Kate grew-up in Berkeley, California, and graduated with high honors from Oberlin College in 2006. During college she studied abroad in Beirut, Lebanon. After graduation, Kate worked on domestic civil rights and civil liberties law in the Bay Area at the National Lawyers Guild and the East Bay Community Law Center. She then moved to Washington, D.C., where she participated in impact civil rights cases as a paralegal at Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC. For the year prior to law school, Kate assisted Bilgi University’s Human Rights Law Research Center in Istanbul with the development of Turkey’s first legal clinic.
At NYU, Kate participated in the Global Justice Clinic and served as a research assistant for the Center on Law and Security. She is currently co-Editor-in-Chief of the N.Y.U. Review of Law & Social Change and the co-Chair of the Public Interest Law Student Mentor Program. Kate spent her first summer at the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program in New York and her second summer at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.
Kate plans to use her legal education to continue to fight civil rights and civil liberty abuses, especially on behalf of the most marginalized.
Yan Cao was raised in Gainesville, Florida and attended Simon’s Rock College and Stanford University. Before law school, she investigated financial crimes at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and worked on a local civil rights campaign with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
In law school, Yan gravitated towards the financial side of the modern civil rights struggle; she hopes to use her law degree to help individuals in historically disadvantaged communities gain equal access not only to jobs and housing but also to credit and financing. To that end, she spent her first summer working at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was then in its stand-up phase, and split her second summer between DOJ Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, and South Brooklyn Legal Services’ Foreclosure Prevention Project.
Yan has participated in the NYCLU and ACLU Racial Justice Project Clinics, found community through the Coalition for Legal Representation (CoLR) and engaged with legal academia as the Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Law Review. When work is off her mind, you can find Yan biking around Brooklyn, nibbling on sushi, or sifting through thrift stores.
Leslie grew up on a farm in northern Illinois. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2007, with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and International Development. While at IWU, she co-founded a chapter of the Sierra Student Coalition and led its successful campaign for the university president’s signing of an environmental action plan. Leslie spent her summers reviewing landfills at the Illinois EPA, planting vegetables on an organic farm and helping develop a climate change initiative at the Merck Family Fund. She was awarded the Udall Scholarship in 2006 in recognition of her environmental work.
Following graduation, Leslie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Gambia, where she implemented an ecological monitoring program for the Department of Parks and Wildlife and led a social and environmental studies club for high school students. She then spent nine months teaching ESL in South Korea.
Leslie spent her 1L summer at the Environmental Defense Fund and her 2L summer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Solid Waste and Emergency Response Law Office. She also serves as a senior staff editor for the Environmental Law Journal. Leslie is excited about studying environmental law and plans to pursue a career as an environmental attorney.
(William and Mary Sterling Scholar)
Francesca graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from CUNY Hunter College in 2010. Since 2004, she has worked with a number of NGOs dedicated to protecting human rights worldwide, including Tibet House and Human Rights First. She also spent several years as part of the labor movement in New York, serving as the Financial Director for a local labor union.
During her 1L summer, Francesca worked with People’s Watch, a human right organization in southern India. Francesca participated in the Global Justice Clinic at NYU Law, where she was part of a two-student team that drafted a petition to the IACHR on behalf of victims of “extraordinary rendition.” She also served as a term-time intern with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. This summer, she is assisting the ACLU’s Center for Democracy in its work protecting human rights and civil liberties in the United States and abroad.
Upon graduation, Francesca plans to pursue a career in human rights and humanitarian law, with an emphasis on governmental and corporate accountability, particularly with regard to the United States. She hopes to become influential in bringing a rights-based approach to U.S. policy and practice.
Matt Craig attended the University of North Carolina as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. He studied Political Science and Spanish, earning highest honors for his thesis on the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations. While at UNC, Matt served as executive director of a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and other educational opportunities to students in Tanzania. After completing his undergraduate studies, Matt received a Specialization in Armed Conflict and Peace at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
As a Root-Tilden-Kern and IILJ Scholar at NYU, Matt has pursued his interests in national security law and human rights litigation. He has interned with the ACLU National Security Project, EarthRights International, and Alien Tort Statute guru Paul Hoffman in Los Angeles. He has served on the board of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and currently participates in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Matt hopes to continue to be involved in impact litigation after law school.
Emily de León
(Andrew W. Mellon Scholar)
Emily, originally from Bakersfield, CA, graduated cum laude from Yale University in 2004. After graduation, she joined New York City Teaching Fellows to teach in a District 75 special education high school for students labeled emotionally disturbed. This position helped her to understand the intersection of juvenile justice, poverty, mental illness, and special education. After teaching in District 75, she led the special education and at-risk support program at the high performing Excellence Boys Charter School of Bedford-Stuyvesant. This experience deepened her commitment to ensuring that all young people have appropriate education options and effective advocates.
Emily spent her 1L summer interning at The Legal Aid Society's Adolescent Intervention and Diversion Unit in Brooklyn, NY, working for a lawyer who represented young adolescents prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system. This experience furthered her interest in being an advocate for young people and ignited her interest in public defense work. After spending the spring semester in Alabama in Professor Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative Capital Defender Clinic, her interest in doing defense work was strengthened. In that clinic, she worked on the appeal for a young client who had a long history of special education and mental health issues.
Emily is looking forward to spending the summer in her hometown at the Kern County Public Defender office to experience working as a public defender. Emily hopes to combine her prior experiences with her legal training to be an effective advocate for her clients.
(Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar)
Aisha graduated from Harvard College in 2008 with an A.B. in Government. While in college, she was recognized by the Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations for her contributions to campus diversity, and she received a Senior Leadership Award from the Black Men’s Forum for her commitment to public service.
Aisha gained valuable public interest experience through internships with her Congressman James Clyburn (SC-6), the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, and the Honorable Ann C. Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Upon graduating from college, Aisha joined the Teach For America Corps in Atlanta where she taught 12th Grade Economics at George Washington Carver High School of Technology for two years.
In law school, Aisha took part in the Equal Justice and Capital Defender Clinic, and will participate in the Juvenile Defender Clinic this upcoming year. She spent her summers with the Mecklenburg County Public Defender and the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund.
Aisha is originally from Columbia, South Carolina, where she graduated from W.J. Keenan High School. She plans to use her law degree to combat issues of racial injustice and civil rights.
