Four Yale Law School Graduates Receive Skadden Fellowships

Long committed to public interest law, the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP of New York has chosen four 1999 Yale Law School graduates to be among 27 new Skadden Fellows.

Each Fellow in the two-year program will provide civil legal assistance to those in need through various nonprofit organizations, while receiving a salary paid by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation.

The new Fellows from Yale Law School are: Julie Becker of Detroit, Michigan; Rebekah Evenson of Briceland, California; McGregor Smyth of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Lucy Wood of Holland, Pennsylvania.

Fellows propose their own projects when they apply.

Becker’s project will center on housing law in Washington, D.C. She will work for The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, handling tenant representation in landlord/tenant court and in the city public housing administration.

Evenson will join the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she will help address barriers to employment faced by current and former welfare recipients who are entering the labor market.

Smyth will be based at The Bronx Defenders in Bronx, New York, handling civil rights and legal aid work for criminal defendants and their families, helping them resolve the many civil needs that arise from criminal proceedings.

Wood will be involved with a two-part project at Advocacy Inc. in Austin, Texas. She will represent people with developmental disabilities who are currently in institutions, trying to move them into community placements. She will also work with children with disabilities, helping them to get needed medical care through the Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program.

The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, once described as “a legal Peace Corps” by The Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988. Funded by a bequest from the firm, the foundation awards 25 fellowships per year to graduating law students and outgoing judicial clerks. Fellows provide legal services to the poor, elderly, homeless and disabled, as well as those deprived of their human rights or civil rights. In recent years, Fellows have also worked on issues concerning economic development and community renewal. Since the inception of the program, Skadden has funded more than 300 law school graduates, and almost 90 percent of the Fellows have remained in public interest or public sector work.

Fellowships are awarded for one year, with the expectation of renewal for a second year. Skadden provides each Fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. The new Skadden Fellows will begin their projects in fall 2000.

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