Back in July, I wrote up a report on the U Miami Law Foreclosure Fellowships that I helped set up last year. They were an unqualified success — indeed, they exceeded my hopes.
To help members of the community caught up in this unprecedented legal and economic disaster, the University of Miami School of Law created a Foreclosure Defense Fellowship program through which new graduates would be paid to provide pro bono representation to South Florida residents in danger of losing their homes. The School of Law thus became one of the first schools in the nation to set up a program to respond to the foreclosure crisis. Although the pay was low, the program allowed the Fellows to get experience in a difficult job market.
The Law School selected eleven Fellows from a pool of about 50 applicants from the J.D. class of 2009 based on relevant experience, grades, and a short essay explaining why applicants were interested in the program.
In every case, both the sponsoring organizations and the Fellows themselves reported that the project was an enormous success, although some participants also had a few suggestions for further improvement or enhancements.
Several of the sponsoring organizations found ways to extend the Fellows' terms beyond the initial 27 week period. And some of the Fellows have since found permanent jobs either with the sponsoring organizations, or with related entities.
For some reason I never got around to blogging about successes of the Fellows and the Fellowship program. Recent events, however, reminded me that I should do so. So I've uploaded the full text of the University of Miami School of Law Foreclosure Fellowships 2009-2010 — Final Report.
My July report ends on a mixed note — at the time I wrote it we didn't have any funding in place to continue the project, although it did spawn a great student-staffed clinic on housing problems more generally. Now, however, there is some really good news on the Fellowship front … but that's for another posting.