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Firm launches fellowship program for UB Law students

For some law students, a stellar 1L year can mean the opportunity to transfer to a higher-tier, more prestigious law school.

With a new, $150,000 fellowship program to support the University of Baltimore School of Law, Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White LLC hopes to show top UB Law students that both the school and the Baltimore legal community are the right fit for them.

“My idea was to create a merit-based fellowship to entice students that might be thinking about leaving the community and leaving Baltimore, to instead retain those students and hope that they not only flourish and provide a better educational environment at the law school, but also stay in the community,” said Steven D. Silverman, managing partner at Silverman Thompson. “It’s a way of retaining top legal minds in the Baltimore area.”

The $150,000 donation will be spread over a 10-year period, said Silverman, a UB Law alumnus. Each year, a first-year UB Law student will be selected for the program, and the firm will pay the chosen fellow a $5,000 stipend for a 10-week summer position at Silverman Thompson. Each fellow will also receive a $10,000 scholarship to finish their legal education at UB Law, he said.

There were 18 applications to become the inaugural fellow, according to the firm. The applicant pool was narrowed to five students who were interviewed by the firm and UB Law. Gregory Waterworth, the first to receive a fellowship through the program, began work at Silverman Thompson about three weeks ago. The work he will do this summer includes research and writing, as well as interacting with clients and observing trials, Silverman said.

Although Waterworth said he was not considering transferring to a different law school after his 1L year, another student who was also being considered for the fellowship ended up transferring to Georgetown University, according to Silverman.

“There’s this huge emphasis or focus on the competitive nature of law school — to go to the best, to be the best and all this,” Waterworth said. “There certainly is this culture; there are some people who see it as a stepping stone to get to a different school. It’s a great opportunity to show you that you don’t need to go to an Ivy League law school to get a really, really great experience.”

UB Law Dean Ronald Weich said the fellowship could be an “important model” for other alumni interested in advancing the careers of the school’s graduates.

“We’re thrilled about this; we’re grateful to Steve and the other lawyers at Silverman Thompson, and we hope others follow suit,” Weich said.


About Lauren Kirkwood

Lauren Kirkwood covers the business of law beat at The Daily Record.