, that of the Chevrolet Corvair, now considered one of the most dangerous cars ever made. Fifty years later, Nader is proud to own a shiny red 1963 Chevrolet Corvair. Nader isn't driving the classic car. He's making an example of it. It is the centerpiece exhibit in a museum that Nader is opening to the public Sunday in his hometown of Winsted. At the American Museum of Tort Law, the Corvair will be beside exhibits about that notorious cup of McDonald's coffee and other important civil tort cases. The museum was dedicated Saturday at ceremonies attended by Nader, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Alexa Shabecoff of Harvard Law School and rock star Patti Smith, among other notables.
October 6, 2014
For Alec Karakatsanis and Phil Telfeyan winning cases means getting justice for clients unable to fight for themselves. Clients like the hundreds of people locked up in a Montgomery, Ala., jail because they were too poor to pay their traffic tickets. Equal Justice Under Law, the organization founded by the two Harvard Law alums to provide pro bono legal services, filed a federal lawsuit in March arguing that Montgomery’s system of requiring people who couldn’t pay fines to sit out their debts behind bars at a rate of $50 a day was unconstitutional...Without the seed grant that Karakatsanis and Telfeyan won from Harvard Law’s Public Service Venture Fund in 2013, some of those inmates might still be in jail. The two were the first to benefit from a program designed to help Harvard Law graduates found startups that target unmet legal needs at a time when other sources of funding were drastically reduced by a recession and years of slower economic growth...“We have lots of wonderful students who are willing to forego the big salaries to work longer and take more risks about getting a job,” said Alexa Shabecoff, Harvard’s assistant dean of public service who directs the venture fund. But those students needed “a light at the end of the tunnel – a job or a way to do the work they were passionate about.”
September 18, 2014
A group of recent Harvard Law School graduates received grants to jumpstart their careers in public service. The Public Service Venture Fund awarded a total of $1 million to 23 recipients, who were chosen based on their visions for solving public service problems on a community level. Three recent graduates were chosen for the largest grants. They will receive $80,00 per year, which includes a $45,000 stipend, with expectation of renewal for a second year. An additional 20 graduating students were named as fellows and will receive $45,000 for one year to supplement their work in a nonprofit or government agency. Additional partial fellowships have also been awarded. “Through these fellowships, our talented graduates are able to provide badly needed assistance to underserved communities and causes,” said Assistant Dean for Public Serve Alexa Shabecoff.