Suffolk University Law Students Selected as 2002 Rappaport Fellows

7/3/2002

Megan Taylor, Seth Stratton, Leah Marie Barrault, and Eliza Vanderstar, have been selected to serve as 2002 Rappaport Fellows in the Rappaport Honors Program in Law and Public Service at Suffolk University Law School. This group of four highly qualified law students were among 12 students selected from Boston-area law schools who demonstrate exceptional commitment towards public service and the betterment of civic life in the Greater Boston region.

Megan Taylor, a second year student at Suffolk Law School, will be interning at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services on a project to redraft the state CHINS statue (Child in Need of Services) into a more comprehensive FINS program (Families in Need of Services). Megan has served as a Vice-President for the Suffolk Public Interest Law Group (SPILG) and as Vice-President of Amnesty International. Next year she will be a member of the Jessup International Moot Court Team. Last summer she also received a SPILG grant award to work at the Community Legal Services and Counseling Center in Cambridge. Previously, Megan was employed as a legislative aide in the Office of the Senate President in the State of New Hampshire. Megan graduated from George Washington University in 1998 with a B.A. in Anthropology. Megan has participated in the SULS Barrister-Pulpillage Program, where she studied the English common law system in London with a SULS graduate and barrister.

Seth Stratton, a first year student, will be conducting public policy research with the Shamie Center for Restructuring Government at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research in Boston. Seth graduated cum laude from Colgate University with honors in Political Science in 1998. While at Colgate he was actively involved in the school and local communities acting as President of Colgate’s Newman Community, a volunteer EMT, and a member of Colgate Sidekicks, a mentoring program for local elementary school students. After graduating Seth worked as a legislative aide and then staff director in the State House office of Senate Minority Leader, Brian P. Lees. Seth later accepted a position as Director of Security for the Bureau of State Office Buildings under Governor Cellucci’s Administration. While in this position, Seth successfully completed the Masters Program at University of Massachusetts Boston in May 2001, and received the Richard A. Hogarty Award for Academic Excellence in Public Affairs.

Leah Marie Barrault, also a first year student at Suffolk Law, will be interning at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office in the Civil Rights Bureau, working on a new project to address housing issues. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1995 with a dual major in major in Psychology and Women Studies, Leah worked in Portland Maine as a Shelter Supervisor/ Support Group Facilitator for state wide domestic violence organization. Upon moving to Boston, Leah worked closely with state and other non-profit agencies to design housing, work and educational opportunities to the individuals in her care while she worked for the Massachusetts Association for the Blind and attended the Women in Politics and Government Program at the McCormick Institute at U. Mass. Before entering Law School, Leah participated in a year long internship at the Massachusetts State House where she researched women’s policy issues, analyzed and tracked key legislation, and observed first hand policy making in action.

Eliza Vanderstar, recipient of an Academic Leadership Scholarship for outstanding academic performance in her second year at the Evening Division of Suffolk University Law School, will be interning at the Massachusetts Office on Disability, coordinating an advisory committee to the governor’s office on a variety of disability issues. After receiving her B.A. in History from Oberlin College in 1991, Eliza worked in San Francisco directing a program to provide attendants to people with disabilities. She took the knowledge from her experience of the independent living movement to Washington University where she earned her M.S.W. in 1997 and was awarded the Helen Keller Scholarship for service to individuals with disabilities. Eliza is a licensed certified social worker full time in a dialysis unit providing support and advocacy to over one hundred and twenty people with chronic kidney failure. The persistence of attitudinal barriers affecting policy and the daily lives of people with disabilities drives Eliza’s advocacy.

The Rappaport Honors Program in Law and Public Service was made possible by a five year grant gifted by the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation in the year 2000. The program is built around a series of experiences and activities that blend the practical and the intellectual elements of public service law and civic leadership. Each Rappaport Fellow will complete a paid, $7,000 ten week, full-time, summer internship with a Boston-area government, public interest, or non-profit employer that focuses on urban law and policy issues.

This unique honors program provides entry into a special community of outstanding public service lawyers and civic leaders. Rappaport Fellows join an interdisciplinary community enhanced by the Program's association with the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. These students are given the rare opportunity to become part of an evolving "community over time" that brings together current and former Fellows and Program supporters for discussions, presentations, and social events.

During the summer of 2002, every Wednesday evening from June 5 through July 31, the Rappaport Fellows will meet for discussions on topics related to public service, civic leadership, and urban law and policy in the Greater Boston region. Leading lawyers, government officials, and community leaders often will join to share their experiences, insights, and advice. Roughly half of the sessions will be held jointly with students from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at the Kennedy School.

Any law student in his/her first or second year of study, or third year of part-time study at one of the six law schools in the Greater Boston region (Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, New England, Northeastern, and Suffolk) is eligible to apply for a Rappaport Fellowship.

For more information on the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation, contact Kaela Gustafson, Executive Administrator of the Rappaport Charitable Foundation at 617-305-6473 or visit: http://www.rappaportcharitablefoundation.com

For more information on the Rappaport Honors Program in Law and Public Service, at Suffolk University Law School, contact David Yamada, Director of the Rappaport Honors Program at 617-573-8543 or visit: http://www.law.suffolk.edu/career/fellowships/rapp02/index.html

For more information on the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, contact Charles Euchner, Executive Director of the Rappaport Institute at (617) 496-3155, or visit: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/rappaport

Contact: Kaela Gustafson 617-305-6473 jlrcf@aol.com

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