Campus News

Law school creates fellowship from $2M founding gift

The UGA 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 its 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 its generous leadership gift that will make this new level of legal education possible at Georgia Law,” Rutledge said.

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; and 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 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,” Edge 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.”