Yale Law School Liman Fellowship Application Process

Deadline for 2017-2018 Liman Fellowship Applications: Monday, January 23, 2017

All graduates of the Yale Law School are eligible to apply, as are third-year students.

Applications are considered by the Liman Fellowship Selection Committee, chaired by Judith Resnik, the Arthur Liman Professor of Law. In reviewing each application, the Committee considers several factors, including experience in using law to further the public interest (whether in public service organizations; government service; education, including law school clinics; or the private sector); competence in the areas covered by the proposed Fellowship project; leadership capabilities; academic accomplishments; references; and a demonstrated commitment to public service. In addition, the Committee evaluates the need for the proposed Fellowship project, its potential impact, and the capacity of both the applicant and the sponsoring organization, if any, to implement it.

Prior to submitting an application, applicants are strongly urged to contact, Anna VanCleave, the Director of the Liman Program, to discuss their proposed Fellowship project. Applicants are also encouraged to review successful submissions from previous years on the CDO website.

All documents must be in Courier New 12 pt and in PDF format.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. A complete application will include:

  • A short statement describing:
    1. prior experiences in public interest law.
    2. prior experiences that demonstrate or fostered the applicant’s commitment to public service.
    3. aspirations for future public interest work. Rather than restate one’s resume, applicants are encouraged to submit a thematic or focused essay.
  • A proposed plan for the Fellowship year, which must include either the creation of a new legal project or a commitment (contingent on funding) to work at an ongoing one. The applicant should specify the need for the project, individual goals to be met by the project, how the goals will further the public interest, and how they will be accomplished in a year’s time. A proposed timeline for the year is strongly encouraged.
  • A list of people —including current or former Liman Fellows—whom the applicant consulted in preparing the application.
  • A statement of other Fellowships to which the applicant has applied and the status of those applications as well as expected plans should the applicant not obtain a Liman Fellowship.
  • A resume, preferably including a list of additional references from prior employers.
  • The applicant’s official Yale Law School transcript should be sent directly from the Registrar's office to Christine Mullen in J35
  • A letter from the applicant’s sponsoring organization, if any, detailing:
    1. a general statement of its organizational purpose and mission
    2. its interest in and commitment to the project
    3. the resources provided for the project
    4. the Fellow’s work environment, describing individual or shared work space and support staff
    5. the Fellow’s immediate supervisor and plans for supervision
    6. the supervisor’s experience in the substantive area of the Fellowship project
    7. specific plans for the Fellow’s training and professional development during the fellowship year
    8. whether the organization will provide benefits for the Fellow. If the organization is not able to provide health coverage, the organization should provide a clear explanation. All host organizations must provide malpractice coverage to cover any Fellow’s activities during the course of the Fellowship. The sponsoring organization may also include general materials about its work.
  • At least three letters of recommendation. Two letters should be from current or former professors or other persons associated with Yale Law School. The third should be from an employer or someone familiar with the applicant’s recent job experience and legal work. Recommenders should email their letters directly to [email protected]. The recommendation letters should also be in Courier New 12 or larger