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Law and Government fellowship established at Commonwealth Law School

A gift from 1999 Widener Law Commonwealth alum Patrick J. Murphy will create a new fellowship that will provide financial support to two Widener Law Commonwealth students each year.

The Patrick J. Murphy Law and Government Fellowship is made possible by the commitment of $25,000 by Murphy, who is also a member of the board of trustees of Widener University.  Murphy served as the 32nd Under Secretary of the United States Army, the second highest ranging civilian leadership position. 

Murphy’s gift is the largest contribution to the Widener Law Commonwealth Law and Government Institute by an individual.

“This generous gift continues Patrick’s long-time commitment to Widener Law Commonwealth and its students,” said Commonwealth Professor of Law and Government and director of the Law and Government Institute, Jill Family. “The experience serving as a Murphy Fellow will be invaluable for students.”

Sia Georgakopoulos, a third –year law student, and Lindsay Eichinger, a second-year, are the first recipients of the fellowship.  Both students are working towards a certificate in Law and Government.

“I have always had an interest in law and government and wanted to become more involved in what the Law and Government Institute offered, said Eichinger. “I hope to gain a better understanding of the work available to attorneys that work in law and government. I want to be exposed to the work that government attorneys do so I can see which I could see myself doing.”

Law students who apply for the fellowship must have completed at least one year of law school and can be enrolled in the day or evening division.  The fellows are selected by a committee which reviews the submitted resumes and a short personal statement from the student. Fellows receive a $1,250 stipend each semester.

“Through the fellowship, I hope to gain exposure to other areas of government and law that I may not have exposure to otherwise,” said Sia Georgakopoulos. “Additionally, I hope to establish meaningful connections with alumni who work in the public sector.” 


During the fellowship the students will have the opportunity to receive mentoring from Murphy, as well as additional experiential learning experiences in the area of law and government.

After serving as Under Secretary of the Army until January 2017, Murphy is now executive chairman of Workshop Mercantile and is Distinguished Chair of Innovation at the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Murphy was the first veteran from the Iraq War to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District. After serving two terms from 2007 to 2011, he became a partner with the national law firm Fox Rothschild, LLP, serving as general counsel to small businesses, including several veteran owned businesses. He also served as an anchor on the former MSNBC show Taking the Hill.