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Summer Diversity Fellowship Alumna Erika George Comes Full Circle into Mentorship Role

September 27, 2013, ABF news

Kimberly Quick of Wake Forest University (left) with Erika George of S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah

As an undergraduate at the University of Chicago in 1991, Erika George was chosen to participate in the ABF’s Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship, then only in its third year. George assisted then-Director Bryant Garth on his research on international law and globalization.

George went on to attend Harvard Law School and is now Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. She has returned to the ABF each summer for the past several years as a visiting scholar, staying involved with the summer program she participated in over two decades ago as a young scholar. This summer, George joined the program directly as a mentor to 2013 Fellow Kimberly Quick, a senior in International Affairs at Wake Forest University, while in residence as an ABF Visiting Scholar.

In addition to her work with ABF Research Professor John Hagan ABF this summer, Quick acted a research assistant to George as she completes a draft of her book manuscript, Incorporating Rights, forthcoming on Oxford University Press. The book project aims to advance a more expansive understanding of the subjects and sources of international law by examining the norm-generating activities that corporations engage in and recent efforts to articulate the responsibilities of non-state actors to respect human rights.

As George’s research assistant, Quick completed such projects as locating studies on corporate social responsibility and “greenwashing,” preparing a review of Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and summarizing a lawsuit brought under the Alien Tort Statute against a pharmaceutical company. The pair also had the opportunity to discuss the many career paths in law and academia that are available to Quick.

Quick commented that her mentorship with George was “invaluable” and “opened [her] eyes to the process and potential of legal research.” She continued, “As a woman of color who plans to attend law school, I enjoyed the opportunity to work with someone whose professional goals and accomplishments reflect a future that I hope to have.”

George said of her work with Quick, “It was truly a pleasure to get to know Kimberly over the course of her summer fellowship. I expect that Kimberly’s intellectual curiosity combined with her desire to learn, her willingness to take on challenges, and her commitment to work hard, will serve her well in the future…I look forward to seeing where Kimberley will use her talents.

The Montgomery Summer Research Diversity Fellowship has been a hallmark of the American Bar Foundation’s dedication to increasing diversity in the legal profession since 1988. Designed to introduce undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds to advanced study in law and social science, the American Bar Foundation has led 106 undergraduates through this eight-week summer fellowship program to date. Many alumni go on to academic careers in the social sciences and law, while others have chosen to pursue careers as legal practitioners, or to work in government, social policy, or business.

Applications for the 2014 Summer Fellowship will open on November 15, 2013.

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