The Squire Patton Boggs Foundation will expand its fellowship program into Europe, further extending the reach of the Foundation in supporting public service initiatives. Working in partnership with the prestigious College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and the Russia-United States Legal Education Foundation, the initiative will build on the program that has operated in the US for more than a decade and the Middle East since 2013. A new Russian studentship will be supported from the 2016-17 academic year and the first European Fellowship will commence in July 2017.
Since 2004, the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation has awarded fellowships each year to exceptional law students who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to public service. The law students commit their summers to advancing public policy issues in non-profit institutions, government agencies, or justice organization. To date, the Foundation has provided fellowships to nearly 200 law students. This year, the 17 US Fellows came from 13 law schools located across the country in addition to a Qatari fellow.
The Foundation was formed in 2000 when the firm dedicated attorneys’ fees from a 25-year pro bono civil rights discrimination case. The endowment continued to grow through the proceeds of a second large pro bono victory when the firm successfully settled a federal racial discrimination suit against a hotel resort.
John Oberdorfer, president of the Foundation, said: "As Squire Patton Boggs has continued to expand and strengthen its international platform, our Foundation has worked to keep pace. Many of our US Fellows over the years have undertaken their summer program in Europe – such as in The Hague at the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice. We are delighted to now be working with the College of Europe and the Russian-United States Legal Education Foundation in association with George Washington University Law School in order to take the fellowship program to the next level and expand its already impressive international footprint.”
“The Foundation’s expansion to Europe reflects our firm’s industry-leading Public Policy Practice and deep commitment to supporting law students and public service. The College of Europe in Belgium is the preferred partner of choice for the Foundation given its position at the heart of the European public policy community,” added Wolfgang Maschek, head of the European Public Policy Practice. “We look forward to supporting the aspirations of students at the College of Europe as well as European public service organizations and institutions.”
Joseph Brand, partner at Squire Patton Boggs who facilitated the Moscow studentship, said: “Squire Patton Boggs is committed to giving back to the communities it serves. For over a decade, we have supported law students in their public service endeavors. The new Moscow studentship, in partnership with the Russian-United States Legal Education Foundation, is yet another step in the Foundation’s remarkable history and we are delighted to be part of this student’s and other Fellows’ career development from the very start.”
Alumni of the fellowship program have gone on to work in legal roles for human rights foundations, such as Human Rights First and the Open Society Foundation, diplomatic posts, including as advisors to the current US Ambassador to the United Nations, and environmental groups, including EarthRights International and the Wilderness Society. 2016 fellows undertook their summer placements at organizations ranging from Vital Voices, a nonprofit aimed at empowering women around the world, to Texas Appleseed’s Fair Financial Services Program and the US Department of Justice.