Duquesne law fellowship offers students 'practical value'
Judy Hale Reed contributed to increasing the racial diversity among judges in Pennsylvania.
She also worked on issues of child safety and immigration concerns in domestic violence cases.
Then she started her second year of law school at Duquesne University.
Hale Reed, 38, spent her summer in a fellowship at The Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness.
She called her experience “invaluable” to her future as a lawyer.
Hale Reed was one of nine Duquesne law students selected to participate in the school's public service law fellowship program this summer.
“I felt like I got to do real work that was valuable almost immediately,” Hale Reed said of her time at the Downtown-based agency, founded by the state in 2004. It implements recommendations from a 2003 study that investigated whether gender, racial and ethnic bias played a role in the justice system.
“And there was practical value in it for me in the short term and the long term,” she added.
The fellowship, which law school Dean Ken Gormley founded in 2010, pays students $3,000 for the summer to work in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
It differs greatly from traditional judicial clerkships in that students can have an immediate impact on the public, Gormley said.
“Traditionally, we think of internships as judicial clerkships for law students, but I wanted to broaden it to all three branches of government,” Gormley said. “This program allows our students to get right in the front door and get very significant positions.”
In the two years since the program began, students have been placed in a wide swath of public sector jobs — from the offices of state legislators and agencies to county and local government groups.
“We're able to pay the students, so it's attractive,” Gormley said. “It means students don't have to work at Starbucks or Long John Silvers to make money and instead they can get experience and get paid a little over the summer. It's a no-lose proposition for everybody concerned.”
Jeff Fromknecht spent three months in the Allegheny County Solicitor's Office in summer 2010, identifying how the updated Americans with Disabilities Act applied to the county.
Fromknecht, 30, who worked at United Cerebral Palsy/Community Living and Support Services (UCP/CLASS) in Oakland while attending law school, said working with the federal law gave him real-world knowledge that he wants to parlay into a career.
Fromknecht now lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., but maintains close ties to the Pittsburgh region.
“While a lot of kids work at (law) firms, I was working at UCP, but I wanted to get some exposure to the law,” he said. “The fellowship was a perfect fit. It was a really good practice run.”
For Hale Reed, the work invigorated her zest for law school.
“In the classroom, you're kind of detached. With the fellowship, I got to use my new legal skills, which affirmed being in school,” she said. “It was useful to me and useful to people I was working for.”
Adam Brandolph is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-391-0927 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Latrobe couple who locked son in car trunk avoids jail
- Steelers cut linebacker Kion Wilson, sign cornerback Toler
- Five questions facing Steelers entering training camp
- Injured eagle in Somerset County returns to the wild
- Pirates’ Melancon has been consistent since moving into closer’s role
- TV host and comedian Maher takes time from funny-serious to be funny-funny
- Costa: Democrats can take state Senate if Wolf expands lead over Corbett
- Friday - July 26, 2014
- North Huntingdon woman charged with threatening to burn down officer’s house
- Passion defense to face test vs. Houston in IWFL championship game
- Piano prodigy shared by teaching, composing