The Liman Center annually funds fellowships for Yale Law School graduates to spend a year working in public interest law in the United States. As of 2022, the Liman Center has supported more than 170 such fellowships.

Fellows join organizations across the country to explore a variety of issues including environmental conservation, economic and housing insecurity, workplace discrimination, tribal governance, and immigration and criminal law enforcement.

How the Fellowship Works

  • Fellowships are awarded in the spring. Fellows start their projects the following summer or fall.
  • Fellows send the Center periodic progress reports, including a final report at the end of the fellowship.
  • The Liman Center provides an annual stipend of approximately $50,000. With rare exceptions, host organizations cover the cost of health insurance and other benefits. Host organizations must provide and arrange for malpractice insurance.

Organizations interested in sponsoring a fellow are encouraged to contact Liman Center Director Jennifer Taylor.

Brendan Bernicker ’22, the incoming Resnik-Curtis Fellow, will join the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center in Washington, D.C. During his fellowship, he will build a software program to identify cases from U.S. District Court rulings in which a self-represented person may have grounds for an appeal. In addition to developing the program, Bernicker will be part of a team providing assistance for some of those appeals. Bernicker received a B.A. in philosophy of justice, law, and values and an M.A. in political science from the Pennsylvania State University. At Yale Law School, he has been involved with the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic, the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic, and the Re-entry Clinic. In these clinics, Bernicker has developed innovative software on behalf of incarcerated people at risk of COVID-19.

Helia Bidad ’22 will advance environmental and racial justice in partnership with the Land Loss Prevention Project in Durham, North Carolina. Through direct services and broader-based advocacy, she aims to lessen the loss of land held by Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color and by farmers and landowners with limited resources. Bidad earned a B.S. in society and environment from the University of California, Berkeley. Now in her final semester at Yale Law School, she is a research assistant at the Yale Center for Environmental Justice. Following her Liman Fellowship, she will clerk for the Honorable Kimberly J. Mueller of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Samuel Davis ’20 will work with the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation in Raleigh. He will focus on the scope and consequences of North Carolina statutes used to sanction children for their conduct while at school. His project will contribute to the broader movement to interrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Davis is a graduate of Duke University, where he majored in international studies and political science. At Yale Law School, he was co-director of the Rebellious Lawyering Conference and a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. He is currently a law clerk for Associate Justice Anita Earls of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. 

Erin Drake ’20 will spend her fellowship year at the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, which is based in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Her project will focus on protecting the interests of union members, many of whom are athletes from marginalized communities. Drake earned a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University. While at Yale Law School, she was a Coker Fellow, worked at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and served as a peer advocate and as a board member of Yale Law Women. Drake is currently a law clerk for Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Previously, she clerked for Chief Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Hannah Duncan ’21, the incoming Curtis-Liman Fellow, will be based at the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Connecticut in New Haven, as well as at Yale Law School. During her fellowship year, she will create and compile materials to support judges and advocates as they work to develop less coercive community supervision for convicted individuals. In addition, she will supervise Yale Law students in developing resources on these issues. Duncan holds a B.A. in classics from Brown University. At Yale Law School, she was a student director of the Liman Center and a co-chair of the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. Currently, she is clerking for Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Following the Curtis-Liman Fellowship, she will clerk for the Honorable John G. Koeltl of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Grace Judge ’22 will spend her fellowship year with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) on the Flathead Reservation in western Montana. She will join the staff as an in-house attorney for CSKT and focus on environmental justice and resource scarcity. Judge earned a B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from the University of Michigan. At Yale Law School, she is a Coker Fellow and an Articles and Essays editor for the Yale Law Journal. After her fellowship year, she will clerk for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the Honorable Jennifer Sung of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. This fellowship is funded in part by the Yale Center for Environmental Justice.

Aseem Mehta ’20, the incoming Meselson-Liman Fellow, will join the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, in San Francisco, California. He will provide holistic representation to individuals held in immigration detention centers and support organizers who have led efforts inside detention to help others who are detained seek freedom from confinement. Mehta earned a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale College. At Yale Law School, he was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. Mehta is currently a law clerk for Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Prior to that, he clerked for Judge Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

Medha Swaminathan ’22 will work with the ACLU of Massachusetts in Boston. Her project aims to lessen the role of police in responding to mental health crises and to increase public health oversight in jails. Swaminathan graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in psychology and French studies. In addition to being a Coker Fellow at Yale Law School, she is a student co-director and member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. Following her fellowship, Swaminathan will clerk for Judge Amit P. Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Chelsea Thompson ’22 is a Gruber Fellow who will be a Liman Affiliated Fellow. She will spend her fellowship year in New York City on the direct services team of A Better Balance, where she will provide representation to low-wage workers who face discrimination because they are caregivers. Her focus will include educating workers about their rights as caregivers and helping develop the law in this arena. Thompson received a B.A. in political science from Scripps College and worked in the tech industry for four years. At Yale Law School, she is a clinic student practitioner with the Reproductive Rights and Justice Project. She also served as the Editor in Chief of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. 