(Lindemann Family Public Service Scholar)
Originally from San Diego, California, Elana Fogel is a 2009 graduate of NYU, where she completed a B.A. in Politics with a double minor in Business and Sociology and was a member of the Women’s Basketball team. Elana’s dedication to client-centered legal advocacy began prior to law school, sparked by her experiences serving constituents as an intern at a Congressional district office and her work in immigration law. She spent her 1L summer advocating for criminal justice policy reform at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Initiative to Combat Mass Incarceration where she co-authored a published report highlighting successful state efforts to reduce incarceration while simultaneously decreasing crime rates and corrections costs. Most recently, as part of the law school’s Criminal & Community Defense Clinic, Elana worked at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, and co-represented a client who successfully challenged the onerous barriers to re-entry imposed by the New York City Housing Authority. Elana is currently a summer intern at the Bronx Defenders, where she provides clients with criminal defense and immigration support. Elana's experiences have stoked her passion for direct advocacy in the pursuit of actualized justice and equality.
Semuteh graduated from Yale University in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and African Studies. While at Yale she rowed, sang in an a acappella group and founded Yale's first traditional African singing group, Asempa. She spent semesters studying and doing research in Mombasa, Accra, Monrovia, and Kigali.
Semuteh discovered her passion for international human rights through her family's experience during the civil war in Liberia. She was born in Monrovia and fled the civil war with her family in 1991. She returned to Monrovia in the summer of 2007 to intern with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and witness transitional justice in a post-conflict society first hand.
After college, Semuteh joined Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta. Her teaching was reminiscent of her work in Budumburum Refugee Camp in Ghana where she taught Liberian refugees in 2007. Teaching has revealed the social injustice embedded in the education systems both in the US and abroad, and Semuteh sees education as one of the many human rights issues facing impoverished communities.
Semuteh spent her 1L summer in Nairobi at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and her 2L summer at the ACLU Immigrant Rights Project in San Francisco. She grew up in South San Francisco, California and hopes to pursue a career that addresses the plight of immigrants and refugees abroad as well as here in the US.
(Doris C. and Alan J. Freedman Scholar)
Gabe Hopkins was born and raised in Jersey City, NJ and attended Johns Hopkins University where he studied history. After a year in China teaching English he helped start and run a non-profit organization in New York that worked with community groups in refugee populations.
Since coming to law school he has continued to be interested in international human rights while also developing expertise in domestic civil rights litigation. In his first summer he interned for Paul Hoffman, a veteran litigator of both international and domestic rights cases, and worked on Mr. Hoffman’s case Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, currently scheduled for reargument in the Supreme Court’s next term. For his second summer Gabe interned in the Civil Rights Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office working on a broad range of issues from disability rights to immigration services fraud to religious freedom.
In his final year at NYU, Gabe will be a member of the Civil Rights Clinic working with the NYCLU. Ultimately he looks forward to a career as a litigator advocating for marginalized communities. He is particularly interested in combating misconduct and corruption of police and government officials.
(Jacobson Public Service Scholar for Women, Children & Families)
Julia graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College in 2007 with a B.A. in Women's Studies. While there, she served as the Vice-President of the Feminist Thought club and as a Writing Fellow, and interned with NARAL Pro-Choice NY.
Julia spent her 2L summer on the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she helped develop and implement the President’s agenda on civil rights, criminal justice, and regulatory policy. She spent the previous summer in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, helping to develop regulations on the Prison Rape Elimination Act. In her 2L year, Julia was the Director of the Suspension Representation Project, a direct service organization that trains law students across New York City to represent public school students at suspension hearings. As a 3L, Julia will represent youth charged with committing crimes through the Juvenile Defender Clinic.
Before coming to law school, Julia worked as a Health Policy Associate at the National Women's Law Center, and coordinated the national expansion of the National Institute for Reproductive Health's "Adolescent Health Care Communication Program."
Julia plans to use her law degree to protect and expand civil rights, and to advance policies that promote gender equity and racial justice. She grew up in Florham Park, New Jersey, and has been training in capoeira, an Afro-Brazilian martial art, for five years.
Tyler completed the MPhil in Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford in 2009, where he conducted research on changes in agricultural land use in rural China. He graduated summa cum laude from New York University in 2006. While at NYU, Tyler spearheaded a project with the Urban Justice Center to document the conditions experienced by LGBT young people in the juvenile justice system. He was also active in New York City politics and worked for two Speakers of the New York City Council. Immediately after college, Tyler joined the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.
Tyler spent his 1L summer with the Integrity Vice Presidency of the World Bank in Washington, and will be an intern for the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York in his 3L year. At law school, Tyler is a member of the Business Law Transactions Clinic and the Journal of Law and Business. Tyler is interested in issues related to international fraud and corruption, and the regulation of international capital markets.
(Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar)
Evelyn graduated from Yale University in 2005 with a degree in English with a Writing Concentration. After graduation, she worked as a mental health counselor at the Yale Child Study Center, providing in-home therapy to families with children at risk of psychiatric hospitalization or juvenile detention, and as a paralegal at the Legal Action Center, representing people with criminal records in administrative appeals of decisions to deny them employment or housing.
At NYU, Evelyn participated in the Comparative Criminal Justice Clinic and the Juvenile Defender Clinic. During her 3L year, she served as a Civil Procedure teaching assistant for Professor Helen Hershkoff. Evelyn is also a Fellow at the Center for the Administration of Criminal Law and an Articles Editor on the New York University Law Review.
During her first summer, Evelyn interned at the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery Alabama. She then spent her second summer interning at the Defender Association in Seattle, Washington. Evelyn grew up in Queens, NYC. After law school, she plans to join the fight against race and class inequality in the criminal justice system and in society as a whole, by pursuing a career in indigent criminal defense.
Lindsay graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis in 2007 with majors in Psychology and P.N.P. (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology). As an undergraduate, Lindsay worked as a psychology research assistant, exploring issues related to racial discrimination and stereotyping. She expanded upon this interest through her senior thesis, which examined the adverse effects of linguistic profiling on minority groups. In 2006, Lindsay served as the External Business Coordinator for Thurtene Honorary. Through grand-scale fundraising and volunteer coordination, Thurtene Honorary sponsored St. Louis SCORES, a non-profit organization that provides students in low-income, urban schools with afterschool literacy programs and organized soccer leagues.
Following graduation, Lindsay joined Teach for America in Miami-Dade, Florida, where she worked as an elementary special education teacher of students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities, and as a middle school math and science teacher. Her experiences as a teacher motivated and inspired her to attend law school, and she hopes to use her law degree to improve educational opportunities for underprivileged children and families and to promote education reform.
Lindsay was born and raised in Westchester, New York, and is a graduate of the International Baccalaureate program at Dobbs Ferry High School.
