News & Awards

Program in Law and Public Affairs Announces 2018 Liman Fellows

Mar 5, 2018
Jennifer Bolton
Program in Law and Public Affairs

The Princeton University Program in Law and Public Affairs (LAPA), based at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has named five undergraduates as 2018 Arthur Liman Fellows in Public Interest Law. The fellowship will enable these students to spend eight to 10 weeks in summer 2018 in an internship serving the needs of people and causes that might otherwise go unrepresented. The summer stipends are made possible by a generous donation from the Liman Foundation at the direction of Princeton alumna Emily Liman ’85.

Liman Fellows are selected through a competitive application process in which they must demonstrate their commitment to public service through past and current activities. The students will begin their fellowship experience by participating in the Annual Liman Public Interest Law Colloquium at Yale Law School April 5-6, 2018. There, they will meet public interest advocates, legal scholars, government officials and the Liman Fellows from other schools participating in the program.

The 2018 Liman Fellows, comprising the 13th annual class at Princeton University, are:

Miranda Bolef ’19, a native of San Luis Obispo, California, is a concentrator in comparative politics with a certificate in quantitative and analytical political science. In spring 2017, Bolef worked for three months as an investigator at the D.C. Public Defender Service, an experience which fortified her commitment to contribute to deep change in America’s criminal system. Her public service experiences include nine months volunteering as a bridge year participant in Dakar, leading a breakout trip in fall 2016 to explore the ongoing impact of the 2007-2008 financial crisis in Boston’s low-income communities of color, and serving as co-president of Students for Prison Education and Reform (SPEAR). Bolef hopes to use her Liman Fellowship to better understand the legal structures that undergird America’s vast political and economic inequalities in order to build systems that defend true justice and dignity for all people.

Ramzie Fathy ’20 is a sophomore from Knoxville, Tennessee who is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Ramzie is a co-founder of the Princeton Advocates for Justice, a coalition of student advocacy groups on campus. He also serves as the editor-in-chief of the Princeton Law Review and is a member of the Princeton rugby team. Ramzie received a Guggenheim Fellowship in Criminal Justice in the summer of 2017, which allowed him to work as an investigator at Brooklyn Defender Services. Fathy is spending the spring semester of 2018 studying economics abroad at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. He seeks to use the Liman Fellowship to continue his work in public defense for immigrants and refugees.


Micah Herskind ’19 is a junior from Buffalo, New York who is concentrating in African American studies, focusing on race and public policy and pursuing a certificate in the Program in American Studies. Prior to entering Princeton, he volunteered with Jericho Road Community Health Center, an organization that provides health care and community development services for low-income individuals and refugees. He also was a member of his local youth court, a program that serves as a confidential alternative to family court for minors. At Princeton, Herskind has been drawn to the issue of mass incarceration and the carceral state. He has put these interests into action as co-president of SPEAR, planning SPEAR’s annual conference and overseeing research and advocacy efforts to envision and build toward a world without prisons. He has served as a LGBT peer educator, a research assistant in Princeton’s Department of Politics, and a member of Progressive Christians at Princeton and the Episcopal Church of Princeton. Herskind spent past summers with the Correctional Association of New York as a Guggenheim Fellow (2017), and the Harlem Community Justice Center (2016). As a Liman Fellow, he will intern at the Poverty and Race Research Action Council in Washington, D.C.

Benjamin Laufer ’19 is a junior majoring in operations research and financial engineering and working towards certificates in environmental studies and urban studies. He is broadly interested in using quantitative methods to inform policy. At Princeton, Laufer serves as undergraduate president of the Petey Greene Program, an organization that brings college students into prisons to tutor incarcerated people. As a research assistant at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, he used data analytics to help understand the potential for nuclear fusion as an alternative energy source. He previously worked as a data science researcher for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and interned at International Water Management Institute in Accra, Ghana. Laufer’s ongoing work with the EPA includes a project that applies machine-learning techniques to identify facilities that may be polluting illegally. Laufer seeks to use his Liman Fellowship to continue searching for smart solutions to urban, environmental, and social justice challenges.

Rebekah Ninan ’19 is a junior from Nashville, Tennessee, and a concentrator in politics with a focus on international relations. She also is pursuing certificates in South Asian studies and the history of diplomacy. She began her work in public service volunteering with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Tennessee. On campus, Ninan served as the 2017 president of the American Whig Cliosophic Society, the country’s oldest collegiate debate and political union, working on expanding Whig-Clio’s focus on activism and community engagement. Her extracurricular activities include serving as a residential college advisor, community action leader, a member of the Princeton Debate Panel and the Naacho Dance Company. Ninan is interested in migration issues, international law, and human rights — issues she has explored on campus as a fellow at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination and a volunteer for the Princeton Clay Project at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement. She has interned for the U.S. State Department’s Pakistan desk, the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, Migration’s Asia Team. As a Princeton in Civic Service recipient, she worked with the nonprofit advocacy group Legacies of War. She seeks to use her Liman Fellowship to gain experience in human rights law.