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Public Interest Careers – Internet Policy

Each year, dozens of Yale Law School students and graduates apply for highly competitive fellowships in the U.S. and abroad. These experiences offer substantive, on-the-ground training for new attorneys and those seeking to shift practice focus. Fellows work in a range of settings—including nonprofits, government agencies, and international courts—gaining valuable contacts and experience that frequently serve as the foundation for a career in public interest work. Below is one graduate’s public interest story. You can see more stories here.

Anjali Dalal ’10 
Heyman Fellow
Assistant to the Chief Technology Officer, Executive Office of the President

Anjali Dalal ’10 spent the year following her graduation from Yale Law School in the White House, serving as an advisor to the Chief Technology Officer in the Executive Office of the President. It’s an experience, she says, that she never would have had access to had it not been for her Heyman Fellowship.

“The fellowship allowed me to meet some of the major players in the world of telecom and Internet policy,” she says. “I was able to work with and learn from people who have been steeped in the field for 15 to 20 years.”

Dalal’s job involved working on issues of spectrum policy, cyber-security, rights-of-way, and broadband infrastructure. “Subject matter-wise, I was able to work on a ton of different things,” Dalal continues. “People-wise, I was able to meet so many people in various parts of the government. I was given a seat at the table at meetings that, but for this fellowship, I would never have been invited to. Every day was a different day, with new challenges and new opportunities,” she says.

After the President’s 2011 State of the Union Address, for example, Dalal found herself working on a team of people planning a major speaking event for President Obama in Marquette, Michigan, home to a state-of-the-art wireless network. Rather than focusing on the importance of building roads and bridges as illustrative of the critical infrastructure that connects this country, in Marquette, Obama chose to speak about the importance of building a robust, high-speed telecommunications infrastructure to connect the country and introduced the White House’s Spectrum Plan. Dalal worked with the President’s Office on developing the story and crafting the speech—an experience that was not only professionally satisfying for Dalal, but also educational. “I honed my writing skills,” she says, “and now I feel like I can more effectively communicate information to both policy wonks and the general public.”

“The chance to work on high-profile issues for the White House was an incredible launching pad . . . it opened so many doors for me,” Dalal continues.

Following her work as a Heyman Fellow, Dalal was named a Postdoctoral Associate in Law and Google Fellow with Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. Her research and writing are focused on First Amendment issues.

In addition to valuable work experience, her fellowship, Dalal says, also provided her with a network of people with whom to consult. “Some of the people I worked with have moved on to positions in the private sector, policy shops, and academia. They continue to shape policy debate through their company’s strategic decisions, their white papers, and their academic writings, respectively. Now I have this network of people who I can turn to for ideas, feedback, and support—and that’s invaluable.”

For more information about fellowship opportunities, visit www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/ylspublicinterestfellowships.htm.