What are the top 10 law schools for sending lawyers into these prestigious fellowships for public-interest work?
While your list includes places one through nine, it’s interesting to note that CUNY and Northeastern are tied for tenth place, with ten fellows apiece. The top ten schools are all at the top of the USNews rankings, but CUNY and Northeastern outperform their traditional placements. Both law schools brand themselves as public interest focused institutions; their performance lends some credibility to that claim.
I'm so glad you posted about this, David. I was a Skadden Fellow from 2005 - 2007 (puffs up chest in pride after reading "the public-interest version of Supreme Court clerkships...") and it was an extraordinary experience.
There's nothing really liberal per se about the Fellowship. They fund new lawyers to work for organizations that are providing free core civil legal services support to the poor. Full stop. Lots of housing and evictions, support for foster youth, accessing public benefits. dealing with collateral consequences of criminal convictions, domestic violence issues, etc.
One notable change is that I notice far more projects focused on immigrant communities - there are some really innovative projects in there!
I though the question about whether they fund conservative organizations was a little odd. Conservatives should be just as interested in providing free legal help for the poor as liberals, particularly religious conservative lawyers. That said, in my experience the program is quite left leaning - I don't know if that is self-selection among the applicants or selection bias by the Fellowship trustees. My guess is primarily the former.