The law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has announced the selection of 28 Skadden Fellows for the class of 2009, bringing to 564 the number of law school graduates and judicial clerks the firm has funded to work full-time for legal and advocacy organizations.
Called “a legal Peace Corps” by the Los Angeles Times, the Skadden Fellowship Program was established in 1988 to commemorate the firm’s 40th anniversary. The program supports graduating law students and judicial clerks who choose to devote their professional careers to providing legal services to underserved members of society, including the poor, the working poor, the elderly, the disabled and those deprived of their civil or human rights.
The initiative has had a lasting impact on public interest law, as more than 90 percent of all Fellows have remained in the public sector since their selection.
This year’s class of 28 Fellows will work in 12 states, the District of Columbia and Mexico. Their projects include an effort to end payday lending in the Mississippi Delta, and advocacy to stabilize and strengthen foreclosure-stricken communities.
Fellows will also assist South Asian, Arab and Muslim residents of New York who are affected by abuses of post-9/11 security measures; counsel trafficked Chinese youth on matters of workers’ rights and education; and aid Alaska natives in their effort to relocate threatened coastal villages.