The fellowship provides students with stipends for eight to 10-week long summer internships involving public interest law-related work, with the goal of serving underrepresented populations and causes.
The program is named after Arthur J. Liman, a lawyer who was renowned throughout his career for his dedication to the public interest. According to the program’s , up to five undergraduate fellows are selected each year based on their “demonstrated merit and … commitment to public service” through past and current activities.
Bolef is a concentrator in comparative politics, a co-president of Students for Prison Education and Reform, and a former investigator at the D.C. Public Defender Service. She said she hopes to use her fellowship to “better understand the legal structures which undergird America's vast political and economic inequalities in order to build systems which defend true justice and dignity for all people.”
“I applied for a Liman Fellowship because I believe that public interest law is a crucial way to protect the rights and interests of groups without the funds or organizational capacity to otherwise secure legal representation, and I believe that protection of everyone's rights is a fundamental obligation in a democracy,” Bolef wrote in an email.
This summer, Bolef plans to work for either an impact litigation firm focusing on criminal justice reform or for a progressive District Attorney’s office. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and work towards creating more just political and economic institutions, especially the criminal justice system.
Fathy is concentrating in the Wilson School. As a co-founder of the Princeton Advocates for Justice and a former recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship in Criminal Justice, he aims to use the Liman Fellowship to further his work in public defense for immigrants and refugees by guiding them through the legal documentation necessary for applications for asylum.
“As a Liman fellow, I would be able to work with and learn from the key leaders of the social justice movement who can teach me how to further advocate for issues that I've become really passionate about like immigration and criminal justice reform,” Fathy, who is currently studying abroad in Milan at Bocconi University, wrote in an email.
In the future, Fathy hopes to attend law school and eventually work as a judge.
Herskind, concentrating in African-American studies with a focus on race and public policy, is co-president of Students for Prison Education and Reform and used his Guggenheim fellowship to work with the Correctional Association of New York. As a Liman Fellow, he will be interning with the Poverty and Race Research Action Council in Washington, D.C.
“I’ve always been interested in law, particularly the criminal justice system,” Herskind said. “I think going into public interest law can be a really important way of learning about the system more intimately, and by doing that learn how to dismantle the system.”
Laufer is an operations research and financial engineering concentrator whose interests lie in developing quantitative methods to inform public policy. He is the undergraduate president of the Petey Greene Program, a research assistant at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and a former data science researcher for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He seeks to address urban, environmental, and social justice challenges through the Liman Fellowship.
“I've always been interested in public interest work and policy,” Laufer said. “Generally, I'm interested in extending my more quantitative background to issues of social justice.”
Ninan is concentrating in politics with a focus on international relations. She is a former president of the American Whig Cliosophic Society and a former intern for the State Department’s Pakistan desk. She plans to use the Liman Fellowship to gain experience and exposure to human rights law.
Ninan explained that her two previous internships — one at a small legal nonprofit and one with the State Department — sparked her interest in law as a tool of public service.
“In both of those environments, I was always really fascinated by the variety of legal questions at play, and how the legal questions intersected with policy work and advocacy work,” Ninan said.
Ninan’s legal interests include human rights and immigrant and refugee issues, and she plans to attend law school in the future.
“I’ve always had a heart for justice, so I think the law is the best way to interpret what it means to live in a just world and actually execute that,” she said.