Center for Japanese Legal Studies to Offer Fully Funded Public Interest Fellowships in Japan

Generous Support From Morrison & Foerster Will Fund Columbia Law School Students' Summer Work in Japan
New York, October 28, 2014—Columbia Law School’s Center for Japanese Legal Studies will offer up to three fully funded public interest fellowships each year—beginning in 2015—for students to work in Japan during the next five summers, thanks to generous support from Morrison & Foerster.
The law firm was an early benefactor of the public interest fellowships, which have been in existence for nearly a decade, and the firm's renewed support will allow the Law School to expand and solidify the program. Morrison & Foerster’s contributions will provide $10,000 stipends to help cover students’ airfare and living expenses as they gain practical experience working in Japan with Japanese ministries, agencies, nongovernmental organizations, or committees affiliated with the Japanese Bar Association. Working primarily out of Tokyo, students will take on challenges such as human trafficking, women’s rights, and immigration.
“Morrison & Foerster is proud to support a growing culture of public interest law in Japan by facilitating Columbia Law School students’ work there,” said Michael O. Braun ’73, co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Japan Practice Group. “We’re looking forward to seeing all that the fellows accomplish during their time in Japan.”

The firm, which has been licensed in Japan since 1987, is the largest and most diversified international law firm operating in Japan, with over 120 lawyers in its Tokyo office. Students will be invited to participate in Morrison & Foerster events to meet lawyers practicing in Japan and learn from experts on the Japanese legal system.

The fellowships, which cover full-time internships lasting at least 10 weeks, are available to Columbia Law School students in the J.D. classes of 2016 and 2017 who demonstrate a passion for public interest law and have a desire to make a contribution to Japanese society. Fluency in Japanese, while desirable, is not required. The application for the fellowship may be found here.

“I am very proud of our Japan public interest fellowship program, which provides unique professional experiences to Columbia Law School students while fostering public interest lawyering in Japan,” said Curtis J. Milhaupt ’89, Fuyo Professor of Japanese Law, Parker Professor of Comparative Corporate Law, and director of the Center for Japanese Legal Studies and the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law. “Morrison & Foerster’s generous support will allow us to increase the number of students who benefit from this valuable program.”

The fellowships are administered by Columbia Law School’s Social Justice Initiatives. Applications are due by January 23, 2015.