We maintain a long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility. By providing a meaningful investment in law students and legal professionals to engage in law, public policy and public service, the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation embodies this commitment.
The Foundation is rooted in a history of civil rights advocacy. Established in 2000, the Foundation honored the retirement of the firm’s founding partner James R. Patton, Jr. To endow the Foundation, we dedicated lawyers’ fees from a 25-year pro bono case, the Ironworkers case, won by Foundation President John Oberdorfer. In the case, a federal court in Washington DC struck down racial barriers faced by African-American construction workers.
The Foundation’s endowment has continued to grow through the proceeds of a second large pro bono victory, the Yachtsman case, won when we successfully settled a federal racial discrimination suit against a hotel resort that discriminated against African-American bikers during Black Bike Week in Myrtle Beach.
Throughout the years, the Foundation has also been supported by generous individual contributions from partners and friends of the firm.
The cornerstone of the Foundation is the Public Policy Fellowship Program, which launched in 2005. Each year, the Fellowship Program awards fellowships to exceptional first and second year law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service and a developed interest in public policy. These law students commit their summers to advancing public policy issues through non-profit institutions, government agencies and domestic or international organizations.
The Foundation is pleased to announce its Fellowship Class of 2023, and to introduce and congratulate its 30 Fellows. We proudly welcome 24 Public Policy Fellows, plus 4 Sustained Impact Fellows, and 2 Human Rights Fellows.
The Public Policy Fellowship program is the backbone of the Foundation. In 2023 our Public Policy Fellows are once again making important contributions locally, regionally, nationally and globally through a wide range of public interest and public service internships.
Under our Sustained Impact Fellowship Programs, three Fellows are working on racial justice issues, two are working on human rights issues, and one on veterans’ issues.
To date, the Foundation has provided fellowships to 356 students. Presently we collaborate with 19 law and public policy schools located throughout the US and overseas. The Fellowship Program reflects the firm’s industry-leading Public Policy Practice and its commitment to public service.
Congratulations to the Fellowship Class of 2023!
John L. Oberdorfer, President Rodney E. Slater, Chairman
Racial justice, voting rights, police and community relations, and juvenile justice in minority communities – these are the pressing issues of our time. In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd, as part of the heightened consciousness about systemic racism and racial injustice, the Foundation convened panel discussions and engaged in conversations with and among the Fellowship Class of 2020 about addressing racial injustice.
An important part of the Foundation is its commitment to Veterans. From the beginning of the Fellowship Program the Foundation has requested that its participating law schools give a preference to Fellowship applicants who are serving, or who have previously served, in the US Army, Army JAG Corps, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. We are very proud of the 22 Fellows who are serving or have done so, including two in this year’s 2023 class of Fellows.
2022 Fellow Mark Dela Peña recently published Veterans Treatment Courts: Broadening Eligibility for Veterans Convicted of Violent Offenses in the Catholic University Law Review. A United States Marine Corps veteran, Mark is a 2024 J.D. candidate at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law. Mark served his 2022 Fellowship at the Office of the Commonwealth Attorney in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The Foundation relies on the coordinated efforts of the volunteer members of its Advisory Committee. A strengthened Committee is setting to work on the Foundation’s 2024 goals.