University alum and former U.S. Attorney Robert Fiske Jr. announced this week that he will contribute $2 million to the University”s Law School as part of the newly created Fiske Fellowship Program for Public Service.
“I”m very pleased to be able to help share the rewards of public service in this way. Basically, this fund is to help others experience two of the most influential things in my life Michigan Law School and public service,” Fiske said yesterday.
Beginning in May 2002, three recently graduated or third-year Law students pursuing careers in government service will be chosen to receive a one-time $5,000 stipend plus full debt repayment assistance on educational loans for three years.
According to the program application, recipients will be selected based on “demonstrated commitment to public service values, academic achievements and the nature and quality of the proposed government position.”
Fiske “really wanted to make a statement,” said Law School Dean Jeffrey Lehman. “He wanted to ensure that we can keep moving forward.”
In light of the Sept. 11 attacks, the scholarship program aims to assist students during difficult economic times.
“I think this is an extraordinary opportunity. It will definitely have an impact in students in terms of affording an education and also increasing the accessibility of public service,” said Lehman.
Fiske said newly graduated students often have less consideration for the public service field, citing that private firms offer significantly higher salaries.
“In many cases, people will opt to go to a higher paying job. Hopefully, this will attract more people into government service,” he said.
“The Fiske Fellowships will make public service a more realistic option for our country”s best-trained attorneys,” said Robert Precht, director of the Law School”s Office of Public Service.
Fiske graduated from the Law School in 1955. He is a senior member of Davis Polk & Wardrell, a New York City-based law firm. His experience in public service includes being appointed U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1976.
He also served as independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation in 1994. Currently he serves as a member of the Commission of Review for FBI Security Programs, also known as the Webster Commission.