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Perlin ’11 Lands Prestigious Supreme Court Fellowship

Debra A. Perlin ’11, a justice advisor in the Office of Criminal Assistance Partnerships Justice Team at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), has been selected as the 2015-2016 Supreme Court Fellow assigned to the Supreme Court of the United States. Perlin’s fellowship begins in the fall in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court Fellows Program was created in 1973 by the late Chief Justice Warren E. Burger to provide promising individuals with a first-hand understanding of the federal government, in particular, the judicial branch. In the words of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., the program offers “a unique opportunity for exceptional individuals to contribute to the administration of justice at the national level.”

Each year fellows work with top officials in the judicial branch of government. With assignments at the Supreme Court, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the U. S. Courts, and the U. S. Sentencing Commission, fellows have been involved in various projects examining the federal judicial process and seeking, proposing, and implementing solutions to problems in the administration of justice.

As part of her current role, Perlin conducts assessments of foreign judicial systems in order to bring them into compliance with internationally recognized standards, teaches seminars to Foreign Service officers and other staff on comparative international law, and briefs foreign judicial delegations on the American criminal justice system. She is also a contributing author to the INL Guide to Gender in the Criminal Justice System, INL Guide to Anticorruption Assistance, and the forthcoming INL Guide to Law Enforcement Assistance. Prior to joining INL, Perlin was a Presidential Management Fellow with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, and at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.

Perlin earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in International and Global Studies and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in 2006 and a J.D., cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2011.

The Supreme Court Fellows are selected by a commission composed of nine members selected by the Chief Justice of the United States.

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