Brown Rudnick Launches Civil Rights Summer Fellowship at Lawyers for Civil Rights
Brown Rudnick LLP is pleased to announce the formation of the Brown Rudnick Civil Rights Summer Fellowship at Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR), a Boston-based legal organization dedicated to promoting equal opportunity and fighting discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants.
Law students selected as Brown Rudnick Civil Rights Summer Fellows will learn from civil rights attorneys at LCR, work with community groups, and develop advocacy skills that will serve as a foundation for careers in public interest law. Fellows will receive a $10,000 stipend for participating in LCR’s 10-week summer program.
“Through the Brown Rudnick Civil Rights Summer Fellowship, we aim to expand the pipeline of aspiring civil rights lawyers and alleviate the financial constraints often associated with unpaid public interest internship positions,” said Bill Baldiga, CEO of Brown Rudnick.
The fellowship stems from Brown Rudnick’s successful representation with LCR of a coalition of Hispanic/Latino/a and Black residents in a federal voting rights lawsuit challenging the City of Worcester’s method of electing its School Committee, which was historically nearly all-white despite the City’s significant population of communities of color. In October 2021, a settlement was reached with the City to replace the all at-large system of electing Worcester School Committee members with a hybrid system comprised of six district-based and two at-large seats, which will provide better opportunities for communities of color to elect candidates of their choice. The new election process will go into effect for Worcester’s municipal elections in 2023.
As part of the settlement with the City of Worcester, plaintiffs’ counsel were awarded legal fees. Brown Rudnick elected to donate the firm’s legal fees to LCR and three Worcester-based non-profit organizations dedicated to supporting the educational needs of students of color in the Worcester Public School System. The non-profit organizations are African Community Education, Latino Education Institute, and Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts.
The 2022 inaugural Brown Rudnick Civil Rights Summer Fellow is Berlindyne Elie, a first-year law student at Boston College Law School. “We are very excited to launch this fellowship at LCR with Berlindyne as the first recipient. Berlindyne will get the chance to work on some of the most pressing civil rights issues facing our society today,” said Rebecca MacDowell Lecaroz, partner at Brown Rudnick, who led a team of attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the Worcester case.
“LCR is thrilled to team up with Brown Rudnick to support the next generation of civil rights advocates,” said Oren Sellstrom, litigation director at LCR and co-counsel for the plaintiffs. “Through this fellowship, we will be able to provide law students with the tools and experience necessary to make an impact on civil rights.”
“Working on the Worcester Voting Rights case with the Brown Rudnick and LCR team has been an incredible experience for me,” said Brian Alosco, a senior associate at Brown Rudnick. “I am excited that this fellowship will provide similar professional development opportunities for up-and-coming law students who work at LCR.”
To learn more about summer internship opportunities at LCR and the Brown Rudnick Civil Rights Summer Fellowship, please contact Oren Sellstrom at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Brown Rudnick LLP
Brown Rudnick combines ingenuity with experience to achieve great outcomes for our clients. We deliver partner-driven services, incentivize our lawyers to collaborate in the client’s best interest, and put excellence before scale. Our lawyers and government relations professionals work across the United States and Europe. Last year alone, the Firm represented clients based in more than 90 countries in disputes and transactions.
Brown Rudnick is deeply committed to public service. Pro bono work is an integral part of our culture. Our lawyers, paralegals, and professional staff dedicate their time and talents to help individuals and organizations pursue civil rights and racial justice and in other matters.
About Lawyers for Civil Rights
Lawyers for Civil Rights fosters equal opportunity and fights discrimination on behalf of people of color and immigrants. We engage in creative and courageous legal action, education, and advocacy in collaboration with law firms and community partners. We focus on impact areas that represent the front lines in today’s battle for equality and justice. LCR is headquartered in Boston. We represent clients across Massachusetts and surrounding communities—and the impact of our life-changing work ripples across the country.