This fall, more than 20 recipients of the 2010 Chayes International Public Service Fellowship gathered at the home of Antonia Chayes, widow of HLS Professor Abram Chayes ’49, to share stories of their fellowship experience. An international public service program founded in memory of Chayes, the Chayes Fellowships allow Harvard Law School students to spend eight weeks working with governments of developing nations and those making difficult transitions to peace, stability, and democracy, and with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations that support them. 

This year’s Chayes Fellows are: Anthony Amiroff, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Netherlands; Evelyn Atkinson, Center for Human Rights, Chile; David Attanasio, Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society, Colombia; Nina Catalano, Center for Studies of Public Security and Citizenship, Brazil; Stephen Cha-Kim, Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, France; Kerala Thie Cowart, Human Rights Law Network, India; Laura-Kate Denny, International Justice Mission, South Asia; Marcus Eldrige, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, D.C.; Jason Gelbort, Public International Law & Policy Group, Washington, D.C., Eliza Golden, INTERIGHTS, England; Ben Hoffman, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York; James Kingman, Open Democracy Advice Centre, South Africa; Tor Krever, Special Court for Sierra Leone, The Netherlands; Taylor Landis, International Rescue Committee, Liberia; Lillian Langford, UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Cambodia; Teel Lidow, World Food Programme, Italy; Clara Long, International Rescue Committee, Thailand; Aaron Marcus, Legal Empowerment Centre, Kenya; Maggie Morgan, Asylum Access, Tanzania; David Palko, Constitutional Court of Kosovo; Petko Peev, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, England; Nick Renzler, Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense, Colombia; Daniel Saver, United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Cambodia; Tazneen Shahabuddin ,Amnesty International, New York; Anna Stancu, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, France; Brett Stark, Association for Civil Rights in Israel; Elizabeth Summers, Legal Assistance Centre, Namibia; and David Williams, National Prosecuting Authority, South Africa.

Lillian Langford
Office of the Co-prosecutor, Khmer Rouge tribunal, Cambodia

“It’s tough to read about torture and murder all day, every day without having any kind of human interaction with victims or without that other side … But what made it amazing was the office, the incredible dedication of the lawyers … overall, it was really one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in my life, and I really appreciate the opportunity to do it…”

Petko Peev
European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, England

“Learning how to work with lawyers from different countries, that was really stimulating for me, and I think that it’s definitely something I want to do in my career later on…”

Aaron Marcus
Legal Empowerment Centre, Kenya

“I did everything that they could think of. The second day that I was there they said, ‘We need you to edit the opening statement.’ ‘When’s the case?’ ‘We go to trial on Tuesday. Also we don’t know why we have standing in this case so it’ll be helpful if you could tell us. Here’s the Kenyan constitution, just take a look at that…’”

Anthony Aminoff
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Hague

“I was working for the prosecution on the case against Radovan Karadzic. He was basically the leader of rebel Serbs inside Bosnia that were leading a civil war that carved off a little Serbian state from Bosnia. So because he was the president, he was basically charged with the entire war from the start to finish…”

Teel Lidow
World Food Programme, Italy

“Many of the agreements that the organization entered into were passed through my division and I was able to see how the World Food Programme interacted with everyone from the government of Haiti to local deliverymen in the Palestinian Territories. …”

Laura Kate Denny
International Justice Mission, South Asia

“I worked for a human rights agency that’s combating child sex trafficking and I absolutely loved my work. … These young women, who have experienced the worst that humanity has to offer, have a sparkle in their eye and a hope for the future. It’s unbelievable, and this fundamental change in possibilities for beautiful young women is the result of dedicated and passionate investigators, administrative staff and lawyers. If being a lawyer means contributing to this almost miraculous transformation for victims of human rights abuses, then sign me up. …”

Kerala Cowart
Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi, India

“One of the highlights for me was working on a case challenging the environmental approval of a hydropower dam that was being built on tribal land in a border region near Tibet. I got to go up there, and we met with some of the people who were going to be affected by this dam and ask them about the public hearing process…”

David Palko
Constitutional Court of Kosovo

“I was fortunate enough to be in Kosovo when the International Court of Justice released their opinion, and I was expecting parties on the street because there’s this huge pedestrian walkway in Kosovo – nothing. I really don’t think the average Kosovar had any conception of how tenuous their declaration of independence was. … ”