The University of St. Thomas School of Law has announced it is launching a campaign to grow its post-graduate fellowship program, providing expanded opportunities for recent graduates to serve the poor.

The fellowship program, which began in 2014, will also be newly named the Archbishop Ireland Justice Fellows in honor of John Ireland, the founder of the University of St. Thomas.

“Naming this fellowship program after Archbishop Ireland was a natural fit,” said Robert Vischer, dean of the St. Thomas School of Law. “Ireland’s legacy is that of someone who, among other accomplishments, advocated for the poor and for immigrants, pushed for racial equality and championed education. He also worked across cultural and religious boundaries to tackle society’s most difficult challenges.”

The law school’s fellowship program is aimed at helping to close the justice gap in the United States, which is defined by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) as the difference between the civil legal needs of low-income Americans and the resources available to meet those needs.

The Archbishop Ireland Justice Fellows program places licensed St. Thomas Law graduates in one-year, full-time employment with Minnesota organizations that work to address the civil legal needs of individuals who otherwise could not afford assistance from an attorney.

Since 2014, the law school’s post-graduate fellowship program has placed six alumni in public service legal positions. Instrumental to the success of this program has been its innovative funding model, which maximizes the resources of the law school, donors and legal aid organizations.

“Our law school’s mission compels us to help provide a voice for the voiceless,” Vischer explained, “empowering those on society’s margins to stay in their homes, with their kids, and in their jobs.”

To learn more and to make a financial gift to help support the program, please visit here. 

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