News Releases

Gift from Don Reuben JD '52 Spearheads Increased Summer 2010 Public Service Funding

March 05, 2010

To: Northwestern Law Community

From: David E. Van Zandt

Re: Increased public service funding for 1Ls and 2Ls for summer 2010

I am pleased to inform you that Don Reuben JD ’52 and Kellogg ’49 has provided a $100,000 donation to the Law School that allows us to increase our funding for first- and second-year students who pursue volunteer public service positions during the upcoming summer 2010.

Because the current economic circumstances have reduced the number of law firm opportunities for first- and second-year students nationwide, we anticipate that more students will pursue unpaid positions within the public sector this summer. Don’s gift anticipates this possibility and provides significant financial assistance to our students during this difficult period.

As a one-time opportunity, the Law School also has decided to double our contribution to Student Funded Public Interest Fellowships (SFPIF) and to provide up to $100,000 to support second-year students, through a mix of institutional funds as well as targeted fundraising efforts that we are undertaking. We anticipate the combination of SFPIF’s tremendous fundraising efforts this year and an increased contribution to them from the Law School will allow SFPIF to support most qualifying first-year SFPIF members. The gift from Don Reuben and the Law School’s development efforts will allow the Law School to provide up to $4,000 toward living expenses for as many as 50 second-year students.

Eligibility details for second-year students: Funding for second-year students will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To apply, students must provide proof of full-time employment at an external government agency, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, an international NGO, or the Bluhm Legal Clinic to Cindy Wilson by April 15, 2010. If a student is being paid an amount less than $4,000 for the summer by their employer, the student may apply for an award to bring their total summer income to $4,000. The application (pdf) for these grants is located on the Career Strategy Center public interest funding web page.

This enhanced support supplements a broad menu of summer public service funding and employment options offered by the Law School:

Student Funded Public Interest Fellowships (SFPIF)/Len Rubinowitz Fellowships ($130,000 estimate): SFPIF’s members annually organize several activities aimed at raising money to support students who pursue summer positions within nonprofit organizations. These events include a fall auction; an alumni public service benefit dinner; the barrister’s ball; an annual pledge drive whereby students working at law firms donate a portion of their summer salaries; used book sales; and a 5K charity run. Through these initiatives, SFPIF awards Len Rubinowitz Fellowships (named in honor of Professor Len Rubinowitz), to a number of students who make a year-long commitment to the organization. Over the course of the year, students interested in a Len Rubinowitz Fellowship must complete a minimum of 20 hours of SFPIF service (10 hours each semester) in furtherance of SFPIF's fundraising initiatives. SFPIF provides these grants to students who accept an unpaid 8-10 week internship with a public interest employer, government agency, legal service organization, not-for-profit employer, or the Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. This past year, SFPIF members hope to raise approximately $130,000 to support students this summer.

Justice Stevens Fellowships (pdf) ($20,000): Each year Northwestern Law awards four Stevens Fellowships in the amount of $5,000 each for students to work during the summer at the public interest employer of their choice. The fellowships are funded by former law clerks for Justice John Paul Stevens. This year’s application became available in February.

Kleiman Public Interest Fellowship (pdf) ($5,000): One student will be awarded this fellowship in the amount of $5,000 for summer public interest work for a labor union or for a non-profit legal agency. The fellowship is funded by David Kleiman JD '82. This year’s application became available in February.

Lefkow Independent Judiciary Fellowship (pdf) ($5,000): The Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will award the Lefkow Immigration Fellowship in the amount of $5,000 to one student for work on immigration issues at Appleseed in Washington, D.C. This year’s application became available in January.

Mansfield Foundation Fellowships (pdf) ($13,000): Two students each year receive the Mansfield Fellowship in the amount of $6,500 each to work during the summer at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. This year’s application became available in January.

Nussbaum Public Interest Fellowship (pdf) ($5,000): This fellowship provides $5,000 to one student for summer work at a public interest agency. The fellowship is funded by William and Susan Nussbaum (both JD ’83). This year’s application became available in February.

Lefkow Fellowship at the Legal Assistance Foundation (pdf) ($5,000): The Lefkow Fellowship at the Legal Assistance Foundation in the amount of $5,000 is awarded to one student for work at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. This fellowship is funded in part by the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. This year’s application became available in January.

