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May 18, 2012

Multiple USF School of Law students and a 2011 graduate have been selected for highly competitive public service and diversity fellowships.

“It is fantastic that so many of our talented USF students have been selected for these competitive fellowships,” Director of Career Planning Bryan Hinkle said. “The number and variety of placements speaks to the breadth of USF’s curriculum, and the mission of the School of Law to provide students with the practical skills they need to become effective and ethical lawyers.”

Michele Pai 1L will spend her summer working as a Reed Smith/Kaiser Diversity Fellow. She will spend the first five weeks of the program in Reed Smith LLP’s San Francisco office and the last three weeks in the Oakland office of Kaiser Permanente. Pai will also receive a $5,000 scholarship for her upcoming year of law school.

After graduation, David Rubin 3L will join the 15th Judicial District Public Defenders’ Office in Acadia, La., as a 2012 Public Defender Corps Fellow. Rubin, who took part in the law school’s Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project, is one of 19 fellows who will assist overloaded public defender offices across the country. The three-year Equal Justice Works and Southern Public Defender Training Center (SPDTC) program is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.

“These new lawyers come out of law school ready to change the world and through the Public Defender Corps they have an avenue to do it,” said Jonathan Rapping, founder and president of SPDTC.

Daniela Conde 2L will also travel to Louisiana this summer to work at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice as a Peggy Browning Fellow. Conde, a participant in USF’s Employment Law Clinic, has represented low-wage immigrant workers in discrimination and wage and hour cases at La Raza Centro Legal and advocated for welfare recipients in employment matters at Bay Area Legal Aid.

Selby Abraham 3L, another recipient of the Peggy Browning Fellowship, will work at the D.C. Employment Justice Center in Washington, D.C. Abraham is a participant in USF’s Employment Law Clinic and has teaching, nonprofit administration, and community organizing experience. This year, the Peggy Browning Fund selected 70 people who have demonstrated a commitment to workers’ rights for 10-week public interest labor law fellowships across the nation.

Susan Gilbert-Miller ’11 is participating in the two-year Presidential Management Fellows Program of the United States Office of Personnel Management. The fellowship is intended for potential leaders of the federal government who can contribute to policies, activities, and programs that impact Americans. She serves as a sustainability and fleet manager of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management in Washington, D.C.

“I have wide scope to assist the Department of Labor (DOL) in achieving its environmental sustainability goals. Each day is different, bringing new challenges and opportunities,” Gilbert-Miller said. “In my short time at the department, I have conducted legal research, drafted policy, written executive reports, participated in interagency workgroups, and advised senior management on environmental issues. DOL and other federal agencies are reducing carbon emissions, conserving energy and water, reducing solid and hazardous wastes, and promoting new—clean—technologies.”

A USF law student also will participate in a post-graduate, one-year fellowship sponsored by the law school and Asylum Access next year. The awardee, who will be announced this summer, will work as a refugee legal advocate in Ecuador, Thailand, or Tanzania.