2019 Postgraduate Fellowships

Peter Claus ’19 Awarded New York State Excelsior Service Fellowship at the New York State Division of Human Rights

Peter Claus ’19
Undergraduate Degrees: B.A. in philosophy and B.S. in television and radio from Ithaca College

Experience: Nishimura & Asahi LLP, legal editor and summer associate; Human Rights Now, legal research intern; Law Office of Stark & Heiner, legal assistant; Morrison Foerster Japan Public Interest Fellowship; Columbia Law School Student Senate, student senator; Columbia Journal of Asian Law, staff editor; Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, legal extern; Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, legal extern; Legal Information for Families Today, legal intern

Motivation: “From the time I was a child, I understood how much of an impact state services could make in someone’s life. My mother is a librarian in my hometown, and I saw firsthand how much of a difference programs and services can make for children, students, and everyone else in the community. My uncle was an assistant district attorney, and through him I was able to see how important state services could be in the worst moments of someone’s life. These two influences convinced me that a career in public service is what I was meant for. Throughout my short professional career so far, public service and the opportunity to really help people have been what drive me.”

Goals: “I want to be on the frontlines of New York state government operations. The ability to make a tangible impact on people’s day-to-day lives is of paramount importance to me. Likewise, I’m eager for the chance to gain both practical legal and professional experience, as well as having unique novel experiences.”

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The office of Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) guides Columbia Law School students who want to pursue public interest work throughout their academic careers and after graduation. SJI also assists in the process of applying to prestigious postgraduate fellowships. Read about the other 2019 public interest postgraduate fellows.

Published May 9, 2019