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Eric Fish ’11, Caroline Gross ’10, Scarlet Kim ’11, Matthew Matera ’11, Erin Phillips ’09, Nicholas Riley ’11 Awarded YLS Public Interest Fellowships

Yale Law School congratulates the 2011-2012 recipients of the Yale Law School Public Interest Fellowships, which support recent Yale Law graduates for full-time public interest work for one year. The 2011-2012 fellows are Eric Fish ’11, who will work with Public Citizen in Washington, D.C.; Caroline Gross ’10, who will be placed with the International Association of Women Judges in Washington, D.C. and Tanzania; Scarlet Kim ’11, who will work with the New York Civil Liberties Union; Matthew Matera ’11, who is headed to the New Schools for New Orleans; Erin Phillips ’09, who will join the Immigration Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services; and Nicholas Riley ’11, who will work at the Brennan Center for Justice in New York City.

Eric Fish is a 2011 graduate of Yale Law School. He will spend his fellowship year with Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., where he will work on appellate public interest litigation and on matters related to the regulatory policies of the newly-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. During law school, Eric interned for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and for the public interest firm Altshuler Berzon. He also represented state and federal prisoners for the Complex Federal Litigation Clinic and served as an articles editor on the Yale Law Journal.

Caroline Gross is a 2010 graduate of Yale Law School, and she is currently clerking for the Honorable Stanley Marcus of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. She graduated summa cum laude from Harvard University in 2005, with an A.B. in History and Science. During her fellowship year, Caroline will work for the International Association of Women Judges on combating “sextortion,” or the abuse of power through sexual exploitation, in Tanzania. Working with Tanzanian judges and NGOs, she will develop materials for practitioners, victims, and government officials on the application of Tanzanian and international anti-corruption laws to the problem of sexual exploitation, and she will prepare a report on barriers to the implementation of these laws.

Scarlet Kim will spend her fellowship year at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she will work on a project addressing the use of prolonged solitary confinement in New York state prisons. Scarlet will document conditions of confinement at several New York supermax prisons and conduct legal research exploring methods of incorporating international human rights law into a New York state constitutional challenge to prolonged solitary confinement. A member of the Yale Law School class of 2011, Scarlet graduated from Yale College, where she studied history and international studies. Scarlet has studied in China on a Fulbright Fellowship and worked as a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Matthew Matera, a member of the class of 2011, will work with New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO) to help expand educational opportunity. Matthew will work with NSNO and its partners to help improve teacher quality in New Orleans and comply with a new Louisiana teacher-evaluation law. He will also help NSNO create new opportunities for teacher education and professional development. Prior to coming to law school, Matthew graduated from Yale College and taught in public middle schools for five years.

Erin Phillips, class of 2009, will join the Immigration Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services to provide legal advocacy to clients applying for asylum on the basis of membership in a social group. Her project will focus on the new challenges posed by the Board of Immigration Appeals’ recently announced “social visibility” and “particularity” requirements for asylum claims based on membership in a particular social group. In addition to direct representation, she will conduct policy research to measure the impact of these requirements on asylum applications. Erin, a 2009 graduate of Yale Law School, is currently a law clerk to the Honorable Patti B. Saris of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Erin graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a degree in public policy studies and a certificate in Latin American studies.

Nicolas Riley will spend his fellowship year at the Brennan Center for Justice, where he will join the organization’s Voting Rights & Elections team. His project will focus, in particular, on preventing voter intimidation and disenfranchisement caused by citizen poll-watchers who target low-income communities and communities of color. Nic, who received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, is a member of the Yale Law School Class of 2011.

The Yale Law School Public Interest Fellowship program is just one of an array of post-graduate fellowship programs at Yale Law School that include the Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship; the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowships in International Human Rights; the Heyman Federal Public Service Fellowship Program; and the Robina Foundation Human Rights Fellowship Initiative. These fellowships, along with Yale’s generous and flexible post-graduate loan forgiveness program known as COAP (Career Options Assistance Program), were created to help Yale Law School graduates launch and maintain public interest careers in a host of settings and in a variety of capacities.