Four law students awarded 2006 Massachusetts Bar Foundation Fellowships

Issue June 2006

The Massachusetts Bar Foundation recently awarded stipends of $6,000 each to four exemplary law students who will serve as legal interns in Massachusetts nonprofits during the summer of 2006. The four were selected through a competitive process from among 36 applicants.

According to attorney Jenny Chou, MBF Trustee and chair of this year’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program Committee, selecting just four recipients was “extremely challenging, as most applicants demonstrated solid experience, as well as career aspirations in different aspects of civil legal services. We want to be able to support that dedication and their continued ability to work in the public sector.”

“It is heartening to see such a diverse and well-qualified group of young people so committed to the pursuit of public interest law,” commented MBF President, Francis A. Ford. “We are proud and honored to be able to support the four students selected, as they work with determination this summer to champion the cause of justice for low-income individuals across Massachusetts.”

The Foundation’s Legal Intern Fellowship Program is funded through donations from MBF Fellows and through the Smith Family Fund, an endowment fund created by the Smith Family in 1989. The program was created to encourage careers in public service, and to contribute valuable legal support to organizations serving low-income clients across the commonwealth. The program celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. In that time, the MBF has awarded 68 stipends to local law students, many of whom have gone on to launch successful careers in public service.

The 2006 MBF Legal Intern Fellowships were awarded to:

2006 Smith Fellow

Shilpa Ram, American University’s Washington College of Law, will intern at the Boston Medical Center’s Medical Legal Partnership for Children. There, in collaboration with medical professionals, Ram will assist in legal representation of low-income families with children on cases involving nonmedical root causes of illness, such as substandard housing or access to financial and medical benefits.

2006 MBF Fellows

Helene Busby, Vermont Law School, will intern with the Center for Human Development’s HIV/AIDS Law Consortium of Western Massachusetts, where she will assist in managing cases and provide support for community-based law clinics for low-income clients living with HIV/ AIDS.

Jamal Lacy, Suffolk University Law School, will intern with the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, where he will work on cases of racial and ethnic discrimination.

Elizabeth Pisarski, Western New England College School of Law, will provide legal support to Western Mass. Legal Services through the North End Outreach Project, a program that seeks to improve conditions for the low-income citizens of Springfield’s North End. Pisarski will specifically focus on housing related issues.