Generous gifts fund post-graduate fellowship, Korematsu teaching fellow

(November 10, 2010) A Seattle University School of Law graduate and his wife, who are both lawyers committed to social justice, have made major strategic gifts to fund a post-graduate fellowship and further develop the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality.

Degel BerwickJames Degel '80, and his wife, Jeanne Berwick, were moved by Seattle University School of Law's demonstrated ability to develop social justice-minded lawyers who are leaders for a just and humane world.

The two-year Seattle University School of Law Justice in Action Fellowship will provide $55,000 per year to a fellow and a qualified social justice legal organization in Washington to cover salary, fringe benefits and most overhead costs associated with funding a full-time fellow.  Applicants will be drawn from a pool of Seattle University Law School December 2010 and May 2011 graduates. 

The Degel/Berwick-sponsored Justice in Action fellowship is in addition to the law-school funded one-year Leadership for Justice Fellowship. For the 2011-2012 year, it will focus on social justice host entities based outside of Washington, whether in the U.S. or internationally-based, and will be funded at the same level of $55,000 to cover salary, fringe benefits and most overhead costs. 

"We were drawn to the idea of funding a post-graduate fellowship because of the way in which such a gift can be leveraged in many ways. The gift will help the law school to invest in the next generation of social justice lawyer-leaders, increase the capacity of social justice law-related organizations to serve the poorest and most disadvantaged populations in our state as these organizations face dramatic funding cuts and motivate other potential supporters of the equal justice movement to extend and expand the post-graduate fellowship program," said Degel and Berwick. 

Both fellowships will be administered by the Seattle University School of Law's Access to Justice Institute, led by Monika Batra Kashyap and Diana Singleton '98.

"Jim and Jeanne exemplify our mission," Dean Mark Niles said. "They have stood for justice throughout their careers, and they are inspiring students, faculty and alumni to do the same.  We are grateful for their generosity and honored by the trust they have placed in us."

The fellowship funding is the second major gift from Degel and Berwick designed to advance the law school's social justice mission. They also contributed funding to allow the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality to develop its new Civil Rights Amicus Clinic, including training students to work on "friend of the court" briefs and hiring a clinical teaching fellow who will go on to teach at other institutions. 

"In addition to training our students and empowering communities, we envision planting, one by one, clinical law professors around the country who will take with them the vision of the law school's Korematsu Center" said Professor Robert Chang, Director of the Center.  "Jim and Jeanne are supporting our efforts to extend the reach of our social justice law scholarship, research advocacy and education well beyond the four walls of Sullivan Hall."

For more information about the social justice post-graduate fellowships, go to the Access to Justice Institute's webpage.


Students in the School of Law Annex