The Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law annually funds fellowships for law school graduates to spend a year working in the United States on public interest legal issues such as welfare rights, homelessness, racial profiling, indigent criminal defense, alternative sentencing courts, immigration, workers rights, and juvenile justice. As of 2020, the Liman Center has funded 152 Liman Law Fellows.

Liman Fellows start their public interest law projects in the summer or fall after the fellowship is awarded. Fellows provide the Center with periodic progress reports, including a final report at the end of the fellowship year.

The Center provides each Fellow with an annual stipend of approximately $47,500. With rare exceptions, host organizations cover the cost of health insurance and other benefits for the Fellow during the fellowship year. Host organizations must provide and arrange for malpractice insurance.

Interested organizations are encouraged to email Anna VanCleave regarding the possibility of sponsoring an applicant for a Liman Fellowship.

Colin Antaya will join Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) in their Boston and New Haven offices to work on the development of legal and policy approaches to reduce the use of pesticides in the region. Colin, a 2012 graduate of Rhodes College, earned a master’s degree in 2019 in Public Administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, as well as a law degree from Yale. While in law school, he was co-director of the International Refugee Assistance Project and a member of the Housing Clinic. Colin is currently clerking for the Honorable Steven D. Ecker of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Josh Blecher-Cohen will join the ACLU of Illinois, where he will work to combat  housing discrimination faced by LGBT+ people who have criminal records. Josh graduated from Harvard in 2016, and holds a master’s degree in philosophy from Oxford. He graduated from Yale Law School in 2020, where he was the co-chair of the Yale Civil Rights Project, managing editor of the Yale Law Journal, and a student director of the Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic. He has also worked to reform Connecticut’s parentage laws to improve the protection of LGBT+ families.

Sam Frizell will spend his fellowship year with the Legal Aid Society of New York in the Civil Practice Law Reform Unit, where he will represent New Yorkers who face discrimination because private landlords decline to rent to individuals who must use housing vouchers. Sam graduated from Bowdoin College in 2012 and, between 2013 and 2017, was a freelance journalist and a Time Magazine staff writer. Sam, graduated from Yale Law School in 2020, was a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic and the Housing Clinic. After his fellowship year, Sam will clerk for the Honorable Ronnie Abrams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Elise Grifka Wander will join the Death Penalty Department of the Office of the Ohio Public Defender. Her work will focus on challenging death sentences imposed on people who have serious mental illnesses. Elise graduated from the University of Chicago in 2015 and from Yale Law School in 2019, where she was a student director of the Appellate Litigation Project and a member of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, the Gender Violence Clinic, and the Ethics Bureau. She is now a law clerk for the Honorable Beth Robinson of the Vermont Supreme Court.

Nathan Leys will spend his fellowship year at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association’s Housing Unit, where he will help to create a program to assist unrepresented individuals in New Haven’s housing court, through what is known as a “Limited-Scope Representation,” which specifies the services provided. In addition, Nathan will focus on challenging unsafe housing conditions. Nathan is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2020, where he served as co-chair of the Clinical Student Board, a student director of the Housing Clinic, and communications chair of the First Generation Professionals. He graduated summa cum laude from George Mason University in 2017. After his Liman Fellowship, Nathan will clerk for the Honorable Diana G. Motz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Kelley Schiffman will spend her fellowship year at the San Diego County Public Defender Office, where she will focus on the implementation of a newly-enacted state law that enables eligible individuals to petition for removal from California’s sex offender registry. Kelley’s project will include notifying and representing registrants of these provisions and ensuring state implementation. After Kelley graduated from UC San Diego in 2009, she became a Ph.D. candidate in philosophy and received her degree, specializing in the history of moral philosophy, in 2015. She then entered Yale Law School, where she was active in the Immigrant Rights Clinic of New Haven Legal Assistance and the Clinical Student Board. Upon graduating in 2018, Kelley clerked for the Honorable William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for the Honorable Keith P. Ellison in the Southern District of Texas.

