Reflections from 2020 Chayes Fellows

Panelists at the November 2020 presentation

Clockwise, from top left: Sarah Deibler, Kim Everett,
Maria Smith, and Gina Starfield

In November, Chayes International Public Service Fellows Kimberly Everett ’22, Maria Smith ’22 and Gina Starfield ’22 spoke about their summer work at a panel discussion, “International Public Service against the Background of a Global Pandemic.”  Sarah Deibler, an S.J.D. candidate and 2017 Chayes Fellow, served as moderator.

View the presentation here. 

Explore the Chayes International Public Service Fellowship

“I was struck by the diversity of my work assignments, which were as varied as the stories of refugees themselves. The asylum applicants whose cases I worked on came from Iran, Pakistan and Palestine, and are fleeing distinct forms of hardship: gender-based violence, political intimidation, and terrorist recruitment. Each case allowed me a window into a new part of the world, a new problem, and a very difficult story.”

­– Noopur Sen ‘22, joint degree student,
HLS and Harvard Kennedy School

Noopur spent her 1L summer as a Chayes International Public Service Fellow, working with the Asylum Protection Centre, an NGO based in Serbia. This year, she was one of 24 Chayes Fellows who worked with organizations based in 12 countries, on issues ranging from biosurveillance and other aspects of AI, to sustainable international trade after the pandemic to protecting the rights of asylum seekers, whistleblowers, and indigenous peoples in countries around the world.

Want to learn more? Join us on Tuesday, November 17 at 12 p.m. for International Public Service against the Backdrop of a Global Pandemic, a discussion with 2020 Chayes Fellows Maria Smith ’22 (Digital Freedom Fund), Gina Starfield ’22 (Al Otro Lado), and Kimberly Everett ’22 (Clooney Foundation for Justice: TrialWatch), moderated by Sarah Deibler, S.J.D candidate (and 2017 Chayes Fellow). Please register with your Harvard email address to access the Zoom link.

Whether you have a firm idea of the career you plan to pursue, or you’re just beginning to explore new possibilities, the Chayes Fellowship can allow you to spend next summer working with a governmental or non-governmental organization concerned with issues of an international scope or relevant to countries in transition. It’s an excellent opportunity for 1Ls interested in international public service.

Chayes Fellows conduct substantive legal work- which can include research, drafting reports and memos, providing direct services to clients, and collaborating closely with supervising attorneys in their placement organizations. They also receive advice and support from the Chayes Program staff, HLS reference librarians, and others, prior to and during their summer placements.

How does it work? Visit the Chayes Fellowship web pages for more information about seeking a placement and applying for the Fellowship, as well as evaluations from past Chayes Fellows and more.

 

Chayes Fellowship Peer Advising Sessions

Are you interested in applying for a Chayes International Public Service Fellowship? Come talk with recent Chayes Fellows and International Legal Studies staff about potential placements, the application process, or any other questions. These sessions are open to members of the HLS community. Please register — before or during the sessions — with your Harvard email address for access to the Zoom link.

Tuesday, November 10 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Register here
and
Thursday, November 12 from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Register here

These summer fellowships — open to 1Ls, 2Ls and S.J.D.s in residence — provide HLS students with the opportunity to spend eight weeks working with governmental or non-governmental organizations concerned with issues of an international scope or relevant to countries in transition. Applications are due by February 1, but we encourage students to begin researching opportunities and seeking a placement as early as possible.

We’re looking forward to working with you.

 

Research, writing, and advocating for change

(Left to right:  2020 Chayes Fellows Ata Nalbantoglu ’22. Mira Naseer ’22 and Jung Hyun (Monica) Lee ’22. Photo credit:  Lorin Granger.)

In 2020, 24 Harvard Law School students pursued summer work as Chayes International Public Service Fellows. The program, established in 2001 and dedicated to the memory of HLS Professor Abram Chayes ’49, allows HLS students to spend eight weeks working with governmental or nongovernmental organizations  concerned with issues of an international scope or relevant to countries in transition.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for all but one of the fellows to work remotely, they undertook placements with organizations based in 12 countries. Several students engaged in direct client service, addressing the many challenges facing refugees, asylum seekers and marginalized populations in countries around the world. Others focused on legal research and writing, enhancing their skills and exploring issues that broadened their exposure to international, comparative and foreign law.

In this profile on Harvard Law Today, three of the 2020 Chayes Fellows share their experiences.

Regulating Artificial Intelligence

Amre Metwally '22 poses outsideBy Amre Metwally ’22

As a Chayes International Public Service Fellow, I spent this summer working remotely with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in their Artificial Intelligence Policy Observatory. My projects have focused on two key areas:  assessing policy governance and design strategies by OECD member states’ national governments regarding their national artificial intelligence (AI) strategies, and legal and regulatory efforts in the AI space.

OECD member states have been developing a number of strategies at the national level to address AI. My research has shown that countries’ efforts can be mapped along a spectrum of activity, from more nascent frameworks and strategies to mature ones (including the rising trend of policy observatories that engage in policy intelligence to ensure that countries remain informed of new trends).  I’ve examined the role outside legal and policy experts play in the consultation process, and the ways in which these consultations shape the strategy formulation process. Additionally, I’ve called out in my recommendations the need for countries to solicit feedback from their citizens to ensure that strategies reflect opinions individuals may have about the benefits and risks of emerging AI technologies.

Another report I worked on involved examining efforts to regulate AI. We looked at the ways sector-specific regulations (e.g., autonomous vehicles, finance, surveillance, etc.) and horizontal regulations (e.g., public procurement processes, impact assessments, AI in the public sector decision-making process, etc.)  are enshrined in local law. I also conducted an in-depth legal examination of sector-specific regulatory efforts across fields such as tort liability, consumer protection, healthcare, transportation, and data privacy. One key area of interest in my research and writing is on the rise of regulatory “sandboxes,” which give private companies the chance to experiment with new technology while cooperating with regulatory bodies that temporarily lift certain measures or requirements.

Exploring these issues involved a dedicated research period using both legal and social science research databases, as well as the OECD’s own AI observatory, which collects and monitors efforts across countries. After the qualitative research phase, I then moved into outlining and finally writing the reports. The purpose of each of these reports is to present our findings of best practices and recommendations to the OECD’s Network of Experts on AI and, ultimately, to policymakers all over the world.