Liman Fellowship


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Undergraduate and graduate students alike are encouraged to apply to the Liman Fellowship. The fellowship provides a stipend for students to spend a summer doing an internship with a public interest law organization. Typically, two graduate students and four undergraduate students at Princeton are selected for the award.

2015 Program Overview

The Arthur J.Liman Public Interest Program was endowed to honor Arthur Liman, Yale Law School Class of 1957, who personified the ideal of commitment to the public interest. Throughout his long and distinguished career, he demonstrated how dedicated lawyers in both public and private life can serve the needs of people and causes that might otherwise go unrepresented.

Although best known as an attorney in private practice, Arthur Liman served in a wide variety of public service positions. He was chief counsel to the New York State Special Commission on Attica Prison; President of the Legal Aid Society of New York and of the Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem; Chair of the Legal Action Center in New York City; Chair of the New York State Capital Defender's Office; and Special Counsel to the United States Senate Committee Investigating Secret Military Assistance to Iran and the Nicaraguan Opposition.

Established in 1997 at Yale Law School to encourage young people to pursue public service and further Arthur Liman's commitment to justice, the program has expanded to include fellows from Barnard, Brown, Harvard, Spelman, and Yale, as well as Princeton. The law school coordinates the program and holds an annual conference each spring for Liman Fellows to meet each other and explore the meaning and impact of public interest law.

At Princeton University, the Program in Law and Public Affairs is grateful for the gift of the Liman Family, particularly Emily Liman, Princeton Class of 1985, which enables Princeton undergraduate and graduate students to participate in this program.

The Internship

Students selected as Fellows will perform full-time public interest law-related work lasting at least eight to ten weeks during the summer of 2015.  The subject matter is not limited to any specific field, and thus, may range from civil rights and liberties to disability law and environmental protection, and beyond.

Each fellow should seek a position that offers a variety of learning experiences over the course of the summer, such that they gain significant exposure to issues of law and an understanding of how the legal system works.  The work should allow a student to develop analytical thinking and research skills.  At the conclusion of the internship, the fellow will write a report that explains how the internship affected his or her understanding of public interest law and future academic and career plans.

Finding An Internship

Students may initiate contact and accept an internship before applying for a fellowship or may apply without having located a position.  Princeton will assist students selected as fellows to locate a position if they have not done so.

The best strategy for a student to locate an internship is to investigate opportunities with organizations working in an area of the student's demonstrated interest.  There are several places to look for internships and summer placements, including the websites devoted to listing public service internships, Princeton's TigerTracks, and organizations where previous Liman Fellows worked.  You can also consult with the people attending the Yale Liman Colloquium for ideas.