Evan Walker-Wells ’22 will join the NAACP General Counsel’s Office in Atlanta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. Through his project, he will work to slow evictions among some of the most disadvantaged Southerners and to protect voting rights. In 2015, Walker-Wells founded Scalawag, a journalism nonprofit focused on Southern movement politics. At Yale Law School, he is a student director and intern at the Housing Clinic, through which he teaches tenants about Connecticut eviction law and helps them stay in their homes. In May, he will receive a joint J.D.-M.B.A. degree from YLS and the Yale School of Management, where he is co-founder of Business Students for Racial Equity.

2022–2023 Fellowship Extensions

Sophie Angelis ’21 is a Liman Fellow at Rights Behind Bars, in Washington, D.C., where she works to improve conditions for incarcerated people and enable some to be released. During her first year as a Fellow, she represented older prisoners bringing claims under disability rights and state compassionate release statutes. In her second year, she will continue that work, as well as focus on how to require jails to offer medication assisted treatment to people with opioid use disorder. At Yale Law School, Angelis was a student director of the Green Haven Prison Project and a student member of the Lowenstein Clinic, where she supported litigation and legislation to change conditions in Connecticut prisons. Before coming to law school, she studied prisons in Norway on a Fulbright fellowship and interned at Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts.

Allison Durkin ’21 is a Liman Fellow with the Legal Aid Society of New York, where she works in the DNA Unit of the Criminal Defense Practice. During her fellowship extension, she will build on her project to improve the transparency of forensic technologies in the criminal legal system. At Yale Law School, she was a Coker Fellow and a member of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic, the Pediatric Care Medical-Legal Partnership, and the Clinical Student Board. She also served on the board of the Thomas Swan Barristers’ Union and the Yale Health Law and Policy Society. Prior to law school, Durkin worked at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at Mount Sinai in New York.

Sophie Laing ’21 joined Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Portland, Maine, to help provide remedies for low-income borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt. Laing’s project includes defending borrowers in debt-collection proceedings, enhancing education about student loans, and helping borrowers to emerge from default. During Laing’s fellowship extension, she will assist borrowers transitioning back into repayment as the pandemic protections end, continue to litigate debt collection cases, and develop affirmative litigation under Maine’s recently passed Student Loan Bill of Rights and Private Student Loan Bill. At Yale Law School, Laing co-directed the HAVEN Medical-Legal Partnership and the Yale Health Law and Policy Society. Through the Housing Clinic, she represented homeowners facing foreclosure.

Kshithij Shrinath ’21 will extend his fellowship at the Bronx Defenders, where he focuses on systemic civil-rights violations affecting individuals in the Bronx. As a Liman Fellow, he has helped reshape the procedures used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and immigration judges when they decide whether to keep an individual in custody. Shrinath will build on this work in his second year and focus on limiting the use of allegations of criminal activity as a basis to deny immigrants release from detention. At Yale Law School, he was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic and a co-chair of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

2021–2022

Hannah Abelow, Queens Legal Services
Sophie Angelis, Rights Behind Bars
Jonathan Cohen (Resnik-Curtis Fellow), Rhode Island Center for Justice
Allison Durkin, The Legal Aid Society
Eli Feasley, Neighborhood Defender Service of Detroit
Duncan Hosie, ACLU
Sophie Laing, Pine Tree Legal Assistance
James Mooney, ACLU of Illinois
Isadora Ruyter-Harcourt, The Powell Project
Kshithij Shrinath (Meselson-Liman Fellow), The Bronx Defenders

2020–2021

Colin Antaya, Conservation Law Foundation
Josh Blecher-Cohen, ACLU of Illinois
Sam Frizell, Legal Aid Society of New York
Elise Grifka Wander, Office of the Ohio Public Defender
Nathan Leys, New Haven Legal Assistance Association
Kelley Schiffman, San Diego County Public Defender Office
Joseph Schottenfeld, NAACP
Mary Ella Simmons, Orleans Public Defenders
Alexander Wang (Curtis-Liman Clinical Fellow), Yale Law School
Megan Yan, ACLU of the District of Columbia

