The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, described as a "Legal Peace Corps" by the Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988 by the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP , to support students who have shown exceptional promise in the field of public interest law. The two-year fellowship gives Fellows the freedom to pursue their interests in public interest work, providing legal services to the poor, elderly, homeless and disabled, as well as those deprived of human rights or civil rights.
Fellows create their project before applying for the Fellowhip. Vicky Selkowe ('03) represented low-income Dane County workers on issues including employment discrimination, unpaid wages, Family and Medical Leave Act, and public benefits. She will develop and conduct training programs and educational materials for local advocates and low-income workers, partnering with Madison's new Workers' Rights Center.
Director of the Skadden Fellows program, Susan Butler Plum, noted that "Wisconsin has long been regarded as a social laboratory for exploring innovative responses to the challenges faced by disadvantaged communities, and Skadden Fellows from Wisconsin have taken the lead in representing those communities. By sharing their unique experiences and expertise with future public interest lawyers, Wisconsin's Skadden Fellows also further the program's goal of building a 'public interest law firm without walls' to assist communities nationwide."
Selkowe credits the UW Law School's Neighborhood Law Project (NLP), as having a significant impact on her. "NLP has allowed me to serve individual low-income clients facing unemployment, housing and consumer problems, as well as giving me a forum to connect with local advocates, service providers, and policy makers on the larger, more systemic issues facing Madison's low-income workers."
Other current or former Skadden fellows associated with the University of Wisconsin are Barbara Zabawa, Ricardo Soto, Gabrielle Lessard, Samantha Kading, Jess Shoemaker, and former UW Law School clinical faculty member Sarah Mervine.