Work-study Assistance ($100,000): The Law School has $100,000 available in federal work-study funding to support eligible students who work within the Bluhm Legal Clinic or other nonprofit or government organizations. This funding is available to students who have demonstrated financial need through the financial aid application process.

  • Work-study positions in the Bluhm Legal Clinic: A number of professors in the Clinic will hire a student to work with them for the summer. These professors conducted interviews for these positions in February. This option is available for up to 14 students.
  • Work-study funding through SFPIF: SFPIF uses work-study funding to help fund SFPIF members who meet federal work-study requirements.

Summer classes: During the summer, students may enroll in one of the following two practica with space available for up to a total of 75 students as well as the new Summer Research Internship Program. We also plan to offer a number of courses such as Contracts II: Sales, Managing the Corporate Value Chain, Commercial Law: Secured Transactions, Business Associations, Entrepreneurship Law, Small Business Opportunity Center, and Summer International Team Project (ITP). Although students in these classes are not eligible to receive summer public interest funding, no tuition is charged and they may be able to access up to $4335 of additional financial aid in the form of loans to cover summer living expenses.

  • The Public Interest Practicum: This course examines legal representation in a public interest setting and consists of a fieldwork component and a classroom component. Students work in a field placement at a public interest legal organization or government agency. Two 15-person sections will be offered for students working in Chicago and one 15-person section will be offered for students working outside of Chicago. Students are required to keep a journal on their field placement. Supplemental readings and discussions focus on important issues in public interest legal practice. There is a final presentation and/or paper at the conclusion of the course.
  • Judicial Practicum: This Practicum provides students with a solid understanding of the federal courts, decision-making, and the role of the law clerk. In addition to completing weekly assigned readings, students work as law clerk externs for Federal District Court Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Court of Appeals Judges. Working under the close supervision of the judges and their law clerks, students conduct research, draft memoranda and opinions, and observe courtroom proceedings. Students maintain reflective journals about their field placement experiences and class discussions and respond each week to assigned questions designed to raise issues important to the Practicum. Students also are required to make a substantive presentation to the class on a topic approved by the Professor that relates to the federal judiciary. There will be at least one 15-person section for students working in Chicago and one 15-person section for students working outside of Chicago.
  • Summer Research Internships: As I mentioned in my February message, first- and second-year students will have the opportunity to participate in a program we established last year, called Summer Research Internships. Summer Research Internships offer a chance to do substantive work with a professor during the summer months, learn about the process of legal scholarship, and earn two credits toward graduation. Summer Research Interns must meet with their professor at least one hour per week and, occasionally with the agreement of the professor, conferences may be held on a distance basis. Please note that work as a Summer Research Intern does not count toward the graduation writing requirement, nor can it be used to begin a law journal note or comment. Grading for the Summer Research Internship is Credit/No Credit.

    If interested, you will need to contact the professor with whom you would like to work and mutually agree on the nature of the project and the form of the work product. Once you have secured this agreement, please provide Jason Moy a completed Counter Registration Form (available online or in person) countersigned by your supervising professor by June 15, 2010.


Through these various options and programs, including SFPIF fundraising and Don Reuben’s gift, the Law School will have approximately $500,000 to support first- and second-year students during the coming summer.


About Don Reuben: Since graduating from Northwestern Law, Don has enjoyed a distinguished career and currently is Of Counsel for the Chicago Law Firm of Chico & Nunes. Prior to his current position, he has served as Of Counsel to Altheimer & Gray, Of Counsel to Winston & Strawn, Senior & Managing Partner of Reuben & Procter and later its Senior and Managing Partner when it merged with Isham, Lincoln, & Beale, and Senior & Managing Partner of Kirkland & Ellis. Don also has served as General Counsel to the Chicago Tribune Company and as the principal counsel to the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. During his career, Don has represented numerous corporations, nonprofit and charitable organizations, and prominent individuals and has appeared before the United States Supreme Court in several watershed cases. Don has been on the Northwestern University Board of Trustees since 2002.

We are very grateful to Don for his generous gift. If you have any questions regarding any of these opportunities or need application materials, please contact Cindy Wilson.

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