2019–2020

Tiffany Bailey, ACLU of Southern California
Catherine Chen, Medical-Legal Partnership Hawai’i
Diane de Gramont, National Center for Youth Law
Bassam Gergi, Fair Share Housing Center
John Giammatteo, Lutheran Social Services of New York's Immigration Legal Program
Diana Li Kim, Connecticut Division of Public Defender Services
Allison Morte, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
Alyssa Peterson, Center for Popular Democracy
Megha Ram, Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center
Adam Rice, Office of the Attorney General of Colorado

20182019

Skylar Albertson, The Bail Project
Benjamin Alter, NAACP
Olevia Boykin, Civil Rights Corps
Natalia Friedlander, Rhode Island Center for Justice
Joanne Lee, Gulfcoast Legal Services
Maya Menlo, Washtenaw County Office of the Public Defender
Elizabeth Pierson, Legal Action of Wisconsin
Yenisey Rodriguez, Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Yusuf Saei, Muslim Advocates
Theo Torres, Federal Defender Program for Northern District of Illinois
Henry Weaver, Earthjustice

2017–2018

Celina Aldape, D.C. Law Students in Court, DC
Ryan Cooper, Travis County Mental Health Public Defender, TX
Lynsey Gaudioso, Public Advocates in San Francisco, CA
Carly Levenson, Connecticut’s Division of Public Defender Services, CT
Hava Mirell, Office of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, RI
Nathan Nash, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing Chicago, IL
My Khanh Ngo, Office of the Alameda County Public Defender, CA
Rachel Shur, Orleans Public Defenders, LA

2016–2017

Anna Arkin-Gallagher, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, New Orleans, LA
Caitlin Bellis, Public Counsel, Los Angeles, CA
Dwayne Betts, New Haven Office of the Public Defender, CT
Kory DeClark ,San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, CA
Corey Guilmette, Public Defender Association, Seattle, CA
Jamelia Morgan, ACLU’s National Prison Project, Washington, DC
Freya Pitts, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA
Devon Porter,  ACLU of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Abigail Rich, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Berkeley, CA
Ryan Sakoda, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston, MA
Jonas Wang, Civil Rights Corps, Washington, DC
Mary Yanik,New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, LA

2015–2016

Anna Arkin-Gallagher, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, New Orleans, LA
Caitlin Bellis, Public Counsel, Los Angeles, CA
Dana Montalto, Veterans Legal Clinic, Jamaica Plain, MA
Jamelia Morgan, ACLU’s National Prison Project, Washington, DC
Freya Pitts, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA
Ryan Sakoda, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston, MA
Ruth Swift, Community Law Office, Birmingham, AL
Matthew Vogel, Capital Defense Unit at Orleans Public Defenders, New Orleans, LA
Adrien A. Weibgen, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY
Molly Weston, A Better Balance, New York, NY
Mary Yanik, New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, LA

2014–2015

Anna Arkin-Gallagher, Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights, New Orleans, LA
Josh Bendor, ACLU of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ
Emily Gerrick, Texas Fair Defense Project, Austin, TX
Dana Montalto, Veterans Legal Clinic, Jamaica Plain, MA
Matthew Vogel, Orleans Public Defenders, New Orleans, LA
Jessica Vosburgh, National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Birmingham, AL
Adrien A. Weibgen, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY
Molly Weston, A Better Balance, New York, NY

2013–2014

Spencer Amdur, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, San Francisco, CA
Alyssa Briody, Juvenile Regional Services, New Orleans, LA
Burke Butler, Texas Civil Rights Project, Austin, TX
Katie Chamblee, Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta, GA
Jeremy Kaplan-Lyman, Bronx Defenders, NY
Caitlin Mitchell, Youth, Rights & Justice, Portland, OR
Ivy Wang, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, New Orleans, LA
Alyssa Work, Bronx Freedom Fund, NY

2012–2013

Chesa Boudin, San Francisco Public Defender's Office, CA
Forrest Dunbar, Alaska Office of Public Advocacy, AK
Romy Ganschow, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, NY
Edward McCarthy, Connecticut Office of the Public Defender, CT
Yaman Salahi, ACLU of Southern California, CA
Rebecca Scholtz, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, MN
Sirine Shebaya, ACLU of Maryland, MD
Olivia Sinaiko, Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, MK
Jenny Zhao, ACLU of Northern California, CA

2011–2012

Robert Braun, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, New Orleans, LA
Isabel Bussarakum, The Defender Association, Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Compa, Southern Center for Human Rights, Atlanta, GA
Daniel E. Mulkoff, New York Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY
Diala Shamas, Creating Law Enforcement Accountability, Flushing, NY
Emily Washington, Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, LA
Seth Wayne, Orleans Public Defenders, New Orleans, LA

