The Skadden Foundation recently announced the 2014 Class of Skadden Fellows, including six current students and recent graduates of Harvard Law School who are dedicating the next two years of their professional careers to public interest work.

All six have devoted a significant amount of time to clinical and pro bono work. Each of them has participated in at least three different clinics or student practice organizations.

“It is gratifying to watch our talented students grow while in law school—through their clinical work, they develop sharp legal skills and refine themselves as lawyers and advocates. By the time they graduate, they are ready to practice,” said Lisa Dealy, Assistant Dean of the Clinical and Pro Bono Programs. “We are extremely grateful to the Skadden Foundation for their support of these students and recent graduates, making it possible for them to work with organizations that address a variety of pressing legal needs across our society.”

The fellowships, which provide a salary and benefits, were established in 1988 by the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in recognition of the need for greater funding for graduating law students who want to devote their professional life to helping the poor, elderly, homeless and disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. Applicants create their own projects at public interest organizations with at least two lawyers on staff. To date, the firm has funded 705 fellows.

Harvard Law School 2014 Skadden Fellows and their projects

Alice Abrokwa ’12, The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, Washington, D.C.

Direct representation, impact litigation and advocacy to ensure that students with disabilities, especially mental disabilities, in Washington, D.C. charter schools receive needed services in inclusive educational settings.

Melissa Friedman ’14, The Legal Aid Society, New York, NY

Advocacy to preserve foster youth’s rights to permanency and expediency of placement. The project will proceed on three levels: direct representation, resource creation to facilitate cases in other jurisdictions, and policy advocacy.

Jessica Levin ’13, Education Law Center, Newark, NJ

Advocacy to create New Jersey’s first English Language Learner project to represent and advocate for low-income ELL students in Education Law Center’s priority areas, particularly special education, student discipline, bullying and school admissions.

Jared Nicholson ’14, Neighborhood Legal Services, Lynn, MA

Provision of transactional legal services, focused on community economic development, to low-income entrepreneurs and small businesses in Lawrence and Lynn, Mass., to fight poverty and promote growth.

Eli Wade-Scott ’14, Legal Assistance Foundation (LAF), Chicago, IL

Direct representation of low-income tenants in Cook County whose health is threatened by their landlords’ failure to maintain their units in accordance with the law. Will collaborate with community organizations and medical providers to leverage individual cases for systemic change.

Melanie Zuch ’14, Covenant House New York, New York, NY

Direct representation to homeless and runaway youth to mitigate the civil consequences of past convictions, so that they can gain access to employment, affordable housing, education and welfare benefits.