Fall 2016

Fiske, ’55: 15 Years of Launching Government Service Careers

Fiske Fellows
Fiske Fellows

In July, Fiske Fellows gathered in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the program that helped them get their starts, and the man who made it possible. 

In 2001, Bob Fiske, ’55, HLLD ’97, created the Robert B. Fiske Jr. Fellowship Program for Government Service to encourage recent Michigan Law graduates to pursue positions as government lawyers. 

The fellowship pays both college and law school debt for three years plus a stipend; it has supported 49 fellows to date. Fiske, who is senior counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, has spent large portions of his career in public service and says the synergy between public service and private practice makes people who do both better at each. 

“I want graduates to reap the life-changing benefits of government service without having to worry about their debt.” As evidenced by the tributes presented to Fiske at the celebration, he has more than accomplished that mission.

2016 Fellows Continue Fiske Legacy

 Fiske, ’55: 15 Years of Launching Government Service Careers
Pictured with Bob Fiske, ’55, HLLD ’97, are 2016 fellows (left to right) Caroline Flynn, ’13, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel; Ben Clark, ’14, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; John Broderick, ’13, environment and natural resources

Words of Thanks

“As a direct result of the fellowship, I am able to feel, on a daily basis, like I am making important contributions to civil rights laws and impacting the lives of many people nationwide. The fellowship’s greatest gift is the freedom it has given me …to grow as an attorney.”

Sharon Brett, ’12, trial attorney, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

“Years after graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, I still find ultimate satisfaction and rich reward in public service. Robert Fiske made it possible for me to go into public service out of law school without facing financial ruin. The effects of his generosity are evident in my life nearly 13 years later.”

Mike Kabakoff, ’03, assistant public defender, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina