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Monday, March 3, 2003

Liman Public Interest Colloquium Examines “Portraying the Public Interest”

The Sixth Annual Arthur Liman Public Interest Colloquium, "Portraying the Public Interest: Clients, the Mass Media and Public Policy," will be held on March 6-7, at the New Haven Hotel, 229 George Street.

This year's program will focus on how to work with the media to present clients' stories to the public in an effective way.

The colloquium will begin on March 6 at 6 p.m. with the screening of a film related to advocacy for the underrepresented, followed by a panel discussion led by filmmaker Doug Liman. Liman's credits include producing and directing "The Bourne Identity" as well as directing the critically acclaimed "Swingers" and "Go." He is the son of the late Arthur Liman, for whom the public interest program is named.

On March 7, panel discussions will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. titled "Direct Representation and Public Advocacy," "Journalists and the Public Interest," "Public Interest and Public Relations" and "Effectively Crafting Client Narratives."

Current Liman Public Interest Fellows will discuss their role in bringing clients' experiences to the public and how to balance their role as advocates with the larger issues of public policy reform. Participants will also discuss how stories come to be understood as newsworthy and how to compete for media attention. Public interest advocates and public relations practitioners will discuss how to write compelling stories, and journalists will speak on the ethical obligations of reporters.

The Arthur Liman Public Interest Program was established at Yale Law School in 1996 to honor the late Arthur Liman, a partner in the New York City law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In addition to his work at the firm, Liman had a long and distinguished career as a public servant, including positions on the New York State Special Commission on Attica, the Legal Aid Society of New York, the Neighborhood Legal Services of Harlem, the Legal Action Center of New York City and the New York State Capital Defender's Office. He also served as special counsel to the United States Senate Select Committee on Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition, also known as the Iran-Contra Committee.

The Liman Program brings together law students, current practitioners, academicians and public interest advocates. It also supports fellowships for Yale Law School graduates to work full time for a year in any area of the legal profession devoted to the public interest. The 2002-2003 fellows and their placements are Tania Galloni, Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, Lake Worth, Florida; Andrea Marsh, Texas Rural Legal Aid, Austin, Texas; David Menschel, The Innocence Project at Cardozo School of Law, New York City; and Amy Meselson, Legal Aid Society of New York, New York City.

This year's colloquium is sponsored by the Liman Program, Legal Affairs magazine and the Poynter Journalism Program at Yale.

Participants must pre-register for this program by contacting the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School at 203-432-7740.