(Sullivan & Cromwell Scholar)
Candace graduated as a John Kluge Scholar in 2009 with a degree in English from Columbia University, where she crafted a rich curriculum around her commitment to empowering marginalized communities. At Columbia, Candace was a resident of the Intercultural Resource Center, which gathered activists, artists, and intellectuals under one roof to create programming around diverse notions of social justice. She was one of the co-founding editors of the proxy magazine, a publication that honored the many voices of the African Diaspora, and a political columnist for Columbia's weekly newspaper, chronicling the University's Hunger Strike of 2008. She relished working for the Chaplain's Office, which embraced a historically activist interpretation of its mission to serve faith communities and engaged the wider New York City community through numerous service projects with a public school, hospital, and jail facility.
After graduating, Candace worked as a New York City Urban Fellow for Programs and Discharge Planning at the Department of Correction. As a Fellow, she helped coordinate services, programs, and resources for those exiting the New York City jail systems.
Candace was born in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and lived in Gainesville, Florida, for thirteen years. Candace’s professional goal is to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline that plagues low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
(Starr Foundation Scholar)
Abigail graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Economics with Distinction and a minor in Women’s Studies in 2008. Abigail won the Osterweil Prize in Economics, awarded to the most outstanding senior in Economics with a high degree of social awareness, and the Patricia Gurin Certificate for her commitment to social justice.
Following college, Abigail worked as an assistant research economist at Federal Reserve Bank of New York, conducting research on education policy, municipal budgeting, and monetary policy. She chaired the Black History Month and Martin Luther King Day events, and coordinated a team to bring Theodore Shaw, Cory Booker, an Alvin Ailey Dance group and others to the Federal Reserve Bank.
Abigail spent her 1L summer working in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. Participating in the General Crimes, Misdemeanors Unit gave her the opportunity to attend many trials. In preparation for trial she interviewed witnesses, strategized the theory of a case, and wrote motions.
In her 2L summer Abigail continued to participate in conversations aimed at resolving some of today’s vexing social problems at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. At the LDF she has conducted legal research in support of Fisher v. Texas and other civil rights litigation in the area of education and economic justice.
As the Diversity Committee Chair on the New York University Law Review, Abigail lends her voice to advocate for positive social change.
Abigail is a native of the Midwest, and college towns: She is from Madison, Wisconsin, and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Ali is a New Jersey native who graduated with highest honors from the University of Texas at Austin. During college she was a summer faculty member for the Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that seeks to provide a path to college for students who would be first generation college students. This experience sparked a deep interest in education, an interest she pursues to date. Ali then taught third grade in Newark, NJ as a 2007 Teach for American Corps Member and stayed on an extra year past her two year commitment. She decided to go to law school to better serve her students and their families, specifically in the arena of special education law.
At NYU she has served on the board of the Suspension Representation Project and directed and produced the Vagina Monologues. For her first summer she worked at Partnership for Children’s Rights, where she helped parents get access to the services their children required. This summer she will be at Partners for Women and Justice, an organization in Montclair, NJ that provides legal assistance to survivors of domestic abuse. She is thrilled to be a part of the NYU law community and honored to be an RTK scholar.
Pierce graduated with honors from the University of Chicago in 2006 with an A.B. in Political Science. In Chicago, he mentored high schoolers and taught enrichment courses through the Neighborhood Schools Program, co-hosted the Industry Shakedown on WHPK 88.5FM, and never quite learned to slip punches at the Hamlin Park boxing gym.
Before law school, Pierce served in the Peace Corps in China, worked with the Tibetan Women’s Association in Dharamshala, India, and made delicious foods as a sushi chef in Cleveland, Ohio.
At NYU, Pierce is a proud, two-year member of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, where he defended indigent non-citizens from deportation and detention. During his 1L summer, Pierce worked at the Zhi Cheng Public Interest Law Center, a legal aid and policy advocacy organization in Beijing that works on behalf of marginalized children and migrant workers in China. He spent his 2L summer at The Defender Association in Seattle, WA.
Pierce was born in Taiwan and raised in Akron, Ohio. He aspires to be a rabid—and overworked and underpaid—public defender.
Relic was born in Los Angeles, California. She graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a BA in Political Science, concentration in International Relations, and minor in Chinese. She was founder and co-president of Americans for Informed Democracy at UCLA, reported on US foreign policy toward East Asia at the US Department of State, served in the US Peace Corps in Romania, and was lead researcher on various political hot-button issues at the nonprofit research organization ProCon.org.
At NYU, Relic launched the Asia Law Society Pro Bono Program connecting students with legal projects focused on Asian or Asian-American issues. She also participated in the Environmental Law Clinic, through which she worked on environmental justice litigation, and provided advocacy and legal support for political prisoners, during her internship at Human Rights in China. She spent her 1L summer at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in China and her 2L summer at Earthjustice International in San Francisco, CA. She will be joining the Government Civil Litigation Clinic in the SDNY in the Fall, and she is Senior Executive Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics.
Relic hopes to pursue a career in environmental justice and human rights.
(Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar)
Julia hails from the great state of Vermont, where she was exposed to a rich tradition of civic participation from a young age. While a student at Essex High School, Julia served on the board of directors of Essex CHIPS, a nonprofit focused on providing services for local youth.
Julia graduated from Duke University in 2008 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Science and Policy. While at Duke, Julia was involved with various research projects, including a study of international aid organizations' funding sources and a model for public health decision-making in Eastern Africa. She also served as President and Captain of the Duke Women's Rugby team.
After spending time before law school serving as a counselor, educator, and advocate for LGBT youth, Julia spent her 1L summer with the International Lesbian and Gay Association of Europe. Julia is interested broadly in the experiences of marginalized youth and their communities. As a 2L, she will work as a Fellow with the Center on the Administration of Law, serve on the board of OUTLaw, and participate in the Equal Justice and Capital Defense Clinic.
Julia is most interested in working with LGBT youth, women, and other vulnerable groups within the LGBT community.
Class of 2014
Sheila graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in History and Literature. Her studies focused on the meaning of the environment in the American imagination; this interest in the centrality of place to the human experience informed her subsequent career in wilderness education.
Sheila moved to Alaska after college, where she led therapeutic wilderness expeditions for at-risk girls. After studying for a Master’s in Teaching, she continued to work with at-risk youth as a high school teacher in a drug and alcohol treatment program for Alaska Native teens. During her summers, she instructed courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the leading non-profit that teaches leadership on expeditions in many of the world’s most remote and pristine wilderness classrooms. Sheila moved to Wyoming in 2009 to work at NOLS headquarters doing educational research and curriculum development. Her time spent living in rural communities in the American West reinforced her desire to work toward sustainable and collaborative solutions to their environmental and social challenges.
Sheila will spend her 1L summer as the Helaine Barnett Fellow at Legal Services Corporation in Washington, DC. She looks forward to serving as the Community Chair of the Environmental Law Society and working in the Environmental Law Clinic during her 2L year, and hopes to use her legal education to advance the mutually dependent issues of healthy youth and healthy public lands.
