SEATTLE, Wash. — Six students from the University of Washington School of Law have been awarded the prestigious Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Fellowship. Designed to promote social justice values in tomorrow’s lawyers, the fellowship provides students with funding and training for an unpaid summer internship of their choice.

This year’s recipients include Michaela Banchero, Thomas Heiden, Tatum Kawabata, Anika Kharkar, Anna Shumar and Emily Zughaib. In their respective internships, the students will gain experience in health care, federal public defense, immigration rights related to the Violence Against Women Act and asylum, education civil rights and city government.

Selection is based on a demonstrated passion for public interest and social justice law, academic achievement and financial need. According to Teaching Professor Mary Hotchkiss, the candidate pool grows stronger every year. “Many UW law students are interested in careers in public service,” she said. “This year’s six fellows rose to the top of a competitive pool based on their personal statements, summer placements and commitment to improving access to justice.”

The UW School of Law credits former Justice Stevens clerk and UW Professor Kathryn A. Watts for beginning the partnership with the John Paul Stevens Foundation and its fellowship program in 2014. For years, the selection committee included Professors Watts and Hotchkiss. Ann Spangler, the Gates Public Service Law Program administrator, coordinated the disbursements.

The UW students join a cohort of around 150 students from 38 law schools nationwide, becoming part of the living legacy of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens, who dedicated his life to improving the justice system. The national fellowship program began in 1997 and has continued to grow since. After the students complete their internships, they will become part of an alumni network of more than 800 fellows.


About the University of Washington School of Law: As one of the nation’s oldest and leading public law schools, we meld a traditional focus on the rule of law with a modern approach to solving problems and advancing social justice. We actively encourage students to explore their passions and equip them with the intellectual tools and hands-on legal experience they need to be practice-ready lawyers able to work in any field they choose.

Our location in Seattle—a vibrant hotbed of technology, innovation, progressive policymaking, philanthropy and more—provides a real-world learning environment and programs and partnerships to support future lawyers and professionals.


2023 Stevens Fellows

  • Michaela Banchero

    Michaela Banchero

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    MultiCare Hospital System
    General Counsel's Office
    Seattle, WA

  • Thomas Heiden

    Thomas Heiden

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    Office of the Federal Public Defender Districts of Colorado and Wyoming
    Denver, CO

  • Tatum Kawabata

    Tatum Kawabata

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
    Violence Against Women Act Unit
    Seattle, WA

  • Anika Kharkar

    Anika Kharkar

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
    Asylum Unit
    Seattle, WA

  • Anna Shumar

    Anna Shumar

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    U.S. Department of Education
    Office of Civil Rights
    Seattle, WA

  • Emily Zughaib

    Emily Zughaib

    Public Interest Organization Fellowship:
    City Attorney's Office, City of Seattle
    Seattle, WA