4.5.11 — Liza Hirsch '11 has been awarded a 2011 Skadden Fellowship, considered by many to be the most prestigious public interest post-graduate fellowship in the nation. Hirsch's project will be housed in Boston Medical Center's Family Medicine Department, where she will provide legal representation to low-income families who need help with matters relating to eviction, housing conditions, housing subsidies and reasonable accommodations.

"Eighty percent of civil legal needs for low-income families go unmet due to limited legal aid funding," said Hirsch, who earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin. "This reality demands creative, broad-based strategies that reach more clients. My project maximizes impact by combining individual representation, education and dissemination of effective advocacy strategies. Through a medical-legal partnership, this project has the power to enforce the housing rights of Boston’s poorest families and the potential to effect system reform nationwide."

The Skadden Fellowship Foundation, described as "a legal Peace Corps" by The Los Angeles Times, was established in 1988 in recognition of the dire need for greater funding for graduating law students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor (including the working poor), the elderly, the homeless and the disabled, as well as those deprived of their civil or human rights. Fellowships are awarded for two years. Skadden provides each fellow with a salary and pays all fringe benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled. The 2011 class of fellows brings to 620 the number of academically outstanding law school graduates and judicial clerks the firm has funded to work full-time for legal and advocacy organizations. This is the 16th Skadden fellowship awarded to a Northeastern applicant since the program's inception.