Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, October 11, 2007 – LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Baker & McKenzie LLP is pleased to announce that, together with Equal Justice Works, it has selected its 2007 Public Interest Law Fellows- Samuel Tepperman-Gelfant and Jackie Bliss. This is the first time the Firm has chosen two fellows for the program. Each Fellow will receive funding through the Firm to provide pro bono legal services to community programs. The public interest law fellowships started in September 2007 and run for two years.
Through the Firm’s pro bono commitment, Baker & McKenzie began sponsoring Equal Justice Works Fellows in 2003 for two-year programs in various offices of the Firm in the U.S.
Baker & McKenzie lawyers work closely with the fellows in their assigned projects. Samuel Tepperman-Gelfant will be working with the Firm’s San Francisco/Palo Alto office, and Jackie Bliss will be working with the Firm’s Washington, D.C. office. The Firm’s support for the fellows is not just financial; its lawyers mentor and guide the young lawyers through their early public interest careers as well as in other areas of their professional development. Past fellows have had the opportunity to participate in Firm training programs focused on advocacy skills, and have worked with Firm lawyers on pro bono projects that many of these young lawyers might not have experienced so early in their careers.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Baker & McKenzie and our fellows- Sam and Jackie,” said Angela Vigil, North America Director of Pro Bono and Community Service. “The chance to work with the Firm in this capacity will be a great experience for their public law careers. Sam and Jackie are both extremely talented lawyers, and will make valuable contributions to their assigned projects.”
Baker & McKenzie Fellows and their projects and focus:
Public Advocates, San Francisco, CA
Assist with designing legal and political strategies to help low-income communities in Oakland gain benefits from real estate development and investment by engaging the local community, elected officials and developers through legal agreements, community organizing, and other forms of public advocacy. A 2005 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, he was a law clerk to Judge John P. Fullam in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Pa., from 2005-2006 and a Staff Attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 2006-2007. He was also a past summer associate for Public Advocates, where he worked on affordable housing through litigation and policy advocacy.
Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition), Washington, D.C.
Help strengthen and deepen CAIR’s essential pro bono program, which facilitates the representation of immigrants held in custody all over the Washington, D.C./Virginia area who are seeking citizenship, visas, or other creative immigration law remedies. She will also work with the Firm’s North American offices engaged in immigration law issues at different administrative, court, and appellate levels. She received her J.D. from the American University, Washington College of Law in May 2007. She was recently an intern with CAIR Coalition.
Baker & McKenzie’s Pro Bono and Community Service practice focuses on delivering the highest quality of legal services to the underserved and disadvantaged by fostering an environment that encourages and promotes public service. In addition, the practice promotes and sponsors activities, which provide opportunities for all Firm personnel, independently, and in partnership with its clients, to contribute to the well being of the community.
Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law) funds law students and lawyers in programs that bring justice to millions of low-income persons and families. For more information about Equal Justice Works, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org/
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About Baker & McKenzie
Founded in 1949, Baker & McKenzie is a global law firm of more than 3,600 locally qualified, internationally experienced lawyers and 6,600 other professionals and staff in 70 offices in 38 countries. Global revenues for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2007 exceeded US $1.829 billion. John Conroy is Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee. (www.bakernet.com)
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