Gideon’s Promise Announces 2014 Law School Partnership Program Recipients

Hunt Archbold
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
June 24, 2014

Gideon’s Promise announced its Law School Partnership Program (LSPP) 2014 class – a group of 15 recent law school graduates poised to join a growing movement of public defenders committed to transforming criminal justice.

The LSPP is a partnership between the Atlanta-based nonprofit Gideon’s Promise – which is dedicated to reforming public defense; the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA); participating law schools from across the country, and public defender offices in the Southeast where Gideon’s Promise is primarily focused. The program recruits talented, third-year law students who are interested in public service and places them in positions at underserved public defender offices. Students who participate in the LSPP receive a commitment of a permanent job within one year from the public defenders’ offices where they are placed.

“The LSPP gives passionate law school graduates the ability to serve where the need is the greatest to ensure our criminal justice system lives up to its highest ideals,” said Jonathan Rapping, founder and president of Buckhead-headquartered Gideon’s Promise. “Each participant will learn valuable skills that are essential to beginning an important, meaningful legal career that ensures equal justice is a reality for everyone in this country.”

This year’s LSPP participants include:    
American University Washington College of Law, Corrine Warren and Kelly Pretzer;
Boston University School of Law, Thomas McCants;
George Washington University Law School, Adam Pienciak, Jack Talaska and Thomas Rimmer;
Harvard Law School, Stephanie Berger;
New York University School of Law, Candace Mitchell;
Northwestern University School of Law, Ben Israel, Rebba Omer and Brett Werenski;
University of Chicago Law School, Karen Orzechowski,
UCLA School of Law, Arienna Grody; and
Vanderbilt Law School, Jose Costales and William Howell

LSPP participants also receive the Gideon’s Promise signature Core 101 training – a three-year program that offers the tools public defenders need to provide meaningful representation to clients under difficult circumstances and to learn strategies to resist pressures to adapt to the status quo of processing clients through the system quickly. It also provides a place within a growing community of defenders committed to a common value set.