Giving Back to Public Service Organizations Through Pickering Fellowship

Giving Back to Public Service Organizations Through Pickering Fellowship


The late John H. Pickering, one of WilmerHale’s founding partners, inspired generations of lawyers with his commitment to the public interest. One of the several ways WilmerHale honors Mr. Pickering’s lifelong achievement and tireless commitment is through its dedication to the Pickering Fellowship. The Pickering Fellowship allows associates to spend six months each at a public service organization contributing their legal skills, while working to fulfill that organization’s mission.

WilmerHale recently announced its most recent recipients of the Pickering Fellowship, associates Bronwen Blass and Roberto Gonzalez. Ms. Blass joined the firm in 2004 as an associate in the Litigation/Controversy Department. She will spend her fellowship at the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE) in Washington, DC. This organization was created in 1975 and since then, it has been the primary provider of free legal services and advocacy for older people in DC. At the time of his death, Mr. Pickering served as the Chair of the Board for the LCE. Having joined the firm in 2006, Mr. Gonzalez is also an associate in the Litigation/Controversy Department. He will spend his fellowship at the Washington Lawyers Committee where the Firm’s inaugural fellow, Katherine Gillespie recently returned from her very successful six months.

“The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is delighted to participate in the Pickering Fellowship Program. Katherine Gillespie, our first fellow, has made an enormous contribution to the Committee’s work over the past six months. We look forward very much to working with her successor, Roberto Gonzales, in the months ahead,” said Rod Boggs, Executive Director of the Washington Lawyers Committee.

The Washington Lawyers Committee was established in 1968 by the leading law firms in the city (including WilmerHale) in response to the racial disturbances then sweeping through Washington and other cities. Today it is the premier civil rights law firm in the city and it sets a national standard for civil rights advocacy.

Ms. Blass and Mr. Gonzalez join Ms. Gillespie and David Giordano (who began his fellowship with the Medical Legal Partnership for Children at Boston Medical Center) as pioneers of advocacy for public service. These associates use their fellowships with pride, as they strengthen WilmerHale’s commitment to the community and the proud legacy of John H. Pickering.

To learn more about John H. Pickering and his legacy, please here.