Wonjoo graduated with distinction from Cornell University in 2007 with a BA in Government and Economics. He interned at the Korean Public Interest Lawyers Group (Gong-Gam), a non-profit public interest firm in Seoul where he was actively involved in advancing immigration and refugee rights. There, he analyzed the legal status of North Korean refugees in developed countries, and helped translate a book composed of the letters from North Korean refugees to their families and friends in North Korea. Wonjoo is currently working with his brother to develop a social networking website called dooub, in hopes of using it as a channel to connect legal advocates and scholars across the globe.
Wonjoo was born in Daegu, South Korea, and grew up in Seoul and Silver Spring, Maryland. After law school, he hopes to bring about positive change in the political and economic condition of refugees in developing countries, and ultimately benefit those who seek asylum in his home country, South Korea.
(Starr Foundation Scholar)
Elizabeth grew up in east Tennessee. She graduated from Scripps College in 2010 with a degree in International Relations and French Studies. During college, Elizabeth studied in Paris, interning at Confrontations Europe where she examined US-EU climate cooperation leading to the 2009 UNFCCC Conference. She later developed this to create her senior thesis on the domestic politics and international interactions of these players and China.
Elizabeth also volunteered as a sexual assault counselor and co-led the Criminal Justice Network, creating an on-campus program to support the organization Get on the Bus and send children yearly to visit their mothers in prison for Mother’s Day.
In law school, Elizabeth is interested in expanding her knowledge of environmental law and policy, with an emphasis on China. She is building on previous experience as an intern with the US Mission to NATO and her time after graduation when she worked as Climate Change Coordinator for the World Federation of UN Associations and interned for the US Mission to the UN.
Elizabeth spent her 1L summer at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Beijing, China, completing a self-designed research project on US-China environmental cooperation, a field she would love to pursue after law school.
(Sullivan & Cromwell Scholar)
Akiva graduated from Brandeis University in 2009 magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He has worked in the private, non-profit, and government sectors on environmental issues ranging from carbon footprint management and algae biodiesel to tropical land use change and urban tree mortality. Immediately prior to law school, Akiva worked for two years at the Environmental Law Institute in Washington, DC, where among other projects he edited and wrote for a series of seven books on the role of natural resources in post-conflict peacebuilding.
Akiva will intern during the summer of 2012 with the Liberian Environmental Protection Agency where he will work primarily on helping revise the country’s forestry regulations and on assessing the potential for accessing international financing for reducing carbon emissions through slowing deforestation and forest degradation. Back at NYU, Akiva will serve as the Environmental Law Society’s symposium chair and as the Jewish Law Student Association’s religious life chair. He will also be working with a professor on a book chapter about land tenure reform and transitional justice.
The future will likely include a Master’s degree in environmental management and will hopefully involve work advising governments seeking to develop or reform natural resource laws and regulations.
Graduating from Indiana University in 2011 with highest distinction and a degree in Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Communication & Culture, Brittany spent her undergraduate career pursuing her interests in race relations, advocacy, and service. As a Cox Research Scholar, Brittany conducted four years of legal research under Law Professors Dr. Jeannine Bell and Kevin Brown on the topics of hate crime, race relations, education law and civil rights law. In recognition of her academic achievements in the liberal arts and sciences she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society in 2010.
Brittany came straight from Indiana University to NYU Law. During her first summer Brittany worked for the Bronx Defenders to provide free holistic legal representation to members of the Bronx community. During her 2L year she will participate in the Employment and Housing Discrimination Clinic as well as serve on the boards of the Women of Color Collective and the Black Allied Law Students Association as the Community Service Chair. She is passionate about working toward racial equality in the United States and is pursuing a career as a civil rights attorney.
Born in Las Vegas, Nevada, but raised in Indianapolis, IN, Brittany graduated from Decatur Central High School.
Amelia Pelly Frenkel
The daughter of two social and political activists, Amelia seized the chance to follow in her parents’ footsteps by working for change on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign while an undergraduate at Georgetown University. Despite working full time for the campaign, Amelia graduated in three years with a degree in government in May 2008.
Following graduation, Amelia saw the 2008 presidential election through as a speechwriter at Planned Parenthood, where she focused on electoral outreach to women voters. Ever the campaign enthusiast, she left Planned Parenthood in January 2009 to join a gubernatorial campaign in her adopted home state of Virginia.
After that campaign ended, Amelia moved on to become the Director of Speechwriting to the U.S. Trade Representative, the Cabinet official in charge of negotiating trade agreements and opening up trade opportunities for Americans abroad. After a year in that position, Amelia moved on to become the chief writer at the Democratic National Committee, where she penned remarks for everyone from grassroots activists to the President of the United States.
Amelia spent her 1L summer with the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and in her 2L year looks forward to joining the Government Civil Litigation Clinic.
(Sinsheimer Service Scholar)
Rachel graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College, where she majored in
Economics and played on the Amherst softball team. After college, she worked as a union organizer for the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), organizing in-home child care providers across the state of Iowa; served as a Peace Corps volunteer in northern Peru; and coordinated a statewide project to increase Census participation in farm worker and immigrant communities throughout rural California.
Rachel now hopes to use law as a tool to support grassroots organizing, activism and advocacy, and to empower individuals and communities to actively address the issues that affect them. She will spend the summer working with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, which organizes guest workers, day laborers, and low-income residents in New Orleans and around the country. As a 2L, she will participate in CoLR (Coalition on Law and Representation), the All-ALSA Coalition, and NYU’s Litigation, Organizing and Systemic Change clinic.
Rachel is a proud native of Oakland, California.
(Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar)
Malika grew up in Bronx, New York. She graduated from Pomona College in 2008 with a double major in Politics and Gender and Women’s Studies. After Pomona, Malika returned to New York where she served as a residential counselor and street outreach worker with Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), an organization serving young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking.
In 2010, Malika became the court representative for the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services’ (CASES) Alternative to Detention (ATD) project, Choices. Malika advocated for youth with pending delinquency cases to remain in the community with the support and supervision of Choices ATD.
Malika spent her 1L summer with the International Legal Foundation–Nepal, a public defender office dedicated to ensuring that all accused persons have access to effective legal representation. As a 2L, Malika will serve as the Director of the Suspension Representation Project and co-chair of the Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA) symposium committee. In the spring semester she will also participate in the Litigation, Organizing and Systemic Change clinic.
Malika looks forward to pursuing a career in criminal justice, with a focus on rehabilitation and prison reform.
