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

November 6, 2018

The 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 Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project facilitates the placement of rising 2Ls and rising 3Ls 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. Wiggin and Dana Partner, Robert Langer, has Chaired the Project since its inception fifteen years ago, and was instrumental in the creation of the Project.

According to the ABA website, "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."

Since the Project’s beginning, over 350 law students have served as Steiger Fellows and about 35 to 40 percent of them have gone on to careers in public service.

The Steiger Fellowship Project has had a great influence on both Steiger Fellows and the state consumer protection agencies they serve. Former Steiger Fellows have referred to their Fellowship experiences as “transformational,” while an agency shared that, “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.”

To learn more about the Janet D. Steiger Fellowship Project, please visit the American Bar Association website here.