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Wayne Law Announces Recipients of Public Interest Law Fellowships, Strengthens Urban Mission in Detroit and Beyond

May 6, 2009

DETROIT (May 6, 2009) – Rita Subhedar, a second-year Wayne State University Law School student, is headed to Washington, D.C. this summer thanks to Wayne Law’s newly established Public Interest Law Fellowships. And she’s not the only one with her summer plans now in place.

Subhedar, Kimberly Adams, Eric Berg, Lara Chelian, David Deeg, Jason Dinsmore, Elisa Gomez, Laura Kubit, Aisa Villarosa and Erica Washington will be gaining practical legal experience through $6,000 Public Interest Law Fellowships that will allow them to work for a variety of agencies and clinics in Michigan and Washington, D.C.

“On behalf of Wayne Law, I would like to congratulate our first-ever Public Interest Law Fellowship recipients,” said Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman. “These fellowships will provide remarkable opportunities for these students to gain practical experience in public interest law. They will also supply help for worthy organizations and assist folks in need of legal help at a time of economic difficulty.”

He added, “We are thrilled to have found necessary funding for these fellowships in 2009 and hope to be in a position to continue funding the program in future years as well.” 

The fellowships were created by the Law School in an effort to allow students additional opportunities to gain practical experience before graduation, ease financial stresses and offer needed assistance to organizations providing legal services to underserved constituencies. Fellowship recipients, who will hold public interest jobs during the summer of 2009, were selected by a committee consisting of Wayne Law faculty and alumni.

Specific agencies/clinics where recipients will work include:

  • Kimberly Adams - Salvation Army Booth Legal Aid Clinic, Detroit
  • Eric Berg - Attorney General of Michigan Children/Youth Services Division, Detroit
  • Lara Chelian - American Civil Liberties Union, Detroit/Lansing
  • David Deeg - Worker Rights Consortium, Washington, D.C.
  • Jason Dinsmore – Great Lakes Environmental Law Center / Wayne Law Environmental Law Clinic
  • Elisa Gomez - State Appellate Defender, Detroit
  • Laura Kubit - Lakeshore Legal Aid, Southfield
  • Rita Subhedar - National Housing Law Project, Washington, D.C.
  • Aisa Villarosa - Michigan Poverty Law
  • Erica Washington - Catholic Charities Legal Services, Washington, D.C.

"This fellowship makes it possible for students like me to pursue a career in public interest law,” Subhedar said. “With the National Housing Law Project, I will work on federal legislative analysis and advocacy related to the current foreclosure crisis. I am grateful to the Public Interest Law Fellowship Committee for giving me the opportunity to live and work in Washington, D.C. this summer."

For more information regarding Wayne Law’s Public Interest Law Fellowships, please visit http://www.law.wayne.edu/finaid/pilf.php. 

About Wayne Law
Wayne State University Law School as educated and served the Detroit metropolitan area since its inception as Detroit City Law School in 1927. Located at 471 West Palmer Street in Detroit’s re-energized historic cultural center, the Law School remains committed to student success and features modern lecture and court facilities, multi-media and distance learning classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, and the Arthur Neef Law Library, which houses one of the nation's 40 largest legal collections. Taught by an internationally recognized and expert faculty, Wayne Law students experience a high-quality legal education via a growing array of hands-on curricular offerings, five live-client clinics, and access to well over 100 internships with local and non-profit entities each year. Its 11,000 living alumni, who work in every state of the nation and more than a dozen foreign countries, are experts in their disciplines and include leading members of the local, national and international legal communities. For more information, visit www.law.wayne.edu.  

Pictured above: Recipient Rita Subhedar and Wayne Law Dean Robert M. Ackerman