Temple Law School has created a new program of one-year postgraduate fellowships for graduates to work in selected public interest organizations. The law school recently announced the first three fellowship recipients from the Class of 2020, who will each be paid for a year of public interest work. The pilot program was established by Dean Mandel in response to the extraordinary challenges arising from the ongoing pandemic, which have particularly impacted the Class of 2020 and public interest agencies throughout the region. The fellowships have been generously funded by Leonard ’68 and Lynne Barrack, Stephen and Sandy Sheller, the Rubin Fund, and other donors.

“Among other things, 2020 has made unmistakably clear the persistent and urgent need for socially responsible and civically engaged lawyers with the skills and resolve to tackle entrenched, systemic injustices and inequities. It has also put extraordinary pressure on public interest organizations, creating financial challenges while increasing demand for their services,” wrote Dean Mandel in an email to 2020 graduates. “For these reasons, we made a special effort to secure funding for this pilot fellowship program. This program is borne out of our commitment to you and our responsibility as a leader in public interest and social justice legal education. It is also a reaffirmation of our belief in you, and in your readiness to serve our neighbors in the community as advocates, counselors, and leaders – to be Temple Lawyers at a time when they are more needed than ever.”

 The 2020 Public Interest Fellowship recipients are Joseph Gambela, working at Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) PA; Kyle Offenbecher, at Youth Sentencing Reentry Project (YSRP); and Joshua Dean, working at the ACLU of PA. Dean remarked, “I’m extremely grateful to work in a field where I can have an impact. I’m excited to learn from my peers at the ACLU. I would like to thank Temple Law for this opportunity, and I hope I can make our Temple Owls proud. I’ve always wanted to work in public interest law and now it’s finally happening.”

“This fellowship program is a wonderful example of Temple’s commitment to its graduates and its community,” said Assistant Dean for Career Services Danielle Schweiloch. “Administrators in the Law School and the University worked quickly to build a program that could meet several layers of need at once. The most difficult aspect was really choosing from the very strong applications we received, and I am excited to see what our three recipients will do in the year ahead.”