The Fellow-Elect Experience

Tony Patiño Fellows-Elect join a community of law students bound together by their shared passion for community service, their leadership experiences, and by emerging victorious from the intensely competitive selection process. For many, the first people they encounter on campus and their longest-lasting friendships after law school are the Fellows-Elect they meet at Selection Day. The community aspect of the Fellowship maintains throughout law school and beyond, providing a network of supportive upper-classmates and practicing attorneys to ensure success in law school, in leadership and community service endeavors, and in careers. Implied in this community benefit is a responsibility that each Fellow-Elect bears to participate in the Fellowship community and in turn provide guidance and support throughout law school and beyond to the Fellows-Elect who follow, and to all who share the honorable title of Tony Patiño Fellow.

Specific benefits provided by the Tony Patiño Fellowship include:

  • Each Fellow-Elect receives a financial stipend of at least $10,000 per year for his/her law school education. This award is independent of other aid, including any law school-provided financial aid.
  • Mentoring programs
  • Ongoing Fellowship events including annual Selection Day activities at each school, and periodic events with faculty and Tony Patiño Fellows
  • Networking opportunities through Fellowship events and private social media groups. Patiño Fellows join a network of accomplished students and alumni who can help ease the transition from law school, as well as provide professional opportunities thereafter.

Reflections on the Fellow-Elect Experience

Isabelle Mussard (Hastings ’06)

“As a first generation student and a single parent, I was immeasurably bolstered by the Tony Patiño Fellowship. Not only did the financial support make both my studies at Hastings possible and my commitment to public interest law sustainable, but the honor of being selected to join a fellowship of some of the most highly achieving, committed, and capable legal practitioners in the country strengthened my belief that I, too, would succeed in law school and in the legal profession.”

Iris Wagner (Hastings ’24)

“The Patiño Fellowship has opened several opportunities to me including joining Trial Team, getting my summer job, and clarifying the direction I want to take my career. It has been wonderful to meet with my mentor throughout the semester to discuss all things law school and careers. I have utilized this fantastic network to connect with practicing attorneys to solicit advice regarding my career choices, and I have loved getting to know the current Fellows-Elect both on campus and at social events.”

Tanner Lockhead (Columbia ’22)

“The mentors and friends I’ve made through the Patiño Fellowship pushed me to lean into my values and think deeply about my path. This community supported me through important moments of personal and career discernment, and in my first semester of law school, they gave me the confidence to pursue goals that felt out of reach. The Patiño Fellowship changed my life, and I am immensely grateful.”

Shannon Gillespie McComb (Hastings ’21)

“My mentors at the Fellowship were my stalwart support throughout law school, who gave me the wisdom of time, experience and friendship to go forward when I had challenges. The Fellowship gave me a sense of belonging and security, reminding me of the support network I had.”

Haris Durrani (Columbia ’21)

“Sometimes I felt crazy for following my dreams but the Patiño community encouraged me to pursue them, to be unafraid of my interdisciplinary interests, of bringing my Dominican-ness and Pakistani-ness to the table. It was the Patiño community’s acceptance of me in backing my goals that really encouraged me to stick to my wildest convictions from the very beginning.”

Zeinab Khalil (Columbia ’22)

“I was supported every semester through the generosity of the Fellowship, not only financially, but also through the kindness and guidance of my TPF mentors and peers. As someone committed to cultivating more equitable institutions, I look forward to tapping into the Fellowship’s wide network of excellent practitioners who are making strides in criminal legal reform, civil rights, and access to justice. Thank you to the Tony Patiño Fellowship for the gift of this lifelong, transformative community.”