Sara graduated from Wesleyan University in 2008 with honors in Classics. While at Wesleyan, she developed a strong interest in social justice and constitutional law, which she explored further through an internship at the Women’s Law Project in Philadelphia. After graduating, Sara worked as a legal assistant at Lambda Legal’s New York Headquarters. There, she assisted on LGBT rights cases, including one in which Lambda defeated a ballot initiative attempting to exclude transgender people from protection under a county's employment nondiscrimination law. She then went on to work as a paralegal at Children’s Rights, where she assisted in the investigation of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families and the early stages of a class action lawsuit seeking to reform that system.
Sara grew up in Narberth, Pennsylvania. She hopes to spend her career working for the empowerment and self-determination of marginalized communities through direct advocacy, with a particular focus on queer and youth communities. Sara is the political action co-chair of OUTLaw at NYU, and a member of CoLR and the Suspension Representation Project. This summer, she will be an intern at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York.
(Jacobson Public Service Scholar for Women, Children & Families)
Annie graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006 with a degree in Social Studies. Fascinated by the social world and eager to combat issues of social justice, she researched and wrote her thesis on the political impact of a coalition of community organizations in the impoverished, migrant, outskirts of Buenos Aires.
Passionate about immigrant rights, women’s rights and economic development, she worked for 3 years at C.E.O. Women (Creating Economic Opportunities for Women), an Oakland based microenterprise organization. C.E.O. Women helps immigrant and refugee women start businesses through training in entrepreneurship and English language. As an AmeriCorpsVISTA volunteer and then a project manager, Annie led the development of all of C.E.O. Women’s business support programs, including their microequity grant initiatives.
Fueled by her clients stories of success and day-to-day struggles, Annie returned to graduate school to better understand the social and economic phenomenon she encountered on the grassroots level. She is currently a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Annie grew up in Boston, MA. She is eager to combine her grassroots, education in public policy, and legal training to advocate for low-income and immigrant communities in the United States.
A native of Los Angeles, California, Nick graduated from Harvard University in 2008 with a degree in Government and English. After graduation, Nick joined Teach For America and was assigned to teach in South Central Los Angeles, where he became a Small Learning Community Principal. While teaching, Nick observed that the devastating effects of teacher layoffs disproportionately affected poor students of color. Consequently, he worked with the ACLU to instigate a successful lawsuit against the state of California and the Los Angeles Unified School District that redressed the situation, allowing thousands of students to enjoy a more stable learning environment. This experience sparked Nick’s interest in attending law school to study civil rights and education law.
While teaching, Nick earned a Masters in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University, where he received the Urban Education Student Researcher of the Year Award. Most recently, he served as the Assistant to the Executive Director of Teach For America-Los Angeles.
This summer, Nick is working at the ACLU of Southern California where he will be working on statewide education litigation and policy. He is also participating in an Education Pioneers Fellowship to work on education reform in LA.
Next year, Nick is excited to be co-chairing the Education, Law and Policy Society. Nick plans to return to California after law school to advocate for children in under-served communities.
(Lindemann Family Public Service Scholar)
Evan graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 2003 with a degree in Religion. Following graduation, Evan spent several months working for a tax-reform campaign, encouraging Alabama voter’s to support a constitutional referendum to modify the state’s regressive tax system. He then studied Theology and Economic Development issues at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.
Between 2005 and 2008, Evan worked as a community organizer for the Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL), a child-care advocacy and community development organization. From 2008 to 20011, he worked as a paralegal for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), an indigent criminal defense organization also based in Alabama.
Born in Houston, Texas and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, Evan aspires to practice indigent defense law in Alabama. He also wants to explore multi-disciplinary, community-based responses to the needs of formerly incarcerated and marginalized people.
A native Tucsonan, Kendal graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arizona. While earning her undergraduate degree in international studies, she organized alongside low-income immigrants with Border Action Network, campaigned for an affordable and accessible higher education system as vice-chair of the Arizona Students’ Association, and held several fellowships for young progressives.
After graduation, Kendal worked as the Collegiate Program Manager for Anytown Arizona, where she directed programming that developed leaders for social justice. In 2010, she moved to NYC to coordinate the City Bar Justice Center’s Public Service Network and Veterans Assistance Project.
As a 1L, Kendal interned with Make the Road New York, providing legal services to support Latino and working class communities with housing and immigration concerns. Her 1L summer, she returned home to work with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, where she assisted men detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Florence, Arizona.
Kendal’s long-term goal is to found a nonprofit in the Southwest that empowers Latino and immigrant communities through community organizing, policy advocacy, direct legal services, and impact litigation. She is excited to kick off her 2L year as a member of the Immigrant Rights Clinic and co-chair of CoLR.
(Doris C. and Alan J. Freedman Scholar)
Robert studied philosophy, literature, and the history of math and science in the Great Books Program at St. John's College, where he graduated in 2004. He spent time both on the Annapolis and on the Santa Fe campus and while in Santa Fe was a field-qualified member of the St. John's College Search and Rescue Team.
After college Robert joined the Mississippi Teacher Corps and taught English at a rural public high school in Sardis, Mississippi and then at an urban one in Jackson, where he was a teacher sponsor of the Civil Rights / Civil Liberties after-school club. He earned an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi. After three years in the Deep South, he returned to Santa Fe to study Sanskrit and classical Asian literature and philosophy at St. John's College and earned an M.A. in Eastern Classics. He continued working in the public schools and upon completion of the degree began teaching math at a public high school and a community college in Santa Fe.
Robert is spending his 1L summer working in the business and securities fraud section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, and beginning in his 2L year he will be a fellow at the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law. He is interested in government and policy, and especially in matters of criminal justice.
(Sinsheimer Service Scholar)
Born in Queens, NY, Jesse was raised in Johnson City, NY and attended college at Washington & Lee University. After graduating in 2002 with a degree in Politics, Jesse served as a field organizer on U.S. Sen. Max Cleland's re-election campaign and then worked in Washington, D.C. for several years before discovering his passion for immigration law. During more than three years as a legal assistant and paralegal with the law firm of Maggio + Kattar, Jesse assisted with many difficult immigration cases that showed him this was a field where he could make a real difference for communities badly in need of affordable legal services.
Jesse will spend his 1L summer at Immigrant Defense Project in New York City and plans to use his NYU Law degree to defend indigent foreign nationals in deportation proceedings. To this end, Jesse will be co-chairing NYU's chapter of the Immigration Court Observation Project during 2L year and serve as a student advocate in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Jesse also lived for a time in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked extensively on his Spanish in order to further assist future clients with their immigration cases.
