In April and May 2020, the Skadden Foundation awarded $10,000 Flom Incubator Grants to 28 former Fellows to support their work addressing critical legal needs amplified by the pandemic. The distribution marks an expansion of the existing FIG program, which has awarded more than 140 grants to support innovative legal projects by former Fellows since 2011.
The COVID grant recipients have taken on a variety of legal issues related to housing, domestic violence, education, juvenile detention and other matters impacting low-income communities and vulnerable populations. We spoke with two recipients, Nisha Kashyap and Charlotte Tsui, about their projects.
As a Skadden Fellow, Toby Merrill (’12) founded the Project on Predatory Student Lending (PPSL) at Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center, where she continues to serve as the project’s director. PPSL seeks to represent students in cases challenging the fraud perpetrated by for-profit colleges, such as false advertising and job-placement claims, that lures borrowers into spending tens of thousands of dollars for often-worthless degrees.
In her work with the Reentry Justice Project at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, current Fellow Satcha Robinson helps people who have been involved with the criminal justice system overcome the obstacles they face.
…There are so many problems that people experience when they come into contact with the criminal justice system aside from just the punishment that they might receive if they're convicted...the stigma associated with having an arrest or criminal conviction needs to end. I think there needs to be a holistic view of what happened then, what was going on in that person's life, and where are they now.
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