Furman Public Policy Scholarship

The Furman Public Policy Scholarship Program is an innovative and experience-based program designed to train and support top students who are interested in pursuing careers in the public policy sector. The program emphasizes individualized academic planning and advising. Faculty and administration work closely with students to secure placements for their 2L summer, giving students the opportunity to engage in public policy issues at local, state, national, and international levels. Students also receive support in securing their post-graduate career placement, and each scholar is paired with a faculty mentor.

Scholars will be expected to participate in regular public-policy oriented discussion sessions during the year and also in a half-semester seminar focused on transforming policy proposals into shorter works (such as op-eds) that are geared towards policymakers, thought leaders, and the press.  Scholars are also guaranteed placement in the Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic in DC during their 3L year.

Key Features of the Program 

  • 1L summer: Furman Public Policy Scholars will have NYU Law School-funded public policy internships. 
  • Special 2L seminar: The second year features a seminar designed to teach students how to think and write like policy makers. The seminar is a year-long intensive writing seminar exploring the economic, philosophical, and political considerations relevant when designing social policies implemented, in whole or in part, through the federal tax and transfer systems.
  • 3L semester in DC: All Furman Public Policy Scholars have the opportunity to spend a semester of their third year in Washington, DC, either in NYU Law's new Legislative and Regulatory Process Clinic, co-taught by Robert Bauer and Sally Katzen, or in another governmental capacity. For certain students, the 3L semester may be an opportunity to work on a political campaign or initiative, with faculty supervision.
  • All scholars are required to complete at least two different public policy engagements during their time at NYU (at the local, national, or international level, and in the executive or legislative branch).

Focus on Advising

The program emphasizes individualized academic planning and advising. Each scholar works closely with a faculty adviser in his or her specific policy field. These advisers review and approve the scholars' academic plans, and assist scholars with their internship plans.

Career Advancement and Mentorship

Faculty and administration work closely with students to secure placements for their 1L and 2L summers, giving students the opportunity to engage in public policy issues at local, state, national, and international levels. Students also receive support in securing their post-graduate career placement, and each scholar is paired with a public policy alumnus for a formal mentorship.

Criteria for Selection

  • Academic excellence;
  • Commitment to public policy work (shown through previous work history, campus activism, related internships, relevant research or thesis topics, and through the required application essay);
  • Demonstrated leadership ability;
  • Diversity of public policy interests and background experience and knowledge.

Application Instructions

As an applicant for the Furman Public Policy Scholarship, you should complete your JD application by January 1, 2018 and you should have a complete CAS report ready to be requested by our office no later than January 1, 2018. You are required to submit with the JD application an additional essay (no more than 500 words)  that describes your interest in public policy, and what specific public policy areas you wish to pursue with your law school training. You are also required to submit a recommendation letter that speaks to your interest or experience in public policy.

 If you would like more information about the program or have general questions regarding the application process, please contact Kathleen Neilson at the Public Interest Law Center.

Faculty Directors 

Lily Batchelder is professor of law and public policy at NYU School of Law and an affiliated professor at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. From 2010 to 2015, she was on leave, serving as deputy director of the White House National Economic Council and deputy assistant to the President, and as majority chief tax counsel for the US Senate Committee on Finance. Batchelder’s research and teaching focus on personal income taxes, business tax reform, wealth transfer taxes, retirement savings policy, and social insurance. Before joining NYU in 2005, Batchelder was an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, director of community affairs for a New York state senator, and client advocate for a small social services organization in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn. Batchelder received an AB in Political Science with honors and distinction from Stanford University, an MPP in Microeconomics and Human Services from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a JD from Yale Law School. 

