Fennell, executive director of the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, has announced she will be leaving her post in August on the Greencastle School Board to make the temporary move to Washington D.C.
"I am looking forward to learning about and contributing to the administration of justice on a national level," Fennell told the BannerGraphic.
The Supreme Court Fellows Program was created in 1973 by the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger to provide promising individuals with a first-hand understanding of the federal government, in particular, the judicial branch.
In the words of Chief Justice John Roberts, the program offers "a unique opportunity for exceptional individuals to contribute to the administration of justice at the national level."
Each year, fellows work with top officials in the judicial branch of government. With assignments at the Supreme Court, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, fellows have been involved in various projects examining the federal judicial process and seeking, proposing, and implementing solutions to problems in the administration of justice.
As the fellow at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Fennell's duties may include the analysis and implementation of studies requested by Congress of the Judicial Conference, researching the federal rule making process, or drafting publications on administrative issues of interest to judges. Her fellowship begins in the fall.
From 1993-99, Fennell spent time as a litigation associate at firms in Milwaukee and Chicago. In 2000, Fennell went back to reporting, a profession she explored before law school, for the BannerGraphic.
From 2001-05, she was in private practice at the law firm of Sutherlin and Zeiner, Greencastle. While there, Fennell became project administrator for the Putnam County Family Court Facilitation Project.
From 2001-04, she developed policies and procedures for alternative dispute resolution programs for at-risk families in the county.
In 2003, she joined the Indiana Pro Bono Commission, where she oversees and seeks to improve pro bono legal services for Indiana citizens.
She continues to publish articles in various bar association and legal journals.
Fennell earned a bachelor's degree in English and French from Williams College in 1987 and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993.
She is the wife of David Gellman, a DePauw University history professor, who will be on sabbatical and will be writing a book about the Jay family and the anti-slavery movement.
Their daughter Hannah Gellman, 10, is a fifth-grader at Tzouanakis Intermediate School, and their son Ben Gellman, 7, is a first-grader at Ridpath Primary School.
The family will be returning to Greencastle in August 2008.
The Supreme Court Fellows are selected by a commission composed of nine members selected by the Chief Justice of the United States.