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Liman Fellows 2013-14

We are delighted to announce that the Liman Program has awarded eight fellowships for 2013-14 and has given one-year extensions to three current Liman Fellows, who received matching funds from their host organizations.

Spencer Amdur will spend his fellowship year working on immigration issues with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Spencer will help the effort to provide free legal services to immigrants facing removal and to address enforcement by federal and local authorities of immigration laws. Spencer, a member of the Yale Law School class of 2013, graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a B.A. in Economics. Before law school, he worked as an Assistant Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and taught math at the Harlem Village Academy. After his fellowship, Spencer will clerk for the Honorable Judith W. Rogers of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Alyssa Briody will join Juvenile Regional Services in New Orleans; her focus will be on providing counsel for juveniles in the detention system. Her work will include helping boys, incarcerated at the Bridge City Center for Youth, to modify their terms of confinement, become eligible for release, and develop plans for their return to their communities. A member of the Yale Law School class of 2013, Alyssa graduated cum laude from Amherst College in 2007 with a B.A. in Latin American History. Following her fellowship, Alyssa will clerk for the Honorable Sidney Stein in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Burke Butler will work at the Texas Civil Rights Project on the problems of long-term isolation and specifically the harms to individuals with mental illness. Her project continues her work on prisoners' rights when she was at Yale Law School, from which she graduated in 2011. Prior to law school, Burke attended the University of Chicago, where she focused on human rights projects in Peru, India, and Afghanistan. She is currently clerking for Judge Harris Hartz of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and, last year, clerked for Judge Keith Ellison of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Katie Chamblee will help the Southern Center for Human Rights to initiate a program to provide systematic consulting assistance to lawyers working on capital cases. The goal is to strengthen the quality of counsel for poor people facing the death penalty in Georgia and throughout the South. Katie graduated from Yale Law School in 2012 and is clerking for the Honorable Myron H. Thompson on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. She graduated with Highest Honors in History and English in 2007 from Swarthmore College, where she was a Philip Evans Scholar.

Jeremy Kaplan-Lyman will join the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders, where he will work on challenges to the quota-based summons practices of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Jeremy will investigate the impact of the NYPD’s summons practices on marginalized communities, represent individuals in Summons Court, and help to initiate affirmative litigation when abusive summons practices are identified. A 2012 graduate of Yale Law School, Jeremy is currently clerking for the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Prior to law school, Jeremy worked as a teacher and graduation coach in public schools in Camden, New Jersey and Atlanta, Georgia, where he helped found the South Atlanta School for Law and Social Justice, a high-performing school for low-income students.

Caitlin Mitchell will spend her fellowship year at Youth, Rights & Justice, in Portland, Oregon, where she will represent incarcerated parents in Juvenile Court and help them to maintain relationships with their children. Through direct representation, coalition-building, and resource development, Caitlin’s project aims to improve the quality of legal representation for families interacting with the criminal justice system. Caitlin graduated from Yale Law School in 2012 and from Yale College in 2006 with a B.A. in English and Gender Studies. Prior to law school, Caitlin worked as a counselor and community educator for a sexual assault crisis center in New Haven, CT. She is currently clerking for the Honorable Martha Lee Walters of the Oregon Supreme Court.

Ivy Wang, who will be at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in New Orleans, will focus on the many collateral consequences of incarceration, such as evictions based on family members’ involvement with the criminal justice system, loss of employment opportunities, and public benefits. Her efforts will include creating training materials to help other lawyers mitigate these long-term consequences. Ivy, a member of the Yale Law School Class of 2013, graduated in 2006 from Yale College with distinctions in English and History. Prior to law school, she spent four years in China working on human rights and legal reform.

Alyssa Work will join the Bronx Freedom Fund, where she will assist individuals facing misdemeanor criminal charges to post bail and to avoid pretrial detention. During her fellowship year, she will help develop alternative resources to enable a wider range of individuals to be able to meet bail requirements. Her work will be part of broader efforts to reform bail systems to reduce incarceration. Alyssa is member of the Yale Law School Class of 2013 and graduated in 2008 with High Honors in Political Science from Swarthmore College. Before law school, she worked as a legal assistant at a law firm focused on immigration in Washington, D.C.


Three current Liman Fellows will continue their projects for an additional year, thanks to matching funds from their host organizations.

Rebecca Scholtz is working with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, where she provides legal assistance to immigrant children who are involved in the child welfare system. Joining other service providers and community groups, Rebecca is helping to develop a system-wide procedure for providing immigration law assistance to abused, neglected, and abandoned children.

Sirine Shebaya is helping to launch a project on immigrants’ rights at the ACLU of Maryland. She will continue and expand the work she began this year to address racial profiling of Latino youth and the misuse of immigration detainers.

Jenny Zhao, who is at the ACLU of Northern California, provides assistance to immigrants detained in county jails during their deportation proceedings. Along with other lawyers, Jenny is litigating a class action challenge to the practice of shackling all immigrant detainees in transit to/from and during hearings. She is also investigating how prolonged detention and conditions of confinement affect immigrants’ access to courts and their rights to fair hearings.