Furman Public Policy Scholarship

The Furman Public Policy Scholarship Program is an innovative, challenging and experience-based program designed to train and support selected top students who are interested in pursuing careers in the public policy sector. It gathers in one program the already top-notch policy resources of NYU Law and builds on these with new, significant policy-oriented opportunities. Furman Public Policy Scholars are provided full-tuition scholarships for three years of Law School study leading to the JD degree. The four pillars of the program are substantive competency, experiential learning, values, and mentorship.

Key Features of the Program 

  • 1L summer: Furman Public Policy Scholars will have 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 will expose students to diverse viewpoints in public policy and explore decision making in Congress and the executive branch, under the leadership of both political parties. It will include, for each student, an individual partnership with an outside policy institution. This work may build on the 1L internship placement or be an opportunity to forge a new institutional relationship.
  • 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.
  • Students are also guaranteed placement in the Guarini Seminara 3L professional responsibility course centered on public policy lawyering, with structured reflection on questions of integrity and ethics in public service. Students will have the opportunity to meet public interest leaders willing to speak candidly about ethical dilemmas they have faced over the course of their careers.
  • 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 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

Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, the NYU School of Law will choose at least two Furman Public Policy Scholarships each year from qualifying entering first year students. An additional Scholar or Scholars may be selected at the end of the 1L year.

Applicants for the Furman Public Policy Scholarship are required to submit an additional essay (no more than 500 words) with the JD application. The essay should explain why they wish to pursue a career in public policy.


2014-15 Scholars

Elizabeth Organ '17 is committed to work on financial regulation and enforcement. She has worked as a research analyst at the Dallas Fed, where she has helped write 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 at Dallas, Liz earned her BS in economics, with minors in finance and political science.

Riane Harper '17 headed a team of foreign service officers implementing US sanctions policy against Iran, and her experience includes negotiations with the Iranians on the interaction between US sanctions policy and the Iranian nuclear program. Before that, Riane worked on polling in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova for the State Department, and her findings fed directly into the US review of its approach to Afghanistan in 2010. Riane is a a 2009 graduate of Vassar College, with a BA in history.