The Yale Law Journal


Yale Law Journal Public-Interest Fellowship Essays

20 Oct 2020

In this Collection, the 2019-20 Yale Law Journal Public-Interest Fellows draw on their work experiences. They present a novel approach to tackling inaccurate population data in malapportionment litigation; argue that criminal-defense attorneys and judges must convey the denaturalization consequences of plea deals; and explore New York City’s undercollection of fines.


The Denaturalization Consequences of Guilty Pleas

Amber Qureshi

At a critical time when thousands of citizens face potential denaturalization, this Essay proposes an extension of the Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky to protect the rights of U.S. citizens who are facing denaturalization as a result of pleading guilty to a criminal offense.



Beyond the Adjustment Wars: Dealing with Uncertainty and Bias in Redistricting Data

Jeff Zalesin

This Essay offers a pragmatic approach to litigating legislative malapportionment cases with imperfect population data. Because the census historically is inaccurate and biased—and 2020 Census data may be even more so—courts should clarify that they will consider evidence that district populations a…


Who Pays? An Analysis of Fine Collection in New York City

Ruth Vassar Lazenby

This Essay analyzes New York City data on the collection of fines and concludes that slightly more than half of fines imposed are collected in full. The Essay explores barriers to collection and recommends reforms that attempt to directly target underlying harms, rather than increase resources for f…