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Thurgood Marshall Law Selected to Participate in National Expansion of Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program

Posted on Wednesday, February 03, 2021

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Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Thurgood Marshall Law) is participating in the national expansion of the Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship Program, in collaboration with other law schools across the country and the John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation. This expansion honors United States Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens’ lifelong dedication to improving the justice system by investing in the next generation of public interest and social justice lawyers.

The Stevens Fellowship Program at Howard University School of Law was launched in 2011 at the direction of Justice Stevens. The new expansion will support thirteen Stevens Fellows at five additional historically black colleges and universities: Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Florida A&M University College of Law, Northern Carolina Central University School of Law, Southern University Law Center and University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of 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. These fellows will join a national cohort of at least 75 Stevens Fellows in 2021, the largest group since the Fellowship program’s inception in 1997. The chosen students will be selected and announced in spring 2021 and will undertake their public interest placements at nonprofits and government agencies during summer 2021.

“We could not be more excited and grateful about John Paul Stevens Fellowship Foundation casting its net wider and deeper to afford students at historically black colleges and universities an opportunity to not only succeed along traditional lines, but bring diverse perspectives to the fellowship experience,” said Joan R.M. Bullock, dean and professor at Thurgood Marshall Law. As one of the top schools for diversity in the nation and with varied experiences, backgrounds, and achievements by Thurgood Marshall Law student scholars, we are confident our selected Stevens Fellows will complete the summer 2021 experience even better equipped to become transformational leaders in law and in community.”

For more info, Thurgood Marshall Law students should contact Assistant Dean Nikki Wright Smith in the Office for Career, Professional Development and Diversity Initiatives at: Nikki.Smith@tmslaw.tsu.edu.

About the John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship The Stevens Fellowship Program was created in 1997 in honor of 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 to enable law students attending 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. Over time, the Stevens Fellowship program has 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. Justice Stevens was named to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Gerald Ford in 1975. 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.

About Thurgood Marshall Law

Since 1947, Thurgood Marshall Law has transformed the lives of many students, initiating them into legal professionals serving in Congress, the state legislature and judiciary in Texas, the United States and abroad. Heralded as one of the most diverse law schools in the country, and being part of Texas Southern University, the second largest historically Black college and university (HBCU) in the world, Thurgood Marshall Law upholds its leadership responsibility of providing a dynamic legal training program to a diverse cadre of students, who possess the leadership qualifications to become outstanding members of the legal profession.

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Last updated: 02/03/2021