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Yale Law Students Awarded Soros Fellowships, Trudeau Scholarship

Three Yale Law School students received prestigious fellowships and a highly competitive scholarship in May in recognition and support of their public advocacy and academic work.

Amanda Alexander ’13 and Marbre Stahly-Butts ’13 were named Soros Justice Fellows in early May by the Open Society Foundations. Ryan Liss ’13 LLM was also named a Trudeau scholar in May by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation in Canada.

Alexander will pursue her Soros Justice Fellowship at the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy at Michigan Law School. She will work to minimize the ways an entire family suffers when a parent is incarcerated using a combination of direct legal services, client education, targeted litigation, and advocacy. During her time at YLS, Alexander co-founded the Women, Incarceration and Family Law Clinic Project.

Stahly-Butts will pursue her fellowship at the Center for Popular Democracy in Brooklyn, NY, organizing and supporting those affected by drug-related evictions in New York City to protect their rights and advocate for the end of such policies. Stahly-Butts served as chair of the Political Committee of the Black Law Students Association at YLS.

The Open Society Foundations awarded 14 Soros fellowships this year to a mix of emerging and established leaders, including investigative journalists, lawyers, grassroots organizers, policy advocates, and scholars. Working in 9 different states and Puerto Rico, the 14 fellows will take on a range of U.S. reform issues that relate to broader Open Society efforts to curb mass incarceration, eliminate harsh punishment, and ensure justice system accountability in the U.S.

Through the Trudeau Foundation, Liss will continue studying international law at Yale Law School as he pursues his J.S.D. degree. Through his academic work, Liss will examine whether a common set of fundamental justice principles can rally the nations of the world, as has been done in the case of international criminal justice.

The Trudeau scholarship is recognized as the most prestigious doctoral award of its kind in Canada. This year, 15 scholarships were awarded to support social sciences and doctoral candidates focused on researching and sharing innovative ideas to help solve issues of critical importance to Canadians.