The Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowships at Santa Clara University School of Law honor Justice John Paul Stevens, who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1975-2010. They promote the public interest values that characterize the career of Justice Stevens by supporting Santa Clara law students’ summer work in public interest and social justice law. Since 2000, grants up to $7,500 each have been awarded annually for between two and six Santa Clara Law Stevens Fellows.

Skip Paul, Esq. ’75 established the Stevens Fellowships in honor of Justice Stevens, for whom he served twice as a law clerk, first at the United States Court of the Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court, and then at the Supreme Court of the United States. He established a similar fellowship in 1997 at Northwestern University School of Law. Skip Paul started his business career at Atari, where he rose to President; he was later President of MCA, Inc., Chairman and Co-Founder of Sega Gameworks, Chairman of IFILM, and a founding investor in Flektor. He is a Senior Advisor at Centerview Partners.

Eligibility

Santa Clara law students who have completed at least one year of full-time or part-time study by the start of the summer fellowship are eligible for grants. Students who receive academic credit for a summer job are not eligible to receive public interest summer grants.

Applicants must have arranged a full-time summer law position with a public interest or social justice organization. Qualifying organizations include legal service agencies and government offices, but not judicial externships. Private sector public interest law firms that provide a letter or other descriptive material establishing their public interest status may qualify.

Selection Process and Criteria

Applicants must submit their completed applications through the on-line application form no later than noon on Monday, March 5, 2018. Stevens Fellows will be selected by a committee consisting of Skip Paul, Esq., former Stevens Fellow Michael Branson, Esq., and Professors Margalynne Armstrong, Marina Hsieh, and Tseming Yang.

Grantees will join the national roster of Stevens Fellows and will be honored at the Public Interest and Social Justice Law Celebration and Graduation Ceremony in May. Grantees are required to submit a brief report at the conclusion of their work.

Selection will be based on the following criteria:

  1. Strong interest in a career in public interest and social justice law. The student need not demonstrate that he or she ultimately will pursue a public interest law career, but should provide evidence that he or she is giving serious consideration to such work. Such evidence includes prior involvement in public interest and social justice activities.
  2. Developing ability and strength in working with legal problems and materials. Successful academic performance in law school courses can demonstrate this criterion; successful involvement in other legal projects is also evidence of this capacity.
  3. Additional consideration is given to applicants with demonstrated financial need.

Applicants for the Stevens Fellowships must complete the on-line application form and include the following attachments

  1. A letter from the public interest employer confirming a summer job offer for at least 40 hours per week for at least ten weeks. (This letter need not be included with the initial application, but must be provided before the grant money is distributed.)
  2. A resume.
  3. A personal statement including: (1) the work or project for which the student proposes to use this grant, (2) how that work will develop the student’s legal skills, (3) how that work will further the student’s professional interests and goals, and (4) the student’s commitment to public interest and social justice law.
  4. A current law school transcript.
  5. Optional: Any other documentation of the student’s ability to work with legal problems and materials.
  6. Optional: A statement of financial need.

Applications must be submitted no later than noon on Monday, March 5, 2018. Applicants who also want to be considered for other grants should check the appropriate boxes on the on-line application form.


2017 Recipients

Jessica Atwood
Los Angeles Dependency Lawyers, Monterey Park, CA

Regan Bradley-Brown
Bay Area Legal Aid, Redwood City, CA

Carlos Castro
Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY

Melissa Fox
Disability Rights California, Oakland, CA


2016 Recipients

Sabeena Bali-Dingra
Alameda County Office of the Public Defender

Ms. Bali-Dingra spent her summer clerking with the Alameda County Office of the Public Defender. She assisted in all stages of legal representation including researching and writing pretrial motions and performing a wide range of other research and case preparation duties.

Hannah Bertrando
California Office of the Attorney General

Ms. Bertrando spent her summer with the California Office of the Attorney General. She assisted deputies on varied legal research and writing projects, such as motions to dismiss, summary judgment motions, or Ninth Circuit appellate briefs, as well as the opportunity to accompany and assist deputies at depositions and trial.

Shauna Lord
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Ms. Lord spent her summer interning with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where she assisted with drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, and briefs, conducting legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, conducting factual investigation of pending cases, and participating in client community education projects.

Francisco Lozano
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Mr. Lozano spent his summer interning with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, where he assisted with drafting pleadings, motions, discovery, and briefs, conducting legal research, interviewing clients and witnesses, conducting factual investigation of pending cases, and participating in client community education projects.


2015 Recipients

Nnennaya Amuchie
Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights

Ms. Amuchie spent her summer interning at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She assisted attorneys at this public interest civil rights organization with discrimination, immigration, and poverty law issues. Her work primarily focused on economic justice.

Paria F. Amini
Bay Area Legal Aid

Ms. Amini spent her summer clerking at Bay Area Legal Aid. Ms. Amini directly served a large number of pro per litigants seeking civil domestic violence restraining order protection (including child custody, visitation and support) and engaged in all stages of the process. She had the opportunity to work directly with litigants, conduct interviews, and draft pleadings.

Daniel Buffington
United States District Court for Northern District of California

Mr. Buffington spent his summer at the Oakland Pro Se Department of the United States District Court for Northern District of California. He worked with staff attorneys on pro se habeas corpus cases that challenge convictions and sentences and civil rights cases that challenge the conditions of prisoner confinement. He also worked on death penalty cases.

Samantha Fuchs
Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender

Ms. Fuchs spent her summer with the Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender/Alternate Defender. Ms. Fuchs assisted in all stages of legal representation including researching and writing pretrial motions and performing a wide range of other research and case preparation duties.


2014 Recipients

Ashley Albiani California Coastal Commission

Ms. Albiani assisted in the investigation and resolution of Coastal Act violation cases that can involve either unpermitted development activities or activities undertaken in violation of a Commission permit. She was additionally involved in investigation and collection of evidence, analysis of fact patterns; dispute resolution and settlement negotiations; and verbal and written contact with alleged violator.

Marcos Favela
East Bay Community Law Center

Mr. Favela worked in the immigration unit where he conducted client intake interviews, performed legal research, drafted declarations and pleadings, and represented clients in administrative court proceedings.

Lizbeth Mateo
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Ms. Mateo worked with the immigration unit where she will interview clients, drafted declarations and cover letters, request U-visa certifications from law enforcement agencies, helped clients with their adjustment and naturalization applications, and gathered evidence to support those applications.

Matthew Warren
ACLU of Northern California

Mr. Warren conducted legal research and writing in support of active and potential impact litigation focused upon essential constitutional issues, particularly where there is a significant effort upon low-income or marginalized communities in Northern California.  He drafted legal memoranda, portions of court documents, and pre- litigation demand letters.  He also attended appellate arguments, trial proceedings, and depositions.


2013 Recipients

Michael Branson
EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

Michael Branson spent his summer  working at the EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.  He assisted attorneys in everything from legal and technical research to policy analysis

Esther Fallas

Esther Fallas spent her summer at the Office of the Federal Public Defender. As an intern at the Federal Public Defender’s Office she conducted legal research, wrote motions, investigated cases and helped with trial preparation.

Siena Kautz
Alaska Public Defender Agency – Fairbanks

Siena Kautz spent her summer working at the Alaska Public Defender Agency. She had the opportunity to appear in court and represent clients due to Alaska’s student practice rule.

Peter Swiniarski
Santa Clara Office of the County Counsel and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees

Peter Swiniarski spent his summer with both Santa Clara Office of the County Counsel and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. For the Santa Clara Office of the County Counsel, he interned specifically with the litigation unit, working on all stages of civil litigation. While at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, he worked directly with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to better implement human right law and take human rights actions with respect to refugees.


2012 Recipients

Lauren Aguirre
County of Santa Clara – Office of the County Counsel

Lauren Aguirre spent her summer  with County of Santa Clara – Office of the County Counsel. She assisted attorneys conducting affirmative litigation, drafting new legislation, and developing policies and programs to secure social justice for all Santa Clara residents.

Sophia Areias
Commonwealth Initiatives for Human Rights

Sophia Areias spent her summer with Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative.  She researched and organized information pertaining to Ghana’s prison system, conduct interviews with detainees to ascertain information about prison treatment and standards, and assist local attorneys with trial preparation.

Harry Cheng
California Office of the State Public Defender

Harry Cheng spent his summer at California Office of the State Public  Defender.  The Office of the State Public Defender represents indigent defendants on appeal in death penalty cases.  He prepared appeals or habeas corpus petitions to the California Supreme Court; legal and factual research on guilt and innocence; forensic and mental health issues; and investigation and field work.  He also assisted on projects compiling and editing internal practice guides on psychological issues that pertain to capital cases.

Katherine McDonnell
International Rights Advocates

Katherine McDonnell spent her summer with International Rights Advocates. She assisted in all stages of the cases, working with all the attorneys.  The majority of the work was research and writing for active cases.

Lizbeth Najera
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Lizbeth Najera spent her summer at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles where she assisted the CED unit’s litigation and community empowerment efforts, by conducting legal and factual research, attending resident and community group meetings and project hearings, drafting legal memos, client materials, policy documents and facilitating public participation.


2011 Recipients

James Caparas-Hardwick
Senior Adults Legal Assistance, San Jose, California

Maximilian John Mizono
The Office of the Federal Public Defender of the Northern District of California, San Jose Division

Sharlyn Vareed
The Office of the International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Sherrett Walker The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office


2010 Recipients

Michelle Forrest
Bay Area Legal Aid – Redwood City, California

Monica Macaluso
California Public Utilities Commission – San Francisco, California

Dominic McKeown
Bay Area Legal Aid – San Jose, California

Sarah Mercer
Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center – San Francisco, California


2009 Recipients

Landon Davis
Legal Services of Northern California – Auburn, California

Ashley Jones
Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office – San Jose, California

Erik Kaeding
Navdanya – Hauz Khas, New Delhi

Rachel Leff-Kich Law Foundation of Silicon Valley – AIDS Legal Services – San Jose, California

Erin Peck
Stanislaus County Public Defender – Modesto, California


2008 Recipients

Adam Micahel Birnbaum
Law Foundation of Silicon Valley – Fair Housing Law Project – San Jose, California

Russell Mangan
California Appellate Project – San Francisco, California

Natalia Nahra
Documentation Centre of Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Delores Thomas
Pro Bono Project of Silicon Valley – San Jose, California

Paul Christopher Torio
World Organization for Human Rights USA – Washington, District of Columbia

Nicholas Webber
Watsonville Law Center – Watsonville, California


2007 Recipients

Jennifer Alesio
Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto – Palo Alto, California

Vandana Balakrishnan
South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre – New Delhi, India

Molly Brennan
Legal Services for Children – San Francisco, California

Nicole Clemens
California Rural Legal Assistance – Santa Cruz, California

Lorraine Sachiko
Lakota People’s Law Project – Romero Institute – Hot Springs, South Dakota

Monica Toole
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – Arusha, Tanzania, Africa


2006 Recipients

Monica Bernal
Law Foundation of Silicon Valle, Legal Advocates for Children and Youth, – San Jose, California

Christine Keller
Center for Justice and Accountability – San Francisco, California

Jessica Tillson
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – Arusha, Tanzania, Africa


2005 Recipients

Linh Tu Hua
Public Interest Law Firm – San José, California

Sonja Zavala
American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California – San Francisco, California


2004 Recipients

Kirsten Bowman

– International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia The Hague, Netherlands

Alaric Degrafinried
East Bay Community Law Center – Oakland, California


2003 Recipients

Stephanie Grogan

Southern Center for Human Rights – Atlanta, Georgia

Kimberly Pederson
South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre – New Delhi, India


2002 Recipients

Aubrey L. Ardema
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – Arusha, Tanzania

Julia J. Duncan
National Organization for Women – Sacramento, California


2001 Recipients

Philip C. Andonian
Southern Center for Human Rights – Atlanta, Georgia

Claudia B. Callwood
California Rural Legal Assistance – San Luis Obispo, California

Michelle E. Pusateri
Fresh Lifelines for Youth, Inc. – San Jose, California


2000 Recipients

Benjamin D. Galloway
Southern Center for Human Rights – Atlanta, Georgia

Ava C. Yajima
Children’s Defense Fund – Washington, DC

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