Rubenstein '10 Selected for Prestigious Skadden Fellowship

Rubenstein '10 Selected for Prestigious Skadden Fellowship
Lynn Safranek
Law School Office of Communications
December 4, 2009

The University of Chicago Law School is proud to announce that Kathleen Rubenstein '10 has been selected for a prestigious Skadden Fellowship to implement a project she designed to improve low-income people's access to education and skills training.

"It is a tremendous honor to be selected for a Skadden Fellowship, and we are so proud of Kathleen," said Lois Casaleggi, Senior Director for the Office Career of Services. "Kathleen has been dedicated to public service since before law school, and I am so pleased to see her commitment and dedication rewarded with this prestigious fellowship.  I am fully confident that she will do great things with her fellowship and that this will be a wonderful beginning to a meaningful career as a public service lawyer."

The Skadden Fellowship Foundation presents awards to graduating law school students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services the poor, elderly, homeless or disabled. The fellows create projects at the public interest organization of their choice, and the foundation pays two-year salaries and all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. About 30 fellows are chosen each year.

Rubenstein partnered with the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law for her project. She will advocate for low-income clients on the policy level, strengthening enforcement of a HUD regulation that provides employment opportunities and educating caseworkers about the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, a cash-assistance program. She also will work individually with clients, representing them in court or searching for job-skills opportunities that fit their needs.

Last spring, Rubenstein joined the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Clinic and assisted drafting the merits brief to the Supreme Court for the forfeiture case prepared by Professor of Law Craig Futterman and Tom Peters, Attorney at Law. The clinic work stoked her enthusiasm for public-interest law, which has been a long-time career goal.

"I came to the Law School to do public interest law," Rubenstein said. "The clinics are where you get the most hands-on experience and where you have the opportunity to decide how to use your legal skills to help others."

Rubenstein credited the Law School's Office of Career Services for encouraging and improving her Skadden application and placing her in touch with the Law School's two Skadden Fellows from '09. Kristin Greer Love is advocating for the rights of Mexican guest workers and Kent Qian is working with the National Housing Law Project in Oakland, California, on housing foreclosures and assisting evicted tenants. The two gave advice and introduced her to other Skadden Fellows.

"I don't think you could succeed in becoming a Skadden Fellow without that support," she said.

Rubenstein, 24, is a native of Washington, D.C. Her family lives in Denver, Colorado. In 2006, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. History from the University of Chicago.

The Law School is looking forward to hearing more good news this academic year from other students who have applied for public-sector fellowships, including the Presidential Management Fellows Program and the Fried Frank/MALDEF Fellowship Program.

Three other '09 graduates also were awarded public-sector fellowships. Dominique Nong accepted a position at the renowned Southern Poverty Law Center, Grisel Ruiz was granted the Sutro Fellowship to provide legal assistance to immigrant female farm workers, and Anabelle Yang was selected to join the Presidential Management Fellows Program for a two-year internship.