David Kamin ’09 joined NYU School of Law in 2012. His scholarship focuses on tax and budget policy, and he has published on issues ranging from the tax code’s effect on inequality and poverty to the role of budget baselines in the legislative process. Before joining NYU Law, Kamin worked in President Obama’s administration. From 2010-2012, he served as special assistant to the president for economic policy at the White House. There, Kamin helped coordinate administration policy on federal tax and budget issues as well as other areas including unemployment insurance, infrastructure, and the postal service. Prior to serving as special assistant to the president, Kamin worked as special assistant, and later adviser, to the director of the US Office of Management and Budget, helping formulate policy for President Obama’s first two budgets. Kamin earned a BA in economics and political science with highest honors from Swarthmore College in 2002. He earned a JD magna cum laude from NYU Law in 2009.

Jason M. Schultz is a Professor of Clinical Law and Director of NYU's Technology Law & Policy Clinic. His clinical projects, research, and writing primarily focus on the ongoing struggles to balance intellectual property and privacy law with the public interest in free expression, access to knowledge, and innovation in light of new technologies and the challenges they pose. Prior to joining NYU, Professor Schultz was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Before joining Boalt Hall, he was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), one of the leading digital rights groups in the world and before that practiced intellectual property law at the firm of Fish & Richardson, PC He also served as a clerk to the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen of the Northern District of California. He is a member of the American Law Institute.

Class of 2017 Scholars

Elizabeth Organ is committed to work on financial regulation and enforcement.  She comes with the highest praise from her current job working as a research analyst at the Dallas Fed, where she has co-authored articles with the President and research director and focused on their "Too Big to Fail" policies. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas, Liz earned her B.A. in economics.

Riane Harper arrived with an already extensive background in international affairs.  Before law school, she led a team of officers at the Department of State implementing U.S. sanctions policy against Iran, and her experience includes serving as a sanctions expert in the nuclear negotiations with Iran.  Before that, Riane led the Department's public opinion research in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. Her findings fed directly into the US review of its approach to Afghanistan in 2010--with her analysis included in briefings for senior leadership and the President. Here at NYU Law, she serves as Executive Co-Chair of Law Women, Vice President for Operations of the Supreme Court Reading Group, and staff editor for the Annual Survey of American Law. She spent her 1L summer at the Department of Justice, Office of the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, where she worked on cybercrime, international legal assistance, and the procedural obligations of prosecutors, and also worked as a research assistant to Dean Morrison. She will be in Washington, D.C. this summer as a summer associate at Hogan Lovells. Riane is a 2009 graduate of Vassar College, with a B.A. in history.                

Hillary Smith '17 worked as a nonpartisan policy and fiscal analyst for the Colorado State Legislature, where she primarily focused on criminal justice issues. She conducted long-term research projects on sentencing, parole and corrections policies, the juvenile justice system, and the legalization and regulation of marijuana. Hillary spent her 1L summer at the Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD, a new office within the Department of Investigation that oversees the policies and practices of the NYPD. At NYU,Hillary is a Student Fellow at the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law and is a Staff Editor of the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. Hillary is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in English.

Grace Leeper is interested in the intersection between criminal justice policy and economic opportunity.  She graduated with distinction from Duke University, earning a BA in Public Policy and a certificate in documentary studies.  Prior to law school, Grace worked at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a DC think tank focused on budget and tax issues that affect low-income families and individuals.  After her 1L year, Grace worked as an intern at the New York Legal Assistance Group, working with their Special Litigation Unit on class action lawsuits to ensure access to public benefits for low-income New Yorkers.  At NYU, Grace is Co-President of the NYU Law Democrats, has worked with Professor Stephen Schulhofer as a research assistant on issues related to broken windows policing, is currently a staff editor for the NYU Law Review, and will be participating this year in Professor Barry Friedman's Policing Project.                                                              

Class of 2018 Scholars

Pablo Rojas   '18 most recently served as a member of Senator Bob Casey's legislative staff, where he worked on trade, financial services and tax policy. He previously worked in the investment banking division of Rabobank. Pablo has also worked on urban renewal projects for the city government of Medellin, Colombia, and conducted research on U.S.-Latin American relations for the Brookings Institution.   Pablo is a 2011 graduate of Brown University, with a B.A. in Political Science and Economics.