Liman Center Welcomes 2023–2024 Liman Fellows

View of the Yale campus and New Haven through a window at Sterling Law Building

The Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law has announced its fellows for 2023–2024. Since its founding in 1997, the Liman Center has awarded fellowships to more than 180 Yale Law School graduates to enable them to work for a year in the public interest. 

The center welcomes this year’s incoming fellows, who will join organizations based in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. They will address an array of legal problems including access to courts and the need for legal assistance, discipline in schools, protection of household workers, the regulation of guns, health care and reproductive rights, developing alternatives to imprisonment, oversight of conditions in jails and prisons, ending the use of solitary confinement, and protecting fair consideration for parole.

Three of the incoming fellows will hold specially designated fellowships. In 2017, in celebration of the Liman Center’s 20th year, former fellows helped to fund a Resnik-Curtis Fellowship to honor Judith Resnik, the Center’s Founding Director, and Dennis Curtis, Clinical Professor Emeritus and a pioneer in Yale Law School’s clinical program. In 2018, the Liman Center created the Meselson Fellowship in memory of Amy Meselson ’02, a former Liman Fellow who worked tirelessly on behalf of immigrant children. This fellowship continues through the generosity of her family, friends, and classmates. In 2019, Alan Bersin and Lisa Foster provided funds for a Curtis-Liman Fellow to work in conjunction with Yale Law School’s Clinical Program on issues of criminal law enforcement and immigration.

In addition, and with substantial support from their host organizations, the Liman Center has provided extensions to two current Fellows.

Russell Bogue ’23 will join the Office of the Solicitor General for the District of Columbia in Washington, D.C., to work on litigation related to gun regulation and the meaning of the Second Amendment. His project will be in service of ensuring enforcement of D.C. firearms regulations and in conjunction with ongoing efforts of states seeking to preserve public safety. Bogue received his B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and his D.Phil. in political theory from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. At Yale, he has been an Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal, a member of the Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic, a Coker Fellow, and a research assistant.

Yael Caplan ’23 will join Pregnancy Justice in New York. Her project aims to limit efforts to criminalize decisions around pregnancy. She will provide direct representation of individuals and participate in lawsuits seeking structural protections against prosecutions. Caplan earned a B.A. in public policy and comparative human development from the University of Chicago. At Yale Law School, she is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic and served as an Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Feminism

Elizabeth Clarke ’23, the incoming Curtis-Liman Fellow, will be based at the Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut and Yale Law School. Clarke will focus on reducing the harms associated with federal supervised release for vulnerable populations, including individuals with substance use and mental health challenges. As part of her partnership with the Liman Center, Clarke will supervise students working on research and policy advocacy projects related to community supervision. Clarke received a B.A. in psychology from Cornell University. At Yale Law School, she is a research assistant at The Justice Collaboratory and a member of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic.

Zoe Li ’23, this year’s Meselson Fellow, will spend her fellowship year with the MacArthur Justice Center in Chicago. Her project seeks to limit policing of school children and the discriminatory use of punitive fines and tickets for disciplinary infractions. After receiving her B.A. from the University of Michigan, Li worked as an educator and a programming consultant with Boston Public Schools and served as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Samoa. During law school, she has been a part of the Students’ Civil Rights Project at Public Justice, the Virginia Innocence Project, the Liman Projects on criminal and civil system reform, and the Access to Law School Program.

Juan Fernando Luna León ’23 will help support workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 in Los Angeles. His project will help individuals to enforce a municipal ordinance, enacted in June 2022, that provides protection for housekeepers facing sexual assault and harmed by unfair business practices. Luna León earned a B.A. in history from Texas A&M University. At Yale Law School, he is a member of the Workers and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, where he helped represent local unions in labor and legislative matters and families separated by the U.S. government.

Wynne Muscatine Graham ’22 will join the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center’s Supreme Court and Appellate Program in Washington, D.C., as this year’s Resnik-Curtis Fellow. Her focus will be on solitary confinement and efforts to limit its use through state and federal appellate litigation and administrative reforms. That work will contribute to the national effort to end solitary confinement. Muscatine Graham received a B.A. in philosophy from Harvard University. At Yale Law School, she was a member of the Rule of Law Clinic and worked with the Liman Center on its 2021 report Time-In-Cell on solitary confinement. She is currently a law clerk for the Honorable David J. Barron of the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Katie Roop ’23 will spend her fellowship year at The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau in New York. Her project entails directly representing incarcerated individuals in their parole appeals, working on legislation to reform parole, and drafting materials to enable attorneys and parole applicants to navigate the process. Roop earned a B.A. in political science and history from Washington University in St. Louis. At Yale Law School, she is a student director of the Strategic Advocacy Clinic and previously served on the Clinical Student Board and the board of the Civil Rights Project. 

Rachel Talamo ’23 will join Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts where, through legislative advocacy and community organizing, she will work to establish an independent source of oversight of state prisons and jails and will participate in the litigation of an ongoing lawsuit. Talamo earned a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University. While at Yale Law School, she worked with Lecturer in Law Hope Metcalf to pass the PROTECT Act in partnership with Stop Solitary Connecticut. She was also a member of the Challenging Mass Incarceration Clinic, a peer advocate, a National Lawyers Guild legal observer, and an editor of the Proceedings of the Rebellious Lawyering Conference.  

The work of continuing fellows is described below. 

Erin D. Drake ’20 will extend her fellowship at the Women’s National Basketball Players Association, where she focuses on using legal and organizing tools to protect the interests and rights of union members, many of whom are athletes from marginalized communities. Drake will build on her work in her second year and focus on growing the union's state-level engagement. Drake earned a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University. While at Yale Law School, she was a Coker Fellow, a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, and served as a peer advocate and as a board member of Yale Law Women (now YLW+). Previously, Drake clerked for Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Aseem Mehta ’20, working with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco, will continue his work to provide holistic representation to individuals held in immigration detention and support detained organizers in their efforts to challenge the conditions of their confinement, with the goal of complete decarceration. Mehta previously clerked for Judge Richard A. Paez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. At Yale Law School, he was a member of the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic. Prior to law school, he was a Community Fellow with Immigrant Justice Corps, where he supported movements to stop detention and deportations in New York and South Texas. 

Through the work of faculty, students, and Fellows, the Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law aims to improve the ability of individuals and groups to obtain fair treatment under the law. Since 1997, the Center has launched hundreds of public sector legal careers, undertaken innovative research to generate meaningful change, and supported communities, in the hopes of contributing to a more just legal system.