After two weeks of speaker sessions, courses and research, the eight 2020 Renne Public Law Group Fellows concluded their fellowship program on June 19.
“Our firm wants to help attract the next generation of lawyers to the field of public law,” said Founding Partner Jon Holtzman. “All of us have really enjoyed our careers in public law and believe local government is the place where a lawyer can most directly view the intersection of law, policy, and practice. Our 2020 Public Law Fellows are an impressive group of students, and I can’t wait to see where they go next.”
The Renne Public Law Fellowship, designed to introduce law students to municipal advocacy, was held remotely from June 8-19, 2020. The fellowship program was dedicated to Buck Delventhal, a giant in California public law and a mentor and friend to many at the Renne Public Law Group.
Each day, fellows heard from expert speakers addressing a broad spectrum of local government issues. Willie Brown, two-term Mayor of San Francisco and former Speaker of the California State Assembly, started the speaker series. The speaker lineup included Corrie Manning, General Counsel of the League of California Cities; Therese McMillan, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission; Assemblymember Phil Ting (CA-19); Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council; and Paul Henderson, Director of San Francisco’s Department of Police Accountability.
“I can’t believe we were lucky enough to have THE Mayor Willie Brown as our keynote speaker,” said Fellow Kelly Beskin, a rising third-year student at the University of California, Davis School of Law. “I was blown away by the opportunity to speak with such prominent figures in local government. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
In addition to the speaker series, each fellow conducted daily research on local government law and executed an in-depth research project. This project, which each Fellow presented on the final day of the fellowship, addressed the most current issues in municipal government.
Each fellow was also assigned a mentor, an RPLG attorney who provided support and feedback throughout the program.
“When many law firm summer programs were curtailed due to COVID-19, we saw an opportunity to help students make good use of their time in quarantine,” said Founding Partner Art Hartinger. “Our 2020 Public Law Fellows produced impressive research and showed clear professional growth during these two weeks. We’re thrilled to see this fresh legal talent in our profession.”
One fellow, Garvey C. Vincent of UC Hastings College of the Law, researched the extent to which police reforms will be subject to bargaining with police unions. He then co-wrote an article on the topic with Mr. Holtzman that will be published in the upcoming edition of the California Employment Newsletter.
“This program will have an enormous impact on the career trajectories of all the fellows, including our three UC Hastings students,” said Koreen Kelleher, Director of the Alumni Mentor Program in the UC Hastings Career Development Office. “It’s a one-of-a-kind launching pad into public law.”