Wayne Law students awarded International Public Interest Law Fellowships

By Jo Mathis

Legal News

Four Wayne State University Law School students will spend up to eight weeks this summer making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

Each has been awarded a $5,000 2011 International Public Interest Law Fellowship by Wayne Law School's Program for International Legal Studies to work at various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Now in its third year, the program gives first and second year students the chance to work on a broad range of issues including human rights, women's rights, the environment, law reform and more.

"I'm excited that our students will be working on the front lines of legal change at organizations that do important and courageous work," said Professor Gregory Fox, program director. "The work literally saves and changes lives. And I think our students will be deeply affected by participating in this work."

He said the students will gain valuable legal experience working with courageous public interest lawyers in regions where the efforts of reform-minded lawyers can make a huge difference.

The four winners were chosen from 18 applicants.

"In our opinion, these were the students that would best represent Wayne Law School," said Fox. "They are all very smart, hardworking and sophisticated about international issues."

Student ranked their top five choices of location, and the winners got their first or second pick.

"On my application I applied to go to the Bahamas, Tanzania, India, China, and Kyrgyzstan so I was surprised not only to get the fellowship but to find out where I was going," said Rachel Hom, a first-year law student who will spend eight weeks at The Crisis Centre in Nassau in the Bahamas. "This fellowship will give me first-hand experience outside of an academic setting to participate in laws designed to aid those who may be underrepresented or overlooked in mainstream society."

The fellowship is allocated on the basis of an eight-week position. If the recipient has funds, either personal or left over from the fellowship, he or she can choose to stay longer.

The money for this year's IPILFs came from a University Enhancement Grant.

Published: Mon, May 2, 2011