Three from Yale Law School Chosen for FASPE Ethics Fellowship


Three current and former students from Yale Law School are among the 16 law students and graduates chosen for the 2021 Law program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE).

Jacqui Oesterblad ’22, Rev. Patrick E. Reidy, C.S.C. ’21, and Sarah Bernardo ’21 have joined early-stage practitioners in five fields (business, journalism, law, medicine, and seminary) in an intensive course of study focused on contemporary ethical issues in their fields this year.

Fellows in the FASPE Law program typically participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland, which uses the conduct of lawyers in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on legal ethics today. Fellows recognize and confront their ethical responsibilities as professionals by analyzing the decisions and actions of Nazi-era lawyers and judges.

“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the Fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said David Goldman, FASPE’s founder and chairman.

FASPE studies the Holocaust’s perpetrators to emphasize the essential role of professionals and to ask how and why professionals abandon their ethical guideposts. The FASPE Law program examines the role of lawyer and the legal profession in the Nazi state, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing lawyers can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences. With this historical background, the law fellows confront contemporary issues.

The 2021 fellowship is taking place in a hybrid format. Virtual programming was conducted throughout the summer, culminating in a week-long program in Germany and Poland this fall, subject to health considerations. The program will be led by Jeff Ward, Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Duke Law School, and Eric Muller ’87, Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor of Law in Jurisprudence And Ethics at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Oesterblad is a third-year student at Yale Law School. She worked this past summer at the ACLU National Prison Project, and she spent the summer of 2020 at the Promise of Justice Initiative in New Orleans. At the Law School, Oesterblad has worked in clinics or practicums addressing tenants’ rights, incarcerated people’s free exercise of religion, sex workers’ rights, COVID-19 prison conditions, and medical-legal partnerships. She is also the former president of Yale OutLaws and a member of the graduate council at the St. Thomas More Center. Oesterblad graduated from the University of Arizona in 2016 and taught middle school history before coming to law school.

Reidy is an ordained Roman Catholic priest with the Congregation of Holy Cross. Before studying law, Reidy served in residential ministry at the University of Notre Dame, where he also offered chaplaincy support to Campus Ministry, the Notre Dame Law School, and the Notre Dame Boxing Team. Reidy professed perpetual vows in Holy Cross and was ordained a deacon in September 2013, prior to his ordination as a priest in April 2014. He holds undergraduate (B.A. in Political Science) and graduate (M.Div.) degrees from Notre Dame. Following his Law School graduation, Reidy will clerk for Judge Thomas Hardiman on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bernardo is Law Clerk in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where she was previously a corporate summer associate. Prior to law school, she worked in New York City for the corporate group of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. She holds a B.A. in English and Legal Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she grew up in Sugar Land, Texas.

The three Yale Law School fellows join a diverse group of 70 FASPE fellows who were chosen through a competitive process that drew applicants from across the U.S. and the world. FASPE maintains long-term relationships with its fellows in order to sustain commitment to ethical behavior and to provide a forum for continued dialogue. To date, FASPE has over 600 alumni.