(William and Mary Sterling Scholar)
Ariel graduated from Brown University in 2009 with honors in Political Science. During her four years in Rhode Island, Ariel learned about the criminal justice system by organizing with a successful campaign to restore voting rights to parolees and probationers, coordinating a program that provides creative workshops for prisoners, interning with a non-profit serving ex-offenders and with the state public defender, and helping to investigate a case of wrongful conviction. Ariel also cultivated political advocacy experience on the campaigns of a city councilman, a state representative, and President Obama. For her social justice pursuits, Ariel was named a 2008 Harry S. Truman Scholar. After college, Ariel broadened her perspective on the justice system as a paralegal in the Business and Securities Fraud section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
Ariel is spending her 1L summer working on state-based criminal justice reform initiatives at the ACLU’s Center for Justice. As a 2L, Ariel will participate in the New York Civil Liberties Clinic and serve as a Fellow at the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law. Ariel plans to pursue a career in criminal justice reform through direct service, litigation and public policy.
(Andrew W. Mellon Scholar)
Michele Yankson graduated with Honors from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 2008 with degrees in English and Sociology. During college, she participated in service work from tutoring in under-resourced schools in Detroit and Ypsilanti with the America Reads program, to promoting campus discourse on issues of identity as a dialogue facilitator for Michigan's Intergroup Relations.
After graduating, Michele joined Miami Teaching Fellows to serve as a middle-school teacher in a school designated as high-need. While planning and implementing lessons for Reading and Language Arts, she learned the most invaluable ones from her students and their community. In 2010, Michele founded the Miami chapter of Stand-Up For Kids Don't Run Away program. Through this program, she worked towards curbing Miami's substantial population of homeless youth through education and outreach within schools.
During the summer of her 1L year, Michele worked in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. There, she helped prepare investigations concerning issues of juvenile justice, prisoner's rights, and police misconduct. Michele is interested developing an understanding of how to best serve marginalized and disconnected groups through the legal system.
Michele was born and raised in and near Detroit, Michigan to immigrant parents from Ghana.
Daniel graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California in 2011 with a degree in Accounting. During college, Daniel worked with the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, helping cultivate a passion for both Asian American activism and providing direct legal services to communities of color.
During his 1L year, Daniel externed with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, working with domestic workers who were trafficked into the country. He also worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence, helping them obtain orders of protection against their abusers. In the summer, Daniel will be working at the East Bay Community Law Center; where he will provide direct legal services to the community through unlawful detainer defense, eviction clinics, and tenant’s right workshops.
Daniel is excited about using his legal education to advance the rights of marginalized communities.
(Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar)
Alyson graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with honors in Political Science from Princeton University in 2006, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Scholar, co-editor of the Daily Princetonian opinion page and Vice-President of the University’s Organization of Women Leaders.
After graduating from Princeton, Alyson worked on access to justice issues in sub-Saharan Africa as a Princeton Project 55 Fellow at the Cyrus Vance Center for International Justice. Subsequently, she worked with the International Rescue Committee in their Sierra Leone office, providing program support to IRC’s gender-based violence and maternal health programs. She then spent two years with the Center for Reproductive Right’s International Legal Program where she worked on UN advocacy projects around maternal mortality as a human rights issue and reproductive rights violations as forms of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Alyson spent her 1L summer at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights in Nairobi in the Reforms and Accountability Unit. As a 2L she will join NYU’s International Human Rights Clinic.
After graduation Alyson plans to continue working as a human rights advocate, with a focus on women’s human rights in the United States and abroad.
Class of 2015
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and/or Criminal Justice
Amanda was raised in West Chicago, Illinois and is the third eldest of seven children. Homeschooled by her parents, Reginald and Patricia Bass, until the age of thirteen, Amanda enrolled at Amherst College in 2006 where she double majored in Black Studies and Mathematics and graduated magna cum laude in December 2010.
In 2008, Amanda spent six months working as a community organizer in Macon, GA for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Amanda spearheaded voter registration and volunteer recruitment initiatives in communities throughout Middle Georgia, and worked with African American business and churches, public officials, and local media to register voters and to educate people about the electoral process and their right to vote.
Throughout her months in Georgia Amanda felt, for the first time in her life, the full impact of unjust laws that function as instruments of intimidation and exclusion. At the time, Georgia’s discriminatory voter registration laws had made possible the de facto disenfranchisement of over six hundred thousand African Americans.
It is through the political and legal battles that Amanda fought in Georgia that she became acutely aware of her need to study and know the law, to understand its practical applications, and to be able to adeptly navigate its boundaries of interpretation so that, as a future lawyer, marginalized and underrepresented people find in her a voice.
Emma graduated from Brown University in 2009 with a degree in Comparative Literature. Following a summer internship with the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative in Rwanda, Emma co-founded Gardens for Health International in 2007. The organization partners with rural health clinics to provide agricultural solutions to the problem of chronic malnutrition. Since its inception, the organization has received numerous accolades, including awards from Echoing Green and Ashoka. Brown awarded Emma a Starr Social Innovation Fellowship to support her work with Gardens for Health International and an Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellowship to support her work with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Office of Minority Health. While at Brown, Emma was a founding member of the Brown Social Innovation Initiative.
Following her graduation from college, Emma served as Executive Director of Gardens for Health International for three years. During this time, she developed a strong interest in access to land as it relates to access to food and, ultimately, health. She intends to use her law degree to advance global economic and social justice.
Emma grew up in Cambridge, MA. She is looking forward to living in New York City for the first time.
Andrew W. Mellon Scholar
Zachary graduated from Fordham University in 2012 with Departmental Honors in English and Sociology. He completed a thesis on literary censorship trials and received a “Certificate of Excellence for Outstanding Commitment to Service and Social Justice” and a “Certificate of Accomplishment for Outstanding Leadership and Service to the University.” He participated in and later assisted with “Urban Plunge” at Fordham which introduces incoming student to NYC through direct service work and social justice education and was a founding member of the Justice Council at his campus.
Zachary spent two years on his campus’ mock trial team. He later tutored refugee students living in NYC with the International Rescue Committee and interned with community organizers at Housing Conservation Coordinators. He also completed a clerk internship at the Plymouth District Court and a paralegal internship with the Bronx office of the Children’s Law Center. He hopes to continue to explore social injustice by working with indigent tenants in NYC.
Zachary is originally from Sandwich, Massachusetts where he began his interest in Social Justice while in high school by becoming a founding member of “In Good Company,” which uses techniques from the “Theatre of the Oppressed” to spread awareness through theater to community and school groups.
Brooks Emanuel graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Georgia in 1999, with an Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Major: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in U.S. Society.
After a career as a professional dancer and choreographer (hip hop, African, and modern), including work with companies in New York City and Atlanta, in 2007 Brooks became executive assistant to the director of Georgia Rural Urban Summit, a coalition of 50 progressive groups. In this role, he lobbied at the Georgia General Assembly and became involved in the progressive advocacy community.
