Chinh Le '01: As a young lawyer, a law school graduate, even coming out of a clerkship, it's very difficult to get a job, an entry level job, in the public interest world.
Jason Szanyi '09: The Skadden Fellowship really is the preeminent opportunity to do public interest work.
Jeree Thomas '11, Policy Director, Campaign for Youth Justice: I came to law school to do trial advocacy work. I didn't know how I was going to do that or how I was going to pay to do that, and so I was really ecstatic to learn about the Skadden Fellowship and to be able to know that I could develop a project to do exactly what I wanted to do to serve kids.
Susan Butler Plum, Director, Skadden Foundation: We're funding people's dream jobs, so they design their dream job and go for two years to do that job, but what they're really doing is being supervised by veteran legal services workers who deeply know what the clients' needs are.
Vivian Wong '17, Current Fellow, Learning Rights Law Center: So what really sets Skadden apart from other fellowships is that you're really encouraged to go where the need is.
Stephen Cha-Kim 'll, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York: The project-based nature of Skadden Fellowship, having to work for an organization, having to identify what an uncertain need is, how you could fill that need, all that really helps you think as a law student in concrete terms about how can I put all this capital in my head to use.
JJ Rosenbaum '03, Global Labor Justice Project; Lecturer, Harvard Law School: It brings people to the hardest edges of where we need structural change in the United States and encourages Fellows to bring challenges that will change the system, not just win cases or get people to write what they do, but really get to the deeper issues of why those rights weren't accessible without a lawyer.
Aaron Halegua '09, Research Scholar, New York University School of Law, US-Asia Law Institute: The first case that I worked on as a Skadden Fellow was one that we filed on behalf of six Chinese nail salon workers in New York City.
Sue Pak '16, Current Fellow, Cabrini Green Legal Aid: I somehow got involved with working with people with small records and saw all the obstacles that they've been facing because of their records, to education, to employment, to housing.
David Hausman '16, Current Fellow, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project: We went to court, we asked the court to order the government to give back the DACA, and then we expanded that case into a nationwide class action.
Shakeer Rahman '17, Current Fellow, The Bronx Defenders: To help our clients, Bronx residents, to put to police and other state officials for the kinds of injuries that other lawyers don't have any incentive to vindicate.
Oscar Londoño '17, Current Fellow, Community Justice Project: My mom is a domestic worker, my aunt's a domestic worker and I'm partnering with the Miami Workers' Center to create community legal clinics, and these legal clinics are providing direct legal services to domestic workers.
Sarah Paoletti '00, Practice Professor and Director, Transnational legal Clinic, University of Pennsylvania Law School: There's this great intersection of human rights and migration and direct services here in the United States where I felt like there was a great need.
Daniel Hafetz '10, Special Counsel to the First Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Social Services, Human Resources Administration: We need big solutions and we need big groups of people to fight forces that are entrenched, that are structurally seemingly intractable in our society.
Matthew Denn '91, Attorney General State of Delaware: You don't see a lot of cookie cutter Skadden Fellowships. These folks are being really creative and in some cases ingenious in figuring out ways to apply their skills.
Lauren Aguiar, President, Board of Directors, Skadden Foundation: The things t hat Joe Flom would always talk about, upper margin work, being responsive to clients and doing creative legal thinking, the Skadden Fellows do each one of those things, just like we do, but they do it for clients who can't pay them.
Chinh Le: We now have thirty years of folks who have been doing this work sponsored through this Fellowship.
Meg Barnette '96, Chief of Staff & General Counsel, Planned Parenthood NYC: The ongoing resource is this network of remarkable, committed, dedicated, smart, innovative lawyers and social change agents.
Matthew Meyer '02, County Executive, New Castle County, Delaware: They're interested in helping everyone from all communities and they're willing to go into hard places and do hard things.
Michael Hollander ' 08, Supervising Attorney, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia: I regularly encounter people at large nonprofits, at small nonprofits, in the government, in elected positions who were Skadden Fellows or who are Skadden Fellows.
Christine Stoneman '95, Principal Deputy Chief, Federal Coordination & Compliance Section, U.S. Department of Justice: Several years ago, I was in what used to be J. Edgar Hoover's office in the Justice Department and it's now through some act of simple justice, the Civil Rights Division conference room in the Justice Department, and there was this meeting there with about twenty-five attorneys and the Civil Rights Division had. I remember at on time looking around and there were five former Skadden Fellows.
Stephen Cha-Kim: Wherever you go, whatever you do, whatever year you are, you have access to this group of people who will make time for you, who will share ideas with you, who will point you in the right direction.
Oscar Londoño: It's an opportunity for young public interest lawyers to go back to their hometowns to create innovative projects to really figure out what are the gaps in our legal landscape part of the country and how can we fix that.
Matthew Meyer: There's a desperate need for Skadden Fellows today.
Jeree Thomas: I think it's critically important that we really invest and develop in building the future of public service in our country.
Vivian Wong: Without Skadden I don't know who would be doing this work and that's why I'm so grateful to Skadden for funding this, because I don't know how else I would have done it.
Robin Lenhardt '97, Professor of Law, Fordham University Law School Everyone understands the Skadden Fellowship is a critical institution in advancing social justice in the United States.