Fellowship Spotlight: Grace Hauser

July 6, 2022

The Cleary Gottlieb Fellowship Program places associates at legal services or nonprofit organizations for one year, providing critically needed legal work to underserved communities.

Grace Hauser, a current Fellow at the Clooney Foundation for Justice, shares some of her thoughts about the experience thus far.

Why did you choose to join Cleary initially?

I chose to join Cleary because of my interest in public international law and the firm’s reputation for these matters. Cleary is a truly international firm and is unique in the array of pure public international and investor-state matters the firm handles. The idea that I could gain general litigation experience while also learning about international litigation and arbitration was a big draw for me.

What drew you to the Cleary Gottlieb Fellowship Program?

Throughout law school, I was very involved in international human rights programming and coursework. In my second year, I participated in the Human Rights Study Project, where we traveled to New Delhi, India, and worked with the Center for Equity Studies on human rights issues in the city. The Fellowship Program presented a unique opportunity for me to continue this work in the human rights litigation space and learn new skills.

How did you get paired with the Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ)?

Based on my interest in litigation – specifically in public international law and international human rights law – the Clooney Foundation for Justice was a natural fit. 

Can you provide an overview of the type of work you are doing at CFJ?

At CFJ, I work on the TrialWatch project, which monitors trials globally to expose injustice in court systems and engages in advocacy to free unjustly convicted or wrongfully detained individuals. On a daily basis, I conduct international legal analysis and write reports on cases TrialWatch has monitored. I also draft advocacy materials, such as amicus curiae briefs and submissions, for the UN Human Rights Committee and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in addition to writing press statements for cases we have monitored.

What has surprised you most about the fellowship?

I have been most surprised by the responsibility and independence I have been given in my position as a fellow. I regularly engage with local counsel and clients, as well as draft first versions of our advocacy papers. For instance, I recently drafted an amicus brief we are submitting to the Supreme Court of Indonesia on behalf of a client. This level of hands-on experience has been very exciting.

What kinds of challenges have you faced during your fellowship?

One of the most challenging things for me has been that CFJ is a completely remote workplace. Although I was somewhat used to remote work, having completed my master’s degree last year virtually, I have still found it somewhat challenging to have minimal interaction with my colleagues and with clients every day. In-person interaction is part of what makes work really fulfilling for me.

What skills have your learned at CFJ that have served you well?

At CFJ, I have really sharpened my legal drafting and editing skills. I know that both of these will serve me well as I begin working as a litigation associate at Cleary. 

What advice do you have for a First Year Cleary Associate who may want to pursue a similar path?

I would encourage any First Year Cleary Associate to pursue a fellowship! The Fellowship Program is such a wonderful opportunity that is unique to Cleary, and allows you to really dive into an area of public interest law that you may otherwise not be able to experience as deeply.

What are you looking forward to most upon your arrival at Cleary?

At Cleary, I am most looking forward to working on international arbitration matters. It is an area of the law – besides international human rights – that I really focused on during my master’s degree and at law school. I cannot wait to see those cases in practice. 

Learn more about the Cleary Gottlieb Fellowship Program here.