Patrick Ferrell and Kylin Fisher Receive 2012 Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Summer Fellowships

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law students Patrick Ferrell and Kylin Fisher have been awarded Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Summer Fellowships. Ferrell and Fisher will each receive $5,000 to support their work in summer public interest law positions.

“The fellowship seeks to promote the public interest and social justice values that have characterized Justice Stevens’ work throughout his career,” said IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Nancy S. Marder, who clerked for the justice from 1990 to 1992. “When Justice Stevens retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, his law clerks decided to expand the program. Last year, IIT Chicago-Kent became one of the first schools that joined the program after the expansion.”

John Paul Stevens fellowships are open to first-, second-, and third-year IIT Chicago-Kent students who have secured summer legal public interest positions in either not-for-profit organizations or governmental entities. Stevens fellows are selected based on their commitment to public service and their potential for excellence throughout their legal careers.

Kylin Fisher is a second-year student who will spend the summer working on behalf of individuals with disabilities in the civil rights division of  Equip for Equality. Established in 1985, Equip for Equality is a private not-for-profit organization designated by former Illinois governor Jim Thompson to implement the state’s federally mandated Protection and Advocacy system in Illinois.

Fisher earned her undergraduate degree in environmental design and mathematics from the University of Boulder. Prior to law school, she served as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia. Through IIT Chicago-Kent, Fisher works as a housing law intern at Cabrini Green Legal Aid and as supervising manager of the law school’s Self-Help Web Center in the Richard J. Daley Center. During the 2011-12 school year, she volunteered more than 250 hours in public interest work.

Second-year student Patrick Ferrell will spend the summer working in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Ferrell is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Prior to law school, he worked as a reporter for the Sun-Times News Group’s suburban Chicago newspapers. Ferrell’s work on a series of unsolved murders and missing persons cases earned him a 2006 Peter Lisagor Award for exemplary journalism from the Chicago Headline Club. Since 2008, he has served as board chairman of Operation Snowball, an organization that oversees teen leadership and drug prevention programs in 125 Illinois communities. Ferrell is a member of the Chicago-Kent Law Review and has clerked at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office since 2011. During the 2011-12 school year, he volunteered more than 250 hours in public interest work.

“Both Kylin and Patrick Ferrell exemplify the social justice values that Justice Stevens holds,” said Professor Marder. “Justice Stevens is from Chicago and still feels a strong attachment to the city. I think that he will be pleased that both fellows will be working in Chicago.”