Karna Adam and Mihir Samson are among Columbia Law School’s Davis Polk Leadership Fellows, “chosen for their projects and activities designed to have a positive impact on the law school, the legal profession, and the larger community,” the university announced.
The fellowship provides leadership training, mentorship, and a stipend to six students at Columbia University’s School of Law, and is awarded to one or two students from each J.D. class and one LL.M. student.
Throughout the year, fellows develop their projects and receive personalized coaching from faculty, staff, and alumni in areas related to their interests.
Adam, the university says, “aims to work with a coalition of law students, faculty, and practitioners, to educate legal aid organizations on how to leverage empirical analysis in housing court.” Through his project, Adam will assist student organizations dedicated to providing free data analysis for community organizations, and partner with computer science professors “to build out novel ways of collecting and analyzing data.”
Adam says that this kind of support “has the potential to make a dramatic difference in the lives of many people. “I’ve learned that an important form of leadership involves being willing to take the first step into unknown territory and lead the way,” Adam says.
Prior to attending law school, Adam worked as an analyst at Cornerstone Research, one of the world’s leading litigation consulting firms, where he combined data analysis and community-oriented leadership. After two years at the firm, he was promoted to senior analyst.
In his position, Adam developed a pipeline of pro bono work at the Silicon Valley office to proactively determine case opportunities and timelines, according to the university press release. Adam has a Bachelor’s in Economics with a minor in Public Policy from Dartmouth College.
According to the university press release, Samson seeks to establish a fellowship program for LGBTQIA+ identifying law students from India, “which would enable them to undertake training in the Columbia Law School and organizations in New York.” His ultimate aim is to support and foster a diverse LGBTQIA+ bar in the courts in India.
Samson’s project is driven by his personal experiences of growing up in India, where is faced discrimination because of his sexuality. After graduating in the top 2 percent of his class from Symbiosis Law School in India, Samson became a lawyer to represent vulnerable populations, and in 2017, founded a law firm in New Delhi that provides pro bono services to the LGBTQ community.