After a stint in Boston serving on several political campaigns, Brooks returned to Atlanta to work with the Georgia House Democratic Caucus. As Director of Legislative Services, he works directly with the House Minority Leader and Whip, other Caucus Members, progressive advocates, and other lobbyists to promote Caucus legislative priorities and defend against the most egregious right-wing legislation. During the 2010 decennial redistricting process, he helped mount the Democratic legislative and legal challenge to racially divisive Republican-drawn House maps.
Brooks has worked on a broad range of issues including immigrant, reproductive, and labor rights; protections for working parents, welfare recipients, homeowners, and tenants; funding for public education; and death penalty abolition.
Lindemann Family Public Service Scholar
Anna graduated from Barnard College in 2010 with honors in Anthropology. During college, Anna spent a year visiting New York state prisons and interviewing inmates as an intern with the Prison Visiting Project of the Correctional Association of New York. She reported on conditions of confinement and rehabilitation programs while advocating for drug sentencing reform with grassroots coalition groups. Her senior thesis focused on the effects of long-term incarceration on inmates and was awarded with distinction. Anna also spent a summer conducting factual research for a study estimating the rate of wrongful convictions in capital punishment cases.
After graduating from college, Anna worked as a legal assistant and paralegal for the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, a legal team that advocates for post-9/11 national security policies that are consistent with the Constitution and fundamental human rights. At the ACLU, she worked on a variety of cases relating to the torture and detention of detainees, targeted killing, extraordinary rendition, and government secrecy and surveillance.
Anna grew up in Kearny, New Jersey.
William and Mary Sterling Scholar
Sophie graduated from Brown University in 2005 with a BA in International Relations with a focus on Economic Development. She has spent her time since supporting efforts to improve the health, prosperity, and equity of communities around the world.
Sophie became inspired by the law’s ability to bolster international development efforts while managing the communications of The World Justice Project (WJP), a non-profit organization that works to advance the rule of law. At the WJP, she led media efforts on five continents, and managed the launch of the WJP Rule of Law Index®, a tool to measure countries' adherence to the rule of law. Conveying the connection between the rule of law and development goals and publicizing the project's grassroots successes gave her new perspective on the law’s ability to empower communities. Prior to the WJP, she worked at cause-oriented communications agency, supporting the firm’s international development and global health projects. After college, she volunteered copy-writing services for development projects and worked in Ethiopia building a public health website.
Sophie was raised in Maryland by parents native to Ethiopia. She is excited about gaining a new set of tools to continue her advocacy on behalf of marginalized communities.
Starr Foundation Scholar
Rebecca graduated Summa Cum Laude from Washington University in St. Louis with a degree in English Literature and Spanish. She began volunteering on Claire McCaskill’s campaign for the U.S. Senate during her first semester of college and immediately caught the political bug. Over the next four years she interned on numerous campaigns and organized teach-ins, protests and voter registration drives in her role on the Executive Board of the College Democrats.
After graduation, Rebecca moved to Pennsylvania to work on Joe Sestak’s campaign for the Senate. Following the election, she took her passion for electoral organizing and her Spanish skills to the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition in Philadelphia. As a Program Coordinator, she organized pro bono Citizenship Days and managed an effort to register newly naturalized citizens to vote. She also coordinated the organization’s advocacy in opposition to state level anti-immigrant legislation and developed a deep interest in immigration policy.
Rebecca grew up in Storrs, CT. She looks forward to using her law degree to represent low-income immigrants, and ultimately hopes to help craft or advocate for fairer and more practical immigration laws.
Sinsheimer Service Scholar
Diane graduated from Emory University in 2007 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on social change in immigrant populations. During her time at Emory, she worked with various student-based volunteer groups and local organizations on issues relating to immigrant and low-income communities in Atlanta. She also interned in her home state of Massachusetts with inner-city youth addressing education, foster care, juvenile justice, and substance abuse matters. Diane graduated from Emory early and traveled to Chile, Argentina, and Costa Rica, where she developed her Spanish in immersion programs and volunteered with local non-profit agencies.
After returning from Latin America, Diane continued her pursuit to assist immigrant communities by teaching English as a Second Language in Atlanta for several months. She then moved to New York City and worked as a counselor to high-risk youth in Brooklyn. In 2009, she took her first public interest law position as a paralegal in Staten Island Legal Services’ Homeowner Defense Project, and has worked there since. In this role, she advocates on behalf of low-income homeowners to obtain affordable mortgages and prevent unnecessary foreclosures on her clients’ homes. Diane plans to use her law degree to continue advocating for the rights of indigent clients, and hopes to focus on representing immigrant youth.
Andrew graduated summa cum laude from Boston University in 2007 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After graduation, Andrew moved to Senegal, West Africa, where he served for two years as an agroforestry volunteer in the Peace Corps, working with rural farmers to incorporate trees into existing agricultural systems. He spent a third year with the Peace Corps in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, as a communications and volunteer support specialist, developing a series of iPod training videos for the greater development community and leading innovation in the program’s pre- and in-service trainings.
After returning to the United States at the end of 2010, Andrew continued to work in public service as a consultant for New York-based non-profits Malaria No More and NetGuarantee. He served as Malaria No More’s mobile health (mHealth) specialist, helping to design malaria awareness campaigns that capitalized on an expanding mobile phone market in Africa. With NetGuarantee, Andrew worked to apply innovative financial mechanisms to international funding processes to expedite the delivery of health commodities to malaria-endemic countries.
Andrew grew up in Plymouth, Minnesota and is excited to explore ways in which mobile devices can be used to protect civil rights, both domestically and abroad.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Women or Children
Julie graduated summa cum laude from the George Washington University, where she studied English and Sociology. It was there that she began refining her penchant for social and restorative justice. Attentive to the lack of resources available to extremely marginalized groups in Washington, DC, she began volunteering with HIPS, a harm-reduction organization committed to supporting sex workers and drug users in leading healthier lives. There she has supported community members in making programming more inclusive for transgender sex workers and has done late-night, street-based outreach since 2008, supplying safer sex and injection materials, education, HIV testing, and support. Julie has also worked as a case manager at the National Abortion Federation Hotline Fund, where she provided one-on-one support to low-income individuals accessing reproductive health services and abortion care.
Having been raised in Utah and Idaho, Julie's life in DC exposed her to the very real ways in which poverty, institutionalized racism and imprisonment drastically impact low-income people, communities of color, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming individuals. These are issues she hopes to further address by providing empowering, culturally competent legal defense. Julie is also passionate about pugs and female rappers.
Doris C. and Alan J. Freedman Scholar
Jehan graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011, with a double major in Political Science and Communications Studies and with a minor in Civic Engagement.