Joseph Schottenfeld will join the NAACP, where he will work to help people retain stable housing. He will be based in Georgia and will focus on the Southeast to develop community-led local services to support tenants and to deter evictions. Joe graduated from Yale Law School in 2019 and was a participant in the Rule of Law Clinic. Joe clerked for the Honorable Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mary Ella Simmons will spend her fellowship year with the Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her project will focus on resolving the thousands of outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrants in the city’s Municipal and Traffic Court by seeking dismissal or reduction of charges rather than arrest and incarceration. Mary Ella graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014 and graduated from Yale Law School in 2020. At YLS, she was a Coker Fellow and a member of the Yale Law School Working Group, the Reentry Clinic, and the Rule of Law Clinic. After her fellowship year, she will clerk for Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Alexander Wang will be the inaugural 2020-2021 Curtis-Liman Clinical Fellow at YLS. Alex graduated in 2014 from New York University Abu Dhabi, in 2016 from the University of Oxford , and in 2019 from Yale Law School. He was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic and a Coker Fellow. As a Heyman Fellow, Alex was on the staff of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship at the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Megan Yan will spend her fellowship year as the Resnik-Curtis Fellow with the ACLU of the District of Columbia, where she will help clients facing abusive police practices. Her project will include direct representation, efforts to obtain legislative reforms, and support for community advocacy to protect rights and create police accountability. Megan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and was a 2020 graduate of the Yale Law School. At YLS, she was a Coker Fellow and a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. She also served as the Diversity & Membership Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and co-chaired the Title IX Working Group and APALSA. After her fellowship year, she will clerk for the Honorable Theodore Chuang of the District of Maryland.

2020–2021 Fellowship Extensions

The Liman Center is pleased that, with substantial support from the host organizations, it can contribute to a second fellowship year awarded to four of the 2019–2020 Fellows. 

Catherine Chen has extended her fellowship at Medical-Legal Partnership Hawai‘i at the University of Hawai‘i’s William S. Richardson School of Law where she serves Hawai‘i’s immigrant populations through direct legal services and community education, focusing on the Compact of Free Association (COFA) and the harms of the criminalization of immigration. She graduated from Yale College in 2013 and from Yale Law School in 2018, where she participated in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, Immigration Legal Services Clinic, International Refugee Assistance Project, and Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project. She clerked for the Honorable Kim M. Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Diane de Gramont will continue her fellowship at the National Center for Youth Law, based in California, where she represents children in federal immigration custody. In her second year, Diane will work on a class action on behalf of detained immigrant children with behavioral, mental health, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. She will also focus on policies to reform the treatment of children with disabilities in the immigration detention system. In addition, Diane continues to defend and enforce the Flores Settlement Agreement, a federal consent decree entered in 1997 that guarantees basic protections for children in immigration custody. The district court denied the government's motion to terminate the Flores Settlement in 2019, and the government has appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Diane graduated from Yale Law School in 2017 and clerked for the Honorable Stephen A. Higginson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Honorable Sarah S. Vance on the Eastern District of Louisiana. This fellowship honors Amy Meselson.

Megha Ram will spend a second year at the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center in Washington, D.C. During her first year, she worked on cases to improve access to medical care for people held in jails within the Tenth Circuit. During her second year, she will expand her project by challenging inhumane conditions, including the denial of medical care, in jails across the country. Megha earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Clinical Student Board, and the Yale Law Journal. Before joining the MacArthur Justice Center, she clerked for the Honorable Michael P. Shea of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Bassam Gergi will continue to work at Fair Share Housing Center in his home state of New Jersey, where he has litigated to ensure that suburban towns in New Jersey permit the construction of their fair share of affordable housing. In addition, Bassam has also worked on legislation to protect persons with criminal records and persons with low credit scores from being arbitrarily excluded from housing. During his second year, Bassam will also also focus on encouraging state agencies in New Jersey to implement rules to ensure that residential developments on state-owned lands include affordable housing. Bassam earned his B.A. in history from King’s College London and his M.Phil. in comparative government from the University of Oxford. He graduated from Yale Law School in 2017 and clerked for the Honorable Stuart J. Rabner, Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

 

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

2018-2019

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
Caitlin Bellis, Public Counsel, Los Angeles, CA

Liman Fellows


’17

Nathan Nash

Liman Fellow, Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing