Create Change – Winter 2020

Executive Director's message

Be the change you wish to see in the world . . . – Gandhi

Anna Wang - Photo by Christine Baker-Parrish

Happy New Year! I hope that you all enjoyed a festive holiday season with loved ones. The past Fall quarter was a busy one here on campus. We hosted our annual Public Service Awards dinner and started off the school year with inspiring advice from two incredible public interest attorneys. Please see the photo gallery below.

Our incoming students have embraced pro bono service and 82% of them signed up for one or more student-led pro bono projects. Read more about pro bono service at SLS below.

I’m also thrilled that we rescheduled Aracely Muñoz’s visit for this February 24 – 26, 2020. Muñoz, Director of the Lawyers Network and the Washington, D.C. Office of the Center for Reproductive Rights, had been scheduled to visit campus last April as an Inspiring Voices of Social Justice speaker. Unfortunately, her trip was canceled after she was caught in an unexpected snowstorm and stranded in Chicago for several days. Read more about Muñoz from the profile we included last year here. In addition to meeting with small groups of students, Muñoz will also present a program on Grit & Growth Mindset and discuss her career path. Details will be sent to the student listservs.

The deadlines are fast approaching for our SLS funded postgraduate public interest fellowships. Please read below about the various programs which will fund up to 15 SLS graduates to begin their careers in public service.

Finally, we are hiring a new program manager to replace Jodie Carian, who accepted a position with the Law School’s Program Group as its Content and Marketing Manager. We are so grateful for Jodie’s work over the past three years supporting and developing programming for our public interest students, alumni, faculty and the broader community. We are interviewing candidates now and hope to add a new team member soon.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out. I’d love to hear from you.


Incoming SLS Students Embrace Pro Bono Service

This year, over 82% of the incoming class joined Student-led Pro Bono Projects. At the September 20 Pro Bono Fair, 2L and 3L student leaders presented on their respective projects, leading to 170 incoming students (1Ls, Advanced Degree students, and transfers) to apply for placement in the 17 projects. Read more about those projects on our website here.

Work began in the Fall Quarter for most of the Pro Bono Projects. The Workers’ Rights Pro Bono Project had students meet with community members to assess possible legal rights with regard to employment matters. Students regularly visited the San Francisco Jail in San Bruno to provide legal information to incarcerated individuals through the Prisoner Legal Services project. And, in November, a group of SLS students provided in-person assistance to people in completing forms that commence the process for seeking asylum here in the US.

All 17 projects will be in full swing during the Winter Quarter, including the Tax Pro Bono Project’s free tax assistance clinics and the Election Law Project’s voting protection program on Super Tuesday.

Michael Winn, our Director of the Pro Bono and Externship Programs, will also be hosting an information session on Friday, January 17, 2020, to discuss the funded alternative spring break options for Stanford Law students. During the session, he will discuss the opportunities, including those empowering students to help:

  • Detroit residents threatened with foreclosure
  • Unaccompanied immigrant children in Tucson
  • Asylum seekers in Tijuana
  • Indigent criminal defendants in New Orleans
  • Yurok tribe members in Del Norte County, California (organized by NALSA)
  • And more!

SLS Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowships Deadline Approaching

Up to 15 Stanford Law School graduates will receive SLS funded (or SLS affiliated) fellowships to launch their public interest careers later this year. SLS directly funds 14 positions while one fellowship position is reserved for SLS graduates thanks to the generosity of Sullivan and Cromwell.

The Sullivan & Cromwell Fellowship at Public Counsel is limited to SLS graduates and is a result of the work Sullivan & Cromwell did, in partnership with Public Counsel and others, in the landmark Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder case. Sullivan & Cromwell donated all of the fees it was awarded in the Franco case to its public interest co-counsel. Details are on the website linked above and the deadline is January 15.

SLS also funds an alumnus/a who is chosen by the International Court of Justice for their University Traineeship Programme. Students interested in the 10-month University Traineeship Programme with the International Court of Justice should note its February 10 deadline. SLS must nominate applicants so please contact Titi Liu if you are interested in applying.

The remaining 13 one-year postgraduate public interest fellowships have one joint application. Eligibility for the SLS Fellowships is limited to those alumni who graduated or will graduate between 2018-2020 and have not previously received a fellowship or government honors position. These fellowships enable our graduates to work full-time for a year in a law-related endeavor designed to further the public interest. They include both general postgraduate fellowships on any public interest issue and those targeting specific substantive areas (e.g., international, criminal defense, or criminal justice). There are slightly different eligibility requirements for each program, but there will be one joint application process for these 13 fellowships. Finalists for all but the Criminal Defense Fellowship will be invited to an interview with the selection committee on Saturday, March 7, 2020. The Criminal Defense Fellowship is awarded to one graduate based solely on the written application.

The 2020-2021 application will be due Tuesday, February 11 by 12 pm PST. The Fellows will be selected by the end of March 2020. Additional details are available on-line.

About Create Change

Create Change is designed and produced quarterly by the staff of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Unless specifically noted, all articles are written by staff:

Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law: Diane T. Chin
Executive Director: Anna Wang
Director, International Public Interest Initiatives: Titi Liu
Director, Pro Bono and Externship Programs: Mike Winn
Public Interest Counselor: Shafaq Khan
Research Assistant: Huanvy Phan, BA ’20

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