Liman Fellowship
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Arthur J. Liman Public Interest Law Summer Fellowship

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2014 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 2014.  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.

How To Apply


The Application

An application consists of the following:

  • A completed form that may be downloaded from the LAPA website, including providing email addresses for two references who can comment on your interest in public interest law and on your academic background;
  • A three to five page double-spaced essay explaining your motivation to work in public interest law; any prior experience in assisting individuals or advocating causes; examples of your commitment to public service; and your future aspirations;  You should include a brief description of the area of law in which you are interested in working during the summer.
  • A resume;
  • A current academic transcript of your work at Princeton (it need not be an official transcript)
  • IF you have a proposed internship, a description of the organization and your responsibilities. You may provide a letter of interest from the organization.

Selection Process

The Review Committee will evaluate all applications with special attention to whether:

  • The applicant has demonstrated merit and a past commitment to public service; has an interest or involvement with the legal system and is making future plans to pursue these interests; 
  • The candidate has researched potential internships or has a clear interest and realistic goals concerning a summer placement;
  • The application indicates how the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s academic and career interests.

The Fellowship Announcement and Award

LAPA will announce the fellowship recipients in early February.  Fellows will receive a summer stipend of $4,000.  (Students eligible for Federal Work Study will receive an amount equal to their mandated cap.)

As a part of the fellowship, students will be expected to attend a public interest law conference at Yale Law School scheduled for April 3-4, 2014.  (All expenses will be paid to attend.)

Applications should be submitted to the LAPA office, 416A Robertson Hall, by 12 noon on Wednesday, December 11, 2013.

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