Fellowship will now include students from all six HBCU law schools

UDC Law is among five law schools included in an expansion of the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship program. Building on its long-standing and successful collaboration with Howard University School of Law, the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation now includes six historically black colleges and universities (HBCU).

This expansion will support a total of 13 Stevens Fellows across the six HBCU law schools in the nation, which includes Florida A&M University College of Law, Howard University School of Law, Northern Carolina Central University School of Law, Southern University Law Center, Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law and UDC Law. These law schools are among the nation’s most diverse in terms of faculty and students and are well-known for their commitment to the public interest and preparing a diverse group of law students for leadership.

The new fellows will join a national cohort of at least 75 Stevens Fellows, the largest group since the Fellowship program’s inception in 1997. The chosen students will be announced in spring and will undertake their public interest placements at nonprofits and government agencies during the summer of 2021.

“We are delighted to be working with the leadership at these law schools to make this expansion possible,” said Susan Stevens Mullen, Justice Stevens’ daughter and a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. “Their missions are deeply aligned with the Foundation’s, and we look forward to supporting their work to prepare the next generation of diverse attorneys whose public interest work will shape law and public policy and serve the needs of traditionally underserved people and communities locally, nationally and internationally.”

The Stevens Fellowship Program was created in 1997 in honor of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, reflecting his deep belief that a dynamic and effective justice system depends on a cadre of talented lawyers committed to the public interest. The Fellowship program provides grants for law students attending a network of participating law schools to work in unpaid public interest summer law positions.

In 2010, in celebration of Justice Stevens’ retirement from the Supreme Court, a group of his former law clerks established the Foundation to provide a formal home for the Stevens Fellowship Program. The Stevens Fellowship program has since increased the network of participating law schools to 29 and has funded 550 Stevens Fellows who have worked at more than 300 public interest nonprofits or governmental agencies. Nearly 74% of former Stevens Fellows are now working in public interest legal positions.


About the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation

Founded in 2010, the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation continues Justice John Paul Stevens’ lifelong dedication to improving the justice system by investing in the next generation of public interest and social justice lawyers. Through the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program, the Foundation provides grants to students at participating law schools to work in unpaid public interest summer internships.

About Justice John Paul Stevens

Justice John Paul Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1920. He graduated from the University of Chicago in 1941 and then enlisted in the Navy. For his exemplary service on a Navy code-breaking team, Justice Stevens earned the Bronze Star. After World War II, he entered Northwestern University Law School, where he became editor in chief of the law review and graduated with the highest grades in the school’s history.

After law school, Justice Stevens worked as a law clerk to Justice Wiley Rutledge of the Supreme Court of the United States. He then entered private practice in Chicago. In 1969, he served as chief counsel for a special commission investigating a bribery scandal in the Illinois Supreme Court. His widely praised performance in that role led to his appointment in 1970 to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford named him to the U.S. Supreme Court. First seen as a moderate on many issues, Justice Stevens emerged as a consistently independent thinker over the decades of his tenure on the Court. Justice Stevens retired from the Supreme Court on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest member of the Court and the third longest-serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court. Justice Stevens remained actively involved in the mission and work of the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation until his death in July 2019.


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