2010–2011

Seth Atkinson, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC
Ady Barkan, Make the Road New York, Brooklyn, NY
Monica Bell, Legal Aid Society, DC
Lindsay Nash, Cardozo Immigration Clinic, New York, NY
Megan Quattlebaum, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh, PA
Elizabeth Guild Simpson, Southern Coalition for Social Justice Durham, NC
Adrienna Wong, ACLU of Texas, Austin, TX

2009–2010

Alicia Bannon, Brennan Center for Justice, NY
Josh Berman, Natural Resources Defense Council, Chicago, IL
Rebecca Engel, Bronx Defenders, NY
Jean C. Han , Ayuda, Washington, DC
Kathy Hunt Muse, New York Civil Liberties Union, NY
Sonia Kumar, ACLU of Maryland, MD
Margot Mendelson, University of Arizona, Tuscon; Migration Policy Institute, Washington, DC
Kirill Penteshin, UNITE HERE Local 11, Los Angeles, CA
Benjamin Plener, Orleans Public Defenders, New Orlean, LA
Vasudha Talla, Sanctuary for Families, NY

2008–2009

Justin Cox, CASA of Maryland, Silver Spring, MD
Zahra Hayat, National Center for Youth Law, Oakland, CA
Stacie Jonas, Southern Migrant Legal Services, Nashville, TN
Deborah Marcuse, Office of the Mayor, New Haven, CT
Allegra McLeod, Immigration Justice Project, San Diego, CA
Marisol Orihuela, ACLU of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Michael Tan, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York, NY
Tianna Terry, Legal Aid Society, DC

2007–2008

Stephanie Biedermann, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA
Jamie Dycus, ACLU Racial Justice Program, NY
Leah Fletcher, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, CA
Dan Freeman, NY Civil Liberties Union, New York, NY
Raquiba Huq, Legal Services of New Jersey, Edison, NJ
Michael Kavey, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, New York, NY
Sia Sanneh, Legal Action Center, New York, NY

2006–2007

Alice Clapman, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, New York, NY
Sameera Fazili, Northern Initiatives, Chicago, IL
Paige Herwig, National Women’s Law Center, Washington, DC
Anna Rich, National Senior Citizens’ Law Office, Oakland, CA
Larry Schwartztol, Brennan Center for Justice, New York
Marc Silverman, Advocates for Children, New York, NY
Charisa Smith (’05), JustChildren, Richmond, VA

2005–2006

Jorge Baron, New Haven Legal Assistance Association, New Haven, CT
Kim Pattillo Brownson, ACLU of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Eliza Leighton, CASA of Maryland, Silver Spring, MD
Holly Thomas, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, NY
Sofia Yakren, Urban Justice Center, NY

2004–2005

Joshua Civin, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Washington, DC
Cyd Fremmer, EdLaw Project, Boston, MA
Robert Hoo, Legal Services of Northern California, Sacramento, CA
Tom Jawetz, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, DC
Lisa Powell, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Seattle, WA

2003–2004

Adam Grumbach, Legal Aid Society OF New York, NY
Kristen Jackson, Public Counsel Law Center, Los Angeles, CA
Grace Meng, Asian Law Caucus, San Francisco, CA
McGregor Smyth, Bronx Defenders, NY

2002–2003

Tania Galloni, Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, FL
Andrea Marsh, Texas Rural Legal Aid, Austin, TX
David Menschel, Innocence Project, Cardozo School of Law, NY
Amy Meselson, Legal Aid Society of New York, NY

2001–2002

Susan Hazeldean, Urban Justice Center, New York, NY
Serena Hoy, Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Washington, DC
Joseph Luby, Public Interest Litigation Clinic, Missouri, MO

2000–2001

Marjorie Allard, Alaska Public Defender Agency, Anchorage, AK
Rebecca Bernhardt, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of Texas, San Antonio, TX
Kenneth Sugarman, ACLU of Northern California, San Francisco, CA

1999–2000

Paula Gaber, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Los Angeles, CA
Juliet McKenna, Lawyers for Children America, Washington, DC
Jessica Sager, All Our Kin, New Haven, CT

1998–1999

Lisa Daugaard, Seattle Defender Association, WA
Julia Greenfield, The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, San Francisco, CA
Douglas Stevick, Texas Rural Legal Aid, San Antonio, TX

1997–1998

Alison Hirschel, Arthur Liman Project on Advocacy for the Institutionalized Elderly, Ann Arbor, MI
 

Liman Fellows


’07

Sia Sanneh

Seeking Fair and Just Treatment in the Criminal System