Copyright Office Announces Ringer Honors Fellows

The U.S. Copyright Office is pleased to announce that Michelle Choe and Donald Robert Stevens will serve as inaugural legal fellows in the Ringer Copyright Honors Program. They will begin two-year appointments in September, working in both the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Policy and International Affairs, respectively.

Register of Copyrights Maria A. Pallante appointed the pair following a competitive application process that invited interest from graduating law students and lawyers in the early stages of their careers. The program, which is new, is named for the Honorable Barbara A. Ringer, who served as Register from 1973 to 1980.

 “I am very gratified that Michelle and Donald will be joining us as Ringer Fellows during this very important time for copyright law,” Pallante said. “They are exceptional young people, even in a pool of many impressive candidates.”

Choe earned a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 2011, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a member of the Journal of Transnational Law. She holds a B.A. degree in English literature from Columbia University. Since 2013, she has been a senior copyright researcher at Columbia University’s Copyright Advisory Office, working on such issues as fair use, orphan works, and copyright on college and university campuses. Prior to that, she was an associate at the firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in New York City. She is a member of the New York bar.

Stevens will receive a J.D. from the University of Chicago in June. He holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from Stanford University and a master’s degree in history from the University of Oregon. In 2012–13, Stevens was a David L. Boren Fellow in Budapest, where he lectured at the University of Szeged, conducted comparative research on U.S. and Hungarian copyright law, and translated copyright-related documents from Hungarian to English. Stevens clerked for the Global IP Law Group and the Office of the Solicitor General for the state of Texas.

The Ringer Honors Program was commenced in 2013. It offers paid clerkships to candidates who have a strong interest in copyright law and a demonstrated record of achievement in law school or in practice. For more information, go to