By: Mahalia Mathelier, OCP Intern
Congratulations to Kamala Buchanan, Elizabeth Soltan, and Michael Zuckerman on their acceptances to the 2019 class of Skadden Fellows! The Skadden Fellowship offers young lawyers two year Fellowships to pursue public interest law on a full-time basis. The Skadden Foundation aims to expand the legal services available to economically disadvantaged communities, by supporting newly graduated lawyers to pursue work they are passionate about, and to help them establish long term public interest careers. The Skadden Fellowship Foundation launched in 1988, and has funded over 800 Fellowships to date. 90% of the former Fellows continue to work in the non-profit sector. All three Harvard Law School (HLS) student awardees actively engaged in the clinical program during their time at HLS.
Kamala Buchanan is the Executive Director of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, a student-run clinic providing civil legal services to low-income people in the Greater Boston Area. Buchanan will spend her Fellowship at the Georgia Legal Services Program. She will provide direct representation and community education to low-income students of color in various Georgia counties to address racially disparate public-school discipline.
Like Kamala, Elizabeth Soltan, has spent two years as a clinical student at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. During her first year of law school, Soltan was active in the Tenant Advocacy Project, a student practice organization where students represent tenants of and applicants to public and subsided housing at administrative hearings through greater Boston. Soltan will work as a Skadden Fellow at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. Her project will focus on expanding the medical-legal partnership in West Philadelphia. In this role, she hopes to stabilize the income of families with newborns by providing them with employment and public benefits representation.
For former Harvard Law Review president, Michael Zuckerman, the road the public-service law was paved from childhood. Zuckerman’s father was an attorney, whose legacy of pro bono litigation and helping others challenge injustice through the law inspired Zuckerman, and made him realize that work in the public-sector was something he could truly take joy in. Zuckerman participated in several clinics during his time at the law school, including Judicial Process in Community Courts and the Criminal Justice Institute. He will be working at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, an organization fighting to protect the rights and dignities of incarcerated people and helping people who have been incarcerated overcome barriers to rebuilding their lives. As a Skadden Fellow, Zuckerman plans to establish a practice in Avondale, one of Cincinnati’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods and provide direct representation to citizens re-entering from incarceration to help them overcome legal barriers.
Judy Murciano, Associate Director and Director of Fellowships in the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising (OPIA) works tirelessly to help students like Buchanan, Soltan, and Zuckerman brainstorm, draft, and polish fellowship applications. She’s helped many students achieve distinguished fellowships that provide a promising launching pad into their career in public service.
Congratulations to all of the Fellows!