Suffolk University Law School students who will graduate in January or May of 2018 are eligible to apply.  Students are not required to have a position secured before applying for the award.   Awards will be contingent on the recipient passing the bar exam and obtaining employment with a qualifying public service employer.  The Fenton Awards are the highest paid public service awards given by Suffolk Law.

Eligible Placements

The Fenton Awards program seeks to assist students in obtaining highly responsible positions at government agencies and nonprofit organizations.  Employment responsibilities should involve substantive legal work.  Work of a primarily clerical nature does not qualify.  Examples of eligible employment include, but are not limited to, state and federal government agencies, prosecutor and public defender offices, legislative offices, public interest litigation, advocacy or policy groups, and nonprofit legal services organizations.  There are no geographic restrictions.  The following types of employment are NOT ELIGIBLE: employment with private law firms even if the firm does pro bono work; employment as a judicial law clerk; and employment with political campaigns.

Award Selection Criteria

Fenton Award recipients will be selected on the basis of merit without regard to political affiliation.  Financial need, as determined by the Office of Financial Aid, may be a consideration.  The awards seek to aid students who embody John E. Fenton, Jr.’s passion for public service.  The selection criteria include:

  1. Demonstrated, exceptional commitment to public service law as a career, as evidenced by paid and volunteer work experience, activities, and academic work;
  2. Academic achievement and/or significant achievement in a clinical, trial training (including mock trial competition) or law practice setting; and
  3. Consideration may be given to whether the work of the agency or organization provides access to justice or services to traditionally underserved clients.

Application Process

To apply for a Fenton Award, please submit the following materials via Symplicity (click on the OCI tab and choose the “Fenton” session) by March 20, 2018 by 10:00am:

  1. Law school transcript (unofficial copy is acceptable);
  2. Resume;
  3. Personal statement describing why you wish to embark on a career in public service law and highlighting your past experiences and/or achievements in this area (no longer than 2 double-spaced pages).  If you have already accepted a qualifying public service position, indicate where and briefly describe your anticipated responsibilities.  If you have not yet secured a job, indicate the positions and employers you are pursuing and the progress of the application process.  Upload as “cover letter” on Symplicity;
  4. A list of two professional and/or academic references with title and contact information.  Upload as “other document” on Symplicity; and
  5. A document, signed and dated by the applicant, stating the following: “I understand that the Fenton Selection Committee may consider financial need and I hereby authorize the Office of Financial Aid to release information contained in my financial aid file to the Selection Committee.”  Upload as “other document” on Symplicity.  

Application Deadline

March 20, 2018 by 10:00am