Two members of the graduating class of 2013, Benjamin Kaser and Hang Liu, have been selected as finalists in the Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) program. Kaser and Liu are two of 663 PMF finalists selected from a pool of 12,120 applicants.
Created by the federal government in 1977, the prestigious PMF program helps government agencies meet their needs for leadership continuity. The highly competitive two-year paid fellowship attracts outstanding law students, as well as students with advanced degrees across academic disciplines and career paths. PMF finalists have demonstrated a “clear commitment to excellence in the leadership and management of public policies and programs,” according to government literature.
“I’m really impressed with Ben and Hang – the process of becoming a PMF finalist is intensive and rigorous, and they should be proud of having earned this career achievement,” said Steven Gordon, Acting Director of Career Services. “This is also a great accomplishment for BLS. We have consistently had some of the highest numbers of PMF finalists in the law school category from year to year.”
The multi-step application procedure began last fall. Students first completed an exam online to test ethics and leadership ability. Those who passed were then invited to Washington, D.C., for rigorous in-person assessments that included writing, public speaking, teamwork, and problem-solving exercises designed to test knowledge of sensitive government-related issues relating to law and policy matters. Students who satisfactorily passed the assessment were named PMF finalists.
For these finalists, the program creates inroads to federal government agencies – that is, the chance to match their resumes with the needs of agencies that are specifically offering paid positions to PMF finalists. Among the services offered is an online job fair to help secure positions for finalists, who each have one year to be accepted at a participating agency. Once placement is complete, a “PMF finalist” becomes a full-fledged Presidential Management Fellow. While PMF finalists are not guaranteed positions with the agency of their choice, statistics show that most finalists will be offered positions.
Benjamin Kaser ‘13
Kaser, a graduate of University of Washington in Seattle, met a Presidential Management Fellow while interning at the Environmental Protection Agency, and was instantly intrigued by the program and the prospect of a career in civil service. His main area of interest lies in the field of labor and employment law. While at BLS, Kaser held internships with the Worker Justice Center of New York, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Mediation Clinic. He was the Co-President of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society and the Co-Chair of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. Prior to law school, Kaser worked as a paralegal and, at times, a bartender.
Hang Liu ’13
Liu, a 2009 Harvard graduate, has a strong interest in international trade and economic affairs, as well as international commercial law. He has interned at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington, D.C., and also at the U.S. Court of International Trade. While a BLS student, Liu was actively involved with the Moot Court Honor Society, and served as a research assistant for Professor Claire Kelly.