Many people enter law school with a deep commitment to public interest legal services. Yet, upon graduation, they find their commitment threatened by significant law school debt.
A recent study found that such debt prevented 66% of students from entering public interest positions. And, according to legal service providers, many new lawyers are unable remain in such positions for more than a couple of years, because of financial demands created by law school debt.
In an exceptional philanthropic response to this problem, Morris M. Shuster worked with the Bar Foundation to establish a Named Endowed Fund with a gift of $100,000. Since 2003, the Shuster Fellowship has provided awards each year to deserving public interest attorneys to help them retire their law school debt. Practicing legal services attorneys who have been employed at a non-profit for a minimum of three years may be eligible for up to $2,500; those who have been in practice for a minimum of five years may be eligible for up to $5,000.
Morris Shuster's remarkable vision has since inspired an anonymous friend of the Bar Foundation to contribute an additional $100,000 to the Shuster Fellowship.
2016 Shuster Fellows Level 1 (up to $5,000):
Kyle Fisher – Pennsylvania Health Law Project
Thu B. Tran – Community Legal Services
2016 Shuster Fellows Level 2 (up to $2,500):
Kristina Moon – Education Law Center
Jane Nylund – Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Colleen Swim – Support Center for Child Advocates