Polking Fellows

The Polking Family Fellowship was established in February 2016 to recruit and provide funding for top law school candidates who have a demonstrated passion for the Catholic mission of the Law School and who share Notre Dame’s commitment to the inalienable dignity of every human life from conception to natural death. The fellowship was made possible through a generous endowment made by Paul and Joan Polking. Paul Polking ’59 B.S., ’66 J.D., is a retired executive vice president and general counsel for the Bank of America Corporation. He is also a member of the Law School Advisory Council.

In 2018-19, the Center hosts three Polking Fellows.

Margo Borders

Margo Borders
Notre Dame Law School 3L


Margo Borders graduated in May 2016 from the Boston College Honors Program with a focus in Theology, and hails from Oklahoma City, OK. During her undergraduate studies, she served as president of the campus Pro-Life Club, interned with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, and mentored inner-city girls in goal setting and the virtues with the Midtown Educational Foundation in Chicago. "Because the field of law is so crucial at a time where family values and basic human dignity are constantly threatened in our society and legal system, my future practice of the law should work to build the culture of life that is so intrinsic to the faith," said Borders. "My aspirations to work for the common good of all people will be enabled, enriched, and strengthened by working with the Center for Ethics and Culture."


Hope Steffensen
Notre Dame Law School 2L


Hope Steffensen graduated in May 2017 from the University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Political Science. She is from Kenai, Alaska, and earned a Junior Women's National Title in freestyle wrestling in high school. As a student at UT Dallas, she researched the jurisprudence of abortion during an internship with the Heritage Foundation and advocated for wrongfully convicted prisoners with the Innocence Project of Texas. As she wrote in her application essay, "Leaving wrestling has given me the opportunity to explore cases worth fighting for, and I see the law as an opportunity to be at the forefront of these worthy struggles. In the face of a shifting Supreme Court, I am going to law school at an opportune time to make a difference in the lives of thousands of unborn children. Being involved with the Center for Ethics and Culture will allow me to make the most of this opportunity."