Established in 1973, the William H. Hastie Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for nontraditional lawyers to prepare for a career in law teaching.
On April 15-16, past and present Hastie Fellows gathered at UW Law School for a day of workshops aimed at building a network for fellows and a works-in-progress series for those seeking to publish. For many participants, the event inspired a renewed commitment to the fellowship's legacy.
The reunion honored Professor James E. Jones, Jr., the founding Hastie adviser and a firm believer in the Wisconsin Idea--that the boundaries of the university are the boundaries of the state. According to current adviser Professor Peter Carstensen, Jones intended the Hastie program, which aims to pursue academic excellence and diversify the legal profession, to be a model for other schools.
Evidence of the program's impact was present throughout the weekend, which featured a range of workshops and a keynote address by former Hastie Fellow Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, now a civil rights advocate and professor of law at UCLA and Columbia University.
In the morning, Hastie alumni gave accounts of where they are now and how they got there. Many credited the Hastie program with providing critical professional support at an important time in their careers.
"It was amazing how much credit they give the Hastie program and what a strong network there still is among Hastie alumni," said Professor Bill Whitford.
At the weekend's close, participants emerged with a renewed sense of the fellowship and its future.
"It was a lovely event," said Michele Goodwin, Everett Fraser Professor of Law and Professor of Medicine & Public Health at the University of Minnesota. "As we move forward, this meeting and the opportunity to connect back with and for Jim, will not be forgotten."
To view photos from the event, click here.
Submitted by UW Law News on May 31, 2011