Scholar Rescue Fund Honors Steven Schulman for “Extraordinary Service”

(Washington, D.C.) – The Institute of International Education has presented Steven H. Schulman, leader of the pro bono practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, with the 2010 Award for Extraordinary Service in recognition of the generous support and counsel Mr. Schulman has provided to the Institute’s Scholar Rescue Fund.  Fund Chairman Henry Jarecki presented the award yesterday at a luncheon at the Institute’s New York City headquarters. 

In accepting the award, Mr. Schulman stated, “It is a privilege to work with the Scholar Rescue Fund and the academics whom it helps to find safe haven in the United States and around the world.  SRF stands for core democratic principles: freedom of expression, security and respect for human rights.”

An independent not-for-profit founded in 1919, the Institute is among the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training organizations.  Its Scholar Rescue Fund provides fellowships for established scholars whose lives and work are threatened in their home countries.  To date, the Scholar Rescue Fund has assisted more than 350 threatened scholars from 43 countries by providing life- and career-saving grants and professional networking assistance to place scholars in safe and productive academic positions at partnering host institutions throughout the world.  In most cases, scholars have escaped attempts on their lives, prolonged detention, or physical and psychological abuse. 

Mr. Schulman joined Akin Gump in 2006 as the firm’s first full-time pro bono partner.  Since his arrival, participation in the pro bono practice has increased substantially in every office, with Akin Gump lawyers now devoting, on average, more than 85 hours annually to pro bono client matters.  Under Mr. Schulman’s leadership, the firm has also built strong relationships with local and national legal services organizations, and has developed significant experience in several areas of pro bono practice, including representing charter schools, working with refugees and victims of human rights abuses, and providing legal counsel to military personnel and their families.

In addition to leading the pro bono practice, Mr. Schulman maintains a substantive practice in many areas of public interest law, including human rights, immigration, assistance to military personnel and poverty law matters. 

Mr. Schulman is a member of the Washington Council of Human Rights First; the legal advisory board of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition; and the board of directors of Buildable Hours, a law firm partnership with Habitat for Humanity.  He is an adjunct professor at both Stanford Law School and the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches seminars on law firms and pro bono practice.

Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers and advisors in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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