Alumni to be Honored for their Commitment to Public Service

March 31, 2014

Sharon Weitzman Soltman (JD ’83), Sheldon Zenner (JD ’78) and Lawrence Marshall (JD ’85), will be recognized for their dedication to public interest law at the 11th Annual SFPIF Public Service Dinner on April 3. The three alumni will be honored at the annual event that brings Law School alumni and current students together to celebrate individual commitments to serving the public interest.

Soltman has had a long career advocating on behalf of elementary and secondary school children, with a focus on assisting students with disabilities and students who are poor and/or a minority. She has played a large role as class counsel in the landmark Corey H. lawsuit that charged Chicago Public Schools with illegally segregating special education students in violation of the 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.   

Cofounder and former legal director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, Marshall has represented wrongfully convicted inmates including some who were sentenced to death. He is currently a professor of law at Stanford Law School and has researched and taught on legal ethics and professional responsibility for more than 20 years. Until 2013 he served as associate dean of clinical education and as the David and Stephanie Mills director of the Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford.

As a student at Northwestern Law, Zenner worked at the Bluhm Legal Clinic and worked for the Better Government Association. He is currently a partner in the Chicago office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP where he founded Katten’s White Collar Defense, Internal Investigation and Compliance practice, and is now the national head of Katten’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution group.

Three young alumni, Ashley Fretthold (JD ’08), Angelica Lopez (JD ’09), and Gregory Swygert (JD ’03), will also be recognized at the event for their contributions to public service law.

The Public Service Benefit Dinner is a fundraiser organized by the Student Funded Public Interest Fellowship (SFPIF) to provide Len Rubinowitz Public Interest Fellowship grants for law students who work in otherwise unpaid public interest jobs over the summer. Last summer SFPIF was able to distribute grants to 51 law students, enabling them to pursue a wide variety of summer positions in public interest and public service sectors.