SABA-DC’S PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWSHIP
About the Program
The Application for SABA-DC's 2022 Public Interest Fellowship Program is NOW AVAILABLE for download here. The due date for applications is April 11, 2022!
SABA-DC provides financial assistance in the form of summer fellowships to law students working at public interest organizations in the metropolitan D.C. area. The primary purpose of the fellowship is to help fund a student’s internship with a public interest organization for the benefit of the South Asian community and the metropolitan D.C. area. The number of Fellowships awarded, as well as the amount of each grant, will be determined by the SABA-DC Fellowship Committee and is based on SABA¬-DC’s fundraising efforts and the number of quality applicants it receives. SABA-DC has provided grants up to $7,500 per fellow in past years, and sponsors several fellows every year.
This year, we are also hosting an informational zoom event on March 25th at 6:00PM EST featuring four former SABA-DC Public interest fellows who will discuss their experiences. Please find more information, including a registration link here. We encourage all interested applicants to attend and engage with our former fellows!
Fellowship Selection Criteria
Each applicant must be a current law student in good standing, and must have received confirmation of employment or internship with a public interest organization during the summer of 2022. Public interest law can be practiced in various settings to include: nonprofit organizations; legal services organizations; district attorneys'/public defenders' offices; federal, state, and local government; and public service law firms. SABA-DC considers all of the materials submitted by the applicant, with particular weight given to the applicant’s essay. In addition, SABA-DC will schedule interviews with applicants as part of the selection process. Other factors that SABA-DC may consider include commitment to public service, financial need, academic achievement, and other criteria. Fellows are expected to complete two short essays about their experience before the end of their fellowship and to attend at least three SABA-DC events during the summer of their fellowship. Fellows are also encouraged to attend the SABA-DC Public Interest Gala (due to COVID-19, this event may be virtual in 2022), typically held in October.
Please note that those students who might be interning for Washington D.C. area based public interest employers but are performing their work virtually due to the pandemic would still qualify.
SABA-DC Non-Discrimination Policy
It is the policy of SABA-DC not to discriminate on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status, or sexual orientation. All potential applicants are encouraged to apply.
Support the SABA-DC Public Interest Fellowship
The Public Interest Fellowship is funded through the generosity of SABA-DC members and its supporters. Each fall, SABA-DC hosts an annual Public Interest Benefit Gala to raise funds for this important program and to celebrate its fellows.
If you cannot attend the Gala but would like to support the fellowship, please submit a donation using the form below. We truly appreciate your support!
Please check out our 2021 SABA-DC Public Interest Fellowship Video.
2021 SABA-DC PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWS
Anoushka Bose (she/her/hers)
Anoushka Bose is a rising second-year law student and Public Interest Fellow at Georgetown Law focusing on the intersections of international security and human rights and policy. She is originally from San Diego, California and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2020. At Georgetown, she serves as Co-President of the South Asian Students Law Association and as Policy Director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. During her first semester of law school, Anoushka interned for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, providing support to the Chief Democratic and Investigative Counsels.
This summer, she is interning on the DC Immigration Legal team at Ayuda. She works directly with clients of various backgrounds by carrying active caseloads of preparing filings for US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Immigration Court under the supervision of experienced attorneys. In this role, she hopes to learn more about different forms of humanitarian-based immigration relief and better understand the real lived experiences of asylum seekers. She is delighted to be a public interest fellow in 2021 and grateful to her SABA DC mentors for their persistent support and enthusiasm.
Vibha Kannan is a rising 2L at the New York University School of Law. She is originally from Winchester, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Prior to law school, Vibha worked as a paralegal at American Oversight, a nonprofit that uses public records requests to expose official misconduct, threats to democracy, and abuses to power on the state and federal level.
This summer, she is interning with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, where she hopes to learn more about the intersection between criminal and immigration law and advocacy efforts that protect, defend, and advance immigrant rights.
She is grateful to have been selected as a SABA-DC Public Interest Fellow and for the program’s support and mentorship as she pursues her internship and learns more about litigation and advocacy in the immigrant rights sphere.
Meera Patel is a rising 2L and master’s candidate in International Peace and Conflict Resolution at American University Washington College of Law. Her academic and professional interests include international and immigration law, public policy, human rights, peace negotiations, and transitional justice.
The SABA-DC Public Interest Fellowship is supporting Meera’s work as a summer civil rights analyst intern at the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington, D.C. Meera is assisting the USCCR’s investigation into the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s response to Hurricane Maria’s devastating impact in Puerto Rico. She is also researching the effects of bail and pretrial procedures in the U.S. Meera hopes to further develop her legal research and writing skillset and gain exposure to new areas of civil rights law.
Before entering law school, Meera worked in public service for four years. She expanded the opportunities and resources available to domestic violence survivors and children from homeless, refugee, and low-income communities in the U.S. and Kenya.
She is originally from London, England and grew up in Tampa, Florida. She graduated magna cum laude from Flagler College in 2018, with a BA in criminology and a minor in pre-law. Meera’s academic and professional interests stem from her African and South Asian roots. She hopes to utilize her experiences to create equitable policies that respect cultural differences between communities and effectively address systemic inequality.”
Asha Ramakumar is a rising second-year student at The George Washington University Law School. Asha graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College, and W. P. Carey School of Business in May 2020 with degrees in Business (Global Politics), Women and Gender Studies, and Health Care Policy and Delivery. During her undergraduate, Asha was the co-founder of a student organization, the Global Women's Health Initiative, was part of the policy and research team with the Abortion Fund of Arizona, and was a student researcher at ASU's Health Policy and Equity Network. Asha is passionate about mitigating health disparities and protecting vulnerable and marginalized groups.
This summer SABA-DC is supporting Asha's internship with Magistrate Judge Deborah L. Boardman in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland. She is excited to view the law from the perspective of the decision-maker and to learn how the law can be used to advance justice and equity.
Roshni Sopariwalla is a rising 2L at the University of Michigan Law School. She is originally from San Ramon, California and graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018 with her B.A. in Global Studies and two minors in French and Professional Writing. After graduating, Roshni interned with the State Department within the Political/Economic Section at the U.S. Embassy to the Netherlands.
At Michigan Law, Roshni competed in the 1L Oral Advocacy Competition and finished as a semifinalist; she also competed on the law school's Mock Trial team. Roshni looks forward to serving as the Chair for the 1L Oral Advocacy Competition and an executive board member for the South Asian Law Students Association in the upcoming academic year.
This summer, Roshni is interning with the American Bar Association's Center for Human Rights. Her projects focus on the South and Southeast Asia region, and she looks forward to getting some firsthand experience in the field of international human rights law. She is very grateful to have the support of SABA-DC and to have been selected as a 2021 Public Interest Fellow.