November 13, 2018

Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project Wins the 2018 SOC Meritorious Service Award!

The Section of Antitrust Law Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project was selected to receive the American Bar Association Section Officers Conference (SOC) 2018 Meritorious Service Award. The Meritorious Service Award was established to highlight the diversity and breadth of ABA programs and activities and celebrate important contributions to the life and work of the profession. The Award recognizes initiatives that have provided an extraordinary benefit to the profession, the public, and/or the ABA.

The Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project provides law students the extraordinary opportunity to work in the consumer protection departments of state and territorial Offices of Attorneys General and other consumer protection agencies throughout the United States. Through this project, the Section seeks to honor the memory and the legacy of one of America's great public servants, the late Janet D. Steiger, who served with such distinction as Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission from 1989 to 1995. Chairman Steiger, during her tenure, was instrumental in elevating the status of consumer protection in this country, while dramatically improving the level of communication, cooperation and coordination between state and federal consumer protection and antitrust enforcers. The Section received permission from members of the Steiger family to name the Project in Janet Steiger's memory.

The eight to ten-week paid Fellowships were initiated in 2004 by the ABA Section of Antitrust Law, in cooperation with the National Association of Attorneys General, as a consumer protection outreach initiative to introduce law students to the rewards of legal careers in public service. The Project's aim has been to assist the states in their consumer protection mission, in a tangible and meaningful way, while at the same time furthering the Section's efforts to serve as the "home" for consumer protection within the ABA. It is promoted to ABA accredited U.S. law schools and law professors who teach consumer protection or antitrust law at those institutions; state and territorial attorneys general offices; and state consumer protection agencies not affiliated with state attorneys general offices.

Since the Program’s inception, 355 law students have served as Steiger Fellows and more than 40 percent of them have continued to devote part of their career to public service. A significant number of Steiger Fellows were hired as assistant attorneys general in the very offices at which they interned as Steiger Fellows.

Former Steiger Fellows have referred to their Fellowship experiences as “transformational.”

“What I saw that summer shaped my view of the law and how to live and practice as a lawyer. It defined success in terms of contribution, rather than salary, prestige, or wins.”

“I attribute much of who I am as an attorney and person to my experience as a Steiger Fellow. This program truly instilled in me a strong set of values that I practice to this day – the importance of service to others, andnow I can utilize my law degree to effectively make a difference in the lives of those in need. The Steiger Fellowship is of extraordinary benefit to law students and young lawyers, and I am forever grateful to have had thisopportunity.”

“In short, the Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project is a classic example of how early exposure to the hands-on consumer protection training helps shape the careers of future legal professionals interested in public service and community work with diverse populations.”

The Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project has also provided great value to state consumer protection agencies:

“The Steiger Fellow not only lets this office accomplish more in the area of consumer protection, but also provides a chance to plant and nourish the seeds of public interest work in the next generation of lawyers.”

“The opportunity to host Steiger Fellows in our office has proven invaluable, as it has provided our relatively small but extremely active office with motivated and talented law students to assist our office its mission to protect consumers and serve its constituents.”

“The stipend afforded through the Steiger Fellowship Project has enabled our Section to attract top-notch intern candidates that we likely otherwise would have not been able to attract. The work product we have received from our Steiger Fellow interns has been consistently stellar.”

 More information in the Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project may be found on the ABA Section of Antitrust Website at:

https://www.americanbar.org/groups/antitrust_law/awards_fellowships/steiger_fellowship_project.html