Campus News Society & Culture

Law school creates elite fellowship with Goddard Foundation gift

Full-tuition-plus law school scholarships to include professional development opportunities

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia School of Law has established an elite fellowship program as a result of a $2 million founding gift from The John N. Goddard Foundation. Initially, the program will offer three law school students annually the opportunity to receive an educational experience including domestic and international externships and guided research experiences, opportunities to meet some of the country’s top legal leaders and a full tuition scholarship.

“Enhancing graduate and professional education is a priority of the University of Georgia,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “The Distinguished Law Fellows program will help us to further this goal while honoring one of our most accomplished alumni. We are grateful to the Goddard Foundation for their support.”

Georgia Law Dean Peter B. “Bo” Rutledge said this fellowship program will attract the best and brightest to Athens for law school and will place Georgia Law among a small group of institutions offering full-tuition-plus law school scholarships. “I am thankful to the Goddard Foundation for their generous leadership gift that will make this new level of legal education possible at Georgia Law.”

The Distinguished Law Fellows program is modeled after the university’s prestigious Foundation Fellows program, which was established in 1972. The initial fellows of the law school’s program will be known as Philip H. Alston, Jr. Distinguished Law Fellows and will be announced later this year.

Benefits of being an Alston Distinguished Law Fellow will include:
• A professional development stipend to be used at the end of the fellow’s first and second years of law school for summer externships, study abroad offerings or research projects.
• Special travel opportunities to meet some of the nation’s foremost legal advocates and jurists, including U.S. Supreme Court justices. The law school’s dean will serve as the guide for at least one of these trips.
• A full-tuition scholarship.

Robert G. “Bob” Edge, legal counsel for the Goddard Foundation and senior counsel at the law firm Alston & Bird, said the trustees of the Goddard Foundation, all but one of whom are children or grandchildren of Elkin Goddard Alston and Philip H. Alston Jr., are pleased to help launch this significant new program at Georgia Law. “Just as the Foundation Fellows program for undergraduates has helped attract many of our nation’s most outstanding college-bound students to UGA, the Goddard Foundation trustees believe that the new Distinguished Law Fellows program can do the same for the law school,” he said. “It is very fitting that the first of these law fellowships will bear the name of Philip Alston Jr., because he was so devoted to the university that he served so well in so many capacities and because he, as the head of a major law firm himself, recognized that making the School of Law excellent in every way was vitally important to our state and region-and to his beloved alma mater.”

Rutledge said it is his goal and the Goddard Foundation’s desire that the Distinguished Law Fellows program be expanded to allow for other named fellows so that Georgia’s flagship law school can offer future legal leaders of the state and nation a premium level of support and unrivaled learning opportunities. “This fellowship program represents a new phase in legal education that is focused on a quality education, professional development and an enhanced student experience. It will aid in the attraction of outstanding students with the potential for leadership and service as exemplified by the career of Philip Alston.”

Alston, who passed away in 1988, was a confidant of former President Jimmy Carter and a former ambassador to Australia. He was a leading member of the State Bar of Georgia; helped to form one of the country’s most prominent law firms, Alston & Bird; and was an innovative leader at UGA especially with regard to the university’s foundation.

UGA School of Law
Consistently regarded as one of the nation’s top public law schools, Georgia Law was established in 1859. Its accomplished faculty includes authors of some of the country’s leading legal scholarship. The school offers three degrees—the Juris Doctor, the Master of Laws and the Master in the Study of Law—and is home to the Dean Rusk International Law Center. Georgia Law is proud of its long tradition of providing first-rate legal training for future leaders who will serve state and nation in both the public and private sectors. For more information, see