Suffolk Law third-year student Michelle Bauer is the first recipient of a scholarship for summer interns in the state Attorney General’s Office named in honor of a former Rappaport Fellow who died suddenly in 2012.

The scholarship is named in honor of Nathaniel S. Downing of Pittsfield, who was an investigator in the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division before attending law school. In 2010 Downing received a Rappaport Fellowship in Law and Public Policy through the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service. Downing died unexpectedly in April 2012.

Bauer of Brookline, Mass., recipient of the Nathaniel Downing Public Interest Internship, interned in the Medicaid fraud division during the summer of 2013. She is a veteran of the Air Force.

“Shelley is a warm, hard-working student, who came to Suffolk Law to continue her lifelong dedication to public service. She is an excellent choice to carry out Nate Downing’s legacy.” said Greg Massing, director of the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service.

Downing was a third-year student at New England Law School when he died. He had discovered his passion for public service while interning at the U.S. Supreme Court. He joined the Attorney General’s Office in 2007, ultimately applying to law school. As a Rappaport Fellow he interned with the General Counsel’s office of the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance.

“Nate’s sincere commitment and dedication to his work truly exemplified what it means to take part in public service,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said. “We honor his memory through this internship so that others may experience the values that he embodied and the passion that he discovered.”

Downing’s work continued a tradition of public service established by his late father, former Berkshire County District Attorney Gerard Downing and brother, Massachusetts state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield).

“My brother loved his time in the Attorney General's office, but more importantly he loved the chance to try and make Massachusetts a better place,” Benjamin Downing said. “I know I speak for my entire family when I say we're thrilled that Attorney General Coakley has chosen to remember him in this way.”