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Five undergraduate students awarded 2020 Liman Fellowship

<p>Photo courtesy of the Princeton Program in Law and Public Affairs</p>

Photo courtesy of the Princeton Program in Law and Public Affairs

Five students from the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2022 have been announced as the newest recipients of the Arthur Liman Fellowships. The University’s Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA) announced its list of 2020 Arthur Liman Fellows on Feb. 25; this year’s cohort includes Daniela Alvarez ’21, Jackson Vail ’21, Daisy Torres ’22, Eric Periman ’22, and Sarah Lee ’22. 

Each fellow will be granted a $4,000 stipend to facilitate an 8-10 week summer internship related to public interest legal work. They will also have the opportunity to attend the Liman Public Interest Law Colloquium at Yale Law School, taking place on April 2–3, which will “[bring] together advocates, scholars, and students from across the country” for colloquia that have addressed topics such as “the federal funding of legal services,” “the role of mass media in public interest advocacy,“ “public interest lawyering,“ and more.

Torres, an African American studies concentrator from Queens, N.Y., says she has aspirations of becoming a public defender. 

"As a first-generation college student, I aspire to empower marginalized communities in this country and hopefully foster safe legal spaces for them. There are not enough Latina women in the legal field and I hope to forge a path for more women of color to dominate these spaces," she wrote.

"[Torres] hopes to use the Liman Fellowship to help low-income immigrant communities navigate the naturalization process and to advocate for marginalized identities in our criminal justice system," according to LAPA’s press release.

For Periman, who hails from Evanston, Ill. and is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School, this fellowship is an opportunity to continue the work on criminal justice reform that he has focused on throughout his Princeton experience. 

"I became more deeply invested in prison advocacy work with each passing semester at Princeton,” Periman wrote in an email to the ‘Prince’.

“I applied to the Liman Fellowship because I realized the realm of public interest law yields tangible results in the prison advocacy world on a daily basis, organizations such as The Innocence Project, ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and more all work day in and day out to change people’s lives for the better and I wanted to play a part in that process," he wrote. 

Periman shared his hopes of finding a small organization to pair up with.

"I hope to intern with an organization that is on the smaller side and does high impact work that wouldn’t be able to host an intern normally because of the associated costs," he wrote.

Alvarez, originally born in Cuba but raised in Miami, Fla., is a concentrator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, a project leader for El Centro, and a member of the Princeton Mock Trial team. 

This is not Alvarez’s first foray into public-service legal work. In the summer of 2019, she volunteered at a migrant shelter in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she helped facilitate the asylum process. 

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According to the LAPA press release, Alvarez plans to continue this work over the summer and is seeking to "learn about immigration proceedings and laws as it pertains to children." 

Lee, a sociology concentrator and Undergraduate Student Government U-Council chair hailing from Adams, Tenn., has focused her studies on socio-legal ethnography. She has used her role in student government to advocate for social justice causes and increasing mental health awareness. 

"On campus, I’ve pursued activism through my position as USG U-Council Chair on CPUC, working with Divest Princeton, SPEAR, Natives at Princeton, Housing and the Mental Health Taskforce to raise awareness for key campus issues, and volunteering weekly with the Petey Greene Program outside of the Bubble,” Lee wrote.

In this role, Lee has attempted to inspire others to take part in public interest law. 

“Serving as part of the Steering Committee and Alumni Relations Chair of Law and Public Affairs has allowed me to connect with both students and alumni working in legal fields, as my committee has spearheaded efforts for alumni outreach, utilizing LinkedIn as a platform to compile a spreadsheet of over 200 alumni who are willing to mentor Princeton undergraduates," she wrote.

This summer, Lee plans to travel to Chiang Mai, Thailand, in order to pursue her passion of public interest law. 

"As a Liman Fellow, I will be interning with MAP [Migrants Assistance Program] Foundation, an NGO that seeks to empower Burmese migrants by working with community leaders to serve as legal advocates and counsel for labor rights issues," she wrote.

Vail, a history concentrator from Waldoboro, Maine, is dedicated to working to bring systemic change to environmental policy and what he calls the "American criminal punishment system." Like many of the other fellows, his interest in public interest law was reinforced by his extracurricular activities at the University. 

"My interest in advocacy and social justice work has been most directly impacted by my time with SPEAR. Over the last few years, I have had the privilege of working with and learning from some amazing peers and advocates that have helped me to challenge the way that I think about justice," he wrote.

Vail noted that he hopes to continue advocating in these fields during his fellowship experience.

"I hope to use the fellowship this summer to work with an organization that focuses on criminal justice, immigration, or environmental policy and to better understand how the law can be changed or transformed in the public’s interest," he wrote.

The Liman fellowship is made possible by a donation from the Liman Foundation, which is under the direction of alumna Emily Liman ’85, the daughter of Arthur Liman, a graduate of Yale Law School who is the namesake of the fellowship. 

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