Carole Vigne ’07 has been awarded a Skadden Fellowship, joining a select group of 30 law school students from around the country tapped this year for the distinguished prize. Vigne intends to spend the one-year fellowship at the San Francisco Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Center where she will establish the Mission Employment Clinic, a full service workers’ rights clinic in the Mission District. Vigne envisions an office that will provide representation to clients seeking to recover unpaid wages, report unsafe work practices and remedy discrimination.
Born in France, Vigne moved to San Francisco when she was three years old, and has maintained an enduring interest in immigrant rights issues. Her work with neighborhood immigrant communities began in high school and ultimately inspired her to pursue a legal career.
“While teaching English helped qualify my students for a wider array of jobs, it could not protect them from the widespread abuses they encountered at work,” she explained. “The Skadden Fellowship will allow me to return to this very community and help secure their economic self-sufficiency through a combination of community outreach, direct services and representation.”
In addition to her own immigrant experience, Vigne attributes her commitment to public interest work to Boalt’s “vibrant public interest community” and
credits the law school’s revamped Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) and a Boalt Hall Summer Fellowship with helping her “feel more secure in pursuing [her] public interest path.” Vigne is the recipient of a Herma Hill Kay Fellowship which she applied toward work preparing immigration petitions for immigrant survivors of domestic violence.
Vigne earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University in 2001, and plans to pursue immigrant rights work in the Bay Area following her fellowship.
The Skadden Fellowship Foundation was established in 1988 by the firm of Skadden Arps and is designed to provide funding for graduating law students who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor, the elderly, the homeless and disabled, as well as people deprived of civil or human rights. Fellowships are awarded for one year, with the expectation of renewal for a second year, and provide a salary and all benefits to which an employee of the sponsoring organization would be entitled.