ABOUT SABA-DC’S PUBLIC INTEREST FELLOWSHIP
The Application for SABA-DC's 2021 Public Interest Fellowship Program is NOW AVAILABLE for download here. The due date for applications is April 12, 2021!
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 5th 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 2021. 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 2021), 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.
SABA-DC Public Interest Fellowship Program
Reena Naik is a rising third-year law student and Rubin-Presser Fellow at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016. After completing her undergraduate studies, Reena was selected as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She served as the manager of the Sto-Rox Youth Partnership, a collaborative of 20+ organizations dedicated to the well-being of youth and families.
At Temple Law, Reena was the President of the South Asian Law Students Association and Co-Chair of the Immigration Committee. She also served as a Teaching Assistant for an Immigration Law course. This summer, she is interning at the Department of Justice in the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Office of the General Counsel. Her work includes reviewing pleadings involving novel or complex immigration litigation issues, drafting memoranda on substantive immigration law issues, and performing litigation-related assignments. In this role, she hopes to learn about the litigation and policy side of immigration.
Reena is interested in immigration law and policy, increasing access to legal representation in immigration court, and U.S. visa policy and regulation. She is grateful to be selected as a SABA-D.C. Public Interest Fellow and for the additional support and mentorship as she applies to post-graduate opportunities in immigration law.
Saisha Nanduri is a rising 2L at Georgetown Law University Center. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois and graduated from The University of Michigan in 2016. Prior to joining law school, she served as a Public Health Educator with the Peace Corps in Guinea, focusing on maternal and child healthcare.
This summer, she is interning with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services. While in this role, she has learned more about the discrimination that older adults face and how this results in social crises such as homelessness, increased health risks, and access to legal and community services. During her internship, she is working on producing legal aid toolkits for those involuntarily evicted from nursing homes, understanding the effect of the CARES Act on Medicare and Medicaid eligibility, and cataloging state guardianship regulation.
This internship has helped her gain experience in health policy from a federal perspective and learn more about one of our society’s most vulnerable populations. Consequently, she is developing skills to advocate for our most underserved communities within those populations to help create more equitable health care policies.
She is extremely excited and grateful to have been selected as a SABA-DC Public Interest Fellow to help her pursue my goals and provide her with a community in D.C. for the summer, during law school, and throughout her career. She is truly grateful that SABA-DC is supporting her public service ambitions this summer.
Madhu Narasimhan is a rising second-year JD candidate at the New York University (NYU) School of Law, where he is an Institute for International Law and Justice (IILJ) Joyce Lowinson Scholar. His academic/professional interests include foreign affairs, American politics & policy, technology, and grassroots public service.
The SABA-DC Public Interest Fellowship is supporting Madhu's work as a summer 2020 legal intern at the World Bank in Washington, DC. He is assisting with the Bank's response to the coronavirus pandemic and developing legal research and resources for the Global Forum on Law, Justice, and Development. His work at the World Bank is motivated by his parents’ stories of growing up under challenging socioeconomic circumstances in Tamil Nadu, India.
Prior to entering law school, Madhu worked for six years. He was co-founder of a startup at the nexus of education, youth mentorship, and tech; a member of the Legal and Public Policy teams at Google; and a Fulbright Fellow in Malaysia.
Madhu graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2013, with a BA in political science and a minor in South Asian studies. He also studied at the London School of Economics and at the University of California’s Washington, DC Center.
Madhu’s writings have appeared in numerous publications, including Foreign Affairs and The Diplomat. A son of immigrants, Madhu was born and raised in Fremont, California.