Peace Corps teams up with Law School for fellowship program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Beverly Creamer, (808) 389-5736
Media Consultant, William S. Richardson School of Law
Jeremiah McDaniel, (310) 356-1119
Public Affairs , West Coast Region, Peace Corps
Posted: Jan 29, 2015

Law School Dean Avi Soifer
Law School Dean Avi Soifer

The Peace Corps has announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law. The program will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers who complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community while they pursue their studies. 

“The Peace Corps is excited to extend this opportunity to returned volunteers in partnership with the University of Hawai‘i to support continued public service and education,” said Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “The Coverdell Fellows Program gives returned volunteers the chance to build on their classroom experience by sharing their unique knowledge and skills with local organizations in need.”

Competitively selected Coverdell Fellows will have the opportunity to pursue a juris doctor degree. The new partnership is the first between the Peace Corps and a university campus in Hawai‘i, and is one of only a small handful of Coverdell Fellows programs to offer a law degree.

"The William S. Richardson School of Law is well suited to host and educate Coverdell Fellows," said Dean Avi Soifer, "because we are an unusually small yet exceptionally diverse law school community with programs focusing on international law and the law of Asia and the Pacific as well as on American, indigenous and environmental law.  In addition, we are fortunate to be able to maintain a friendly face-to-face culture in a beautiful place that truly still has considerable aloha spirit.”

Fellows selected for the program will receive $3,000 per academic year in financial aid. 

Internships in underserved communities are an integral part of each fellow’s degree. By sharing their Peace Corps experiences and global perspectives with the communities they serve here in the United States, returned volunteers are supporting the Peace Corps’ Third Goal commitment to strengthen Americans' understanding of the world and its people. Professional placements at non-profits and government organizations also help students further develop their skills. Fellows pursuing their juris doctor degree will have the choice of either completing a professional externship or undertaking pro bono work.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 90 university partners in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their Peace Corps service abroad. For more information, visit

To learn more about the Coverdell Fellows Program at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, contact: Elisabeth Steele Hutchison, Director of Admissions at UH Law School;

About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world.  Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them.  President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit to learn more.

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