PUBLISHED:May 10, 2010

Duke Law students secure high-level fellowships

Duke Law students have accepted a number of prestigious fellowships in recent weeks, thanks to growing student interest in and institutional support for careers and other opportunities in the public interest arena.

“We are very excited for all of our students and the invaluable experiences these fellowship programs provide for them,” says Kim Bart, assistant dean of public interest and pro bono. “The range of opportunities represented in these fellowships includes community service through the Schweitzer Fellowship, intensive academic study through the Fellowships at Auschwitz, and hands-on experience applying knowledge post-graduation in the Skadden and O’Neill fellowships.

“In a time when these programs are increasingly competitive, we are proud to see a surge in our students’ interest and ability to obtain these honors,” she continues. “That surge, I am sure, is due in large part to the wealth of experiences that Duke Law students are encouraged to pursue while here in school.”

O’Neill Fellowship in Global Health

Katherine Record JD/MA ’10 has been offered the O’Neill Fellowship in Global Health at the O’Neill Institute at Georgetown University. The fellowship supports work on policy and writing projects and independent academic research. Record will spend her fellowship year conducting research and drafting policy proposals and regulations pertaining to public health law preparedness, which includes planning for disaster relief and pandemic outbreaks.

Record says she believes that her experience in Duke’s AIDS Legal Project helped her to stand out among applicants as it gave her insight into health disparities in North Carolina and how the law might influence them. She also participated in Universities Allied for Essential Medicines and served as co-chair of the Health Law Society while at Duke Law.

“I was looking for opportunities in the global health law field,” says Record, who will graduate with a master’s degree in psychology in addition to her law degree. “This fellowship will give me a chance to work with some of the brightest and most influential people in the field. And as I continue in my career, I’ll be better prepared to improve overall public health, whether domestically or globally.”

Skadden Fellowship

Veronica Allen ’10 has received a Skadden Fellowship to spend two years expanding access to civil legal services to at-risk youth in Central Georgia.

The fellowship will cover Allen’s salary and benefits following her law school graduation while she works at the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP), offering legal representation to students who qualify under that program’s guidelines.

Allen’s project is specifically designed to increase access to legal services for black males between the ages of 12 and 18 who are eligible to attend secondary school, but whose unmet civil legal needs may be affecting their academic performance. (» Read more)

North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellows

James Gillenwater ’12, Tricia Hammond ’11, and Derrick Raphael ’12 were selected as 2010-11 Albert Schweitzer Fellows. They will join approximately 200 other fellows across the country in conceptualizing and carrying out service projects that address the unmet health-related needs of underserved individuals and communities.

Gillenwater and Raphael aim to empower middle-school youth by creating a rugby program paired with academic mentoring for students in the John Avery Boys & Girls Club in Durham. The project draws upon both students’ strengths: Raphael has extensive experience teaching college preparatory materials to students and received a fellowship to start a college-prep program in his hometown of Fayetteville, N.C., after completing his undergraduate education. Gillenwater played professional rugby for the U.S. National Team for three years before coming to law school and now coaches the Duke undergraduate rugby team.

“I’m excited about starting this from the ground up,” says Gillenwater. “It’s one thing to join a preexisting service project, but another to get something off the ground and I think that’s what the Schweitzer Fellowship is designed for.

“If we can make an impact in just a few kids’ lives and get them passionate about rugby or any activity after school that helps them build leadership skills, prepare for college, and lead a healthy lifestyle, then we’ll be successful,” he continues.

“We also want to make the program sustainable,” Raphael says. “We want to work with the Boys & Girls Club to make this an institution embedded in what they are doing.”

Hammond, in partnership with Duke School of Medicine student Simon Ascher, is working on a project that will provide incarcerated youth at the Durham County Youth Home legal and health education, literacy classes, and mentoring opportunities.

“Working with the staff and kids at the Youth Home has been the most rewarding activity I’ve done in law school,” says Hammond. “Through the Schweitzer program, our goal is to add interdisciplinary educational programming about law, health, and life skills that will be interesting and useful for the kids.”

Hammond adds that she is excited to join the community of Schweitzer fellows. “Through the fellowship, they are training us to do this type of work long-term,” she says. “The Schweitzer community has decades of experience developing these types of projects and making them sustainable, so we’ll get a lot of guidance on how to make our project as successful as possible during our fellowship year and also how to make it last into the future.”

Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics

Allison Heaney ’12 and Nadia Prinz ’11 have been invited to participate in the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE) program and will spend two weeks in late June traveling to New York, Berlin, Krakow, and Auschwitz with other law and medical school students from across the country.

“The point of the fellowship is not just to look back and ask what went wrong, but also to look forward to the future and ask what role lawyers and doctors should play,” Prinz says. “As lawyers, do we only owe our clients a certain responsibility, or do we owe society a certain responsibility because of our chosen profession?” (» Read more)