Stanford Law School’s Nisha Kashyap, JD ’14, and Stacy Villalobos, JD ’15, were named on Thursday as 2015 Skadden Fellows, a group of 28 graduating law students and judicial clerks who are dedicating their careers to providing legal services to underserved members of society.
The highly selective Skadden Fellowship Program provides each fellow a salary, fringe benefits and debt service on student loans for two years. The program was started in 1988 to give fellows the freedom to pursue public interest work. To date, it has funded 733 fellows.
“The Skadden Fellowships will allow these remarkably talented lawyers to advocate for under-represented workers and children in the foster system. We are thrilled and proud that Nisha and Stacy will be doing this important work, and grateful to the Skadden Fellowship Program for making it possible,” said M. Elizabeth Magill, dean and Richard E. Lang Professor of Law at Stanford Law School.
Stacy Villalobos will work with The Legal Aid Society in San Francisco, providing direct representation to low-wage, immigrant women workers in Fresno, Calif. She will use community education, impact litigation and advocacy to expand and protect clients’ rights, capitalizing on recently passed state laws to strengthen worker protections.
“The Skadden Fellowship is an incredible opportunity,” said Villalobos. “I am thrilled and humbled that I will get to work with and for immigrant women workers after graduation, which is exactly what I came to law school to do. The Skadden Fellowship has made my dream job a reality.”
Nisha Kashyap will work with the Opportunity Youth Collaborative in Los Angeles, which is led by The Alliance for Children’s Rights. Her goal is to dismantle common barriers to educational attainment that transition-age foster youth encounter, using direct services, stakeholder training, and state and local policy advocacy.
“I cannot think of a better way to start my public interest career,” said Kashyap. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have this opportunity to serve the clients who inspire me, and to be a part of a cohort of dedicated and talented advocates. I am excited to begin my project and elevate the stories, dreams and aspirations of foster youth who want to pursue higher education.”
Susan Butler Plum, director of the Skadden Foundation, said the program is very competitive because applicants have to find a prospective job before they apply. The foundation received about 230 applications this year.
“Ninety percent of our graduates stay in the public interest field,” Plum said.