Her involvement with public interest law began when she interned with AmeriCorps serving as a JusticeCorps member at the Stanley Mosk Resource Center for Self-Represented Litigants in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. As a volunteer, she provided direct legal assistance to indigent litigants throughout all stages of their family law actions. Following her work with the courts, she studied with the UCLA’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., where she interned with the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration. While at the ABA she provided legal information to detainees in immigration custody.
Throughout her work in college, Jehan began to see a need for bilingual services in the law and the barriers to the judicial system that many people encounter. She hopes to use her law degree to empower traditionally marginalized communities.
Jehan grew up in Whittier, California, and graduated from Whittier High School. She is excited and grateful for this opportunity to continue her education at NYU.
Jacobson Public Service Scholar for Women, Children & Families
Julia graduated in 2008 from Georgetown University with a degree in history and minor in biology. While at Georgetown, she captained the lightweight women’s rowing team and co-founded the culinary club.
After graduation, Julia joined Teach For America in New Orleans where she taught second grade. Despite New Orleans’s strong culinary culture, Julia saw students, 99% of whom qualified for free lunches, subjected to nutritionally-deficient meals, so she investigated sourcing healthier, local food. Julia researched policies affecting the National School Lunch Program, started a community garden, and helped the District resource teacher develop a healthy eating curriculum.
Realizing the problem of healthy food access for low income communities was greater than the school lunch program, Julia secured an internship at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to better understand supply-side barriers. At NSAC, Julia advocated for inclusion of provisions to promote healthy food access in the Nutrition Title of a 2012 Farm Bill and helped craft redline language for marker bills. With a law degree, Julia hopes to work for a policy organization that advocates for adequate, healthy food for children in low income communities.
Julia spent most of her school years in the states, but calls Tokyo home.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Women or Children
Hannah graduated from Cornell University in 2011 with a degree in Industrial and Labor Relations. While at Cornell, Hannah worked with the Cornell Farmworker Program, an organization that provides resources to the underserved farmworker population living in central New York. She served as a student leader for the Immigrant Farmworker Initiative and founded the Refugee Outreach Club. Hannah spent a semester in Cairo, Egypt working with the International Labor Organization and researching the role of women and youth in Egypt’s labor market.
After graduation, Hannah moved to Amman, Jordan on a Fulbright Scholarship. She is working to develop an English Language program for Sudanese and Somali refugees, as well as community development programs for these groups. She also teaches classes on English and American culture at a girl’s high school in Amman.
Hannah was born and raised in Granville, New York, a small town near the New York-Vermont border. After law school, she hopes to return to the Middle East to work with immigrant populations (particularly youth) facing exploitation in the workplace and complicated immigration systems.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and/or Criminal Justice
Hannah graduated cum laude from Columbia University in 2010 with a degree in Anthropology and Human Rights. During college, Hannah led education initiatives and activism campaigns with Columbia's Amnesty International chapter to demand accountability for torture, stop violence against women, and close the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Hannah also interned with the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, where she supported research efforts on corporate social responsibility and sexual violence.
After graduation, Hannah moved to Washington, DC and assisted a small law firm, Burke PLLC, in cases against private military contractors for fraud and complicity in the torture at Abu Ghraib prison. Hannah also worked on litigation addressing the failure of the military to ensure justice and protection for members of the military who were raped or sexually assaulted. In the year before law school, Hannah worked as a legal assistant with the National Security Project of the American Civil Liberties Union and volunteered with Sanctuary for Families.
Hannah is proud to be from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she attended Germantown Friends School. In law school, she hopes to continue her work at the intersection of civil liberties and armed conflict and on inequality in the justice system.
Jack graduated from Williams College in 2007 with a degree in Russian. While at Williams, he was captain of the Nordic ski team, and studied for a semester in Siberia. After graduating, he returned to his home state of New Hampshire to work as a field organizer for the Democratic Party. Following the 2008 election, he moved to Washington, DC where he worked as a legislative correspondent covering health care, education and labor issues for US Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
Jack spent the 2009-2010 academic year on a Fulbright grant in Oslo, Norway, where he studied the Norwegian environmental movement and international climate politics. He attended the UN climate negotiations in Copenhagen as an NGO observer, and worked to strengthen ties between youth climate activists from developed and developing countries. Jack received the 2009 Lois Roth award for creatively fostering international dialogue.
For the past two years, Jack has worked at the World Resources Institute in Washington, DC, where he helps manage strategic relationships with US and international government agencies. Jack is looking forward to a career in environmental justice, and is thrilled to be joining the RTK community at NYU.
Brence D. Pernell
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Women or Children
Brence graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 2008 with a degree in History. At Duke, Brence co-led social justice-oriented programming for the Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholars, a group of student leaders dedicated to a life of service. Brence was awarded the William J. Griffith University Community Service Award for his volunteer efforts in the Durham community and received the History Department’s Canon Prize for his historical scholarship.
Academic excellence, leadership, and commitment to diversity led to Brence receiving the Woodrow Wilson - Rockefeller Brothers Fund Fellowship for Aspiring Teachers of Color to pursue graduate studies at Harvard. There, he was awarded a Leadership in Education grant and worked for the Center for Law and Education. His primary roles included serving as organization liaison to schools and providing research support for attorneys advocating for low-income families.
Brence spent several years thereafter teaching English and history to students in low-income communities in South Carolina and Massachusetts. An Education Pioneers fellowship allowed him to write curriculum for the Citizen Schools organization as part of a $1 million National Science Foundation grant; he also implemented a new curriculum on global finance and citizenship for Building Educated Leaders for Life, an urban-based afterschool program. He spent two additional summers as a teaching scholar for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Brence grew up in Blackville, South Carolina, a mostly minority and low-income community. He hopes to use his law degree to effect positive, sustainable change for public school students who come from backgrounds similar to his.
Joshua David Riegel
Joshua spent seven years working for the American Civil Liberties Union, first in its Women’s Rights Project, and most recently as the senior paralegal in its Racial Justice Program. While at the ACLU, he assisted with impact litigation and other advocacy aimed at leveling structural barriers to equality that disproportionately and adversely impact women, girls, and communities of color. From 2011 to 2012, he also facilitated a weekly support group for LGTBQ residents in a homeless shelter in Brooklyn as part of Queers for Economic Justice’s Shelter Project.
Born and raised in Aurora, Colorado, Joshua graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a B.A. (2002) and M.A. (2004), where he was a Barbara Wallace Cornwall Scholar. As an undergraduate, he studied history and cultural anthropology and, as a graduate student, studied women’s history with an emphasis in feminist and queer political thought.
Through his studies and professional endeavors, Joshua has become deeply interested in the history and development of the law as it relates to the mediation of power, the administration of difference and recognition, and the regulation of low-income and queer communities of color. As an attorney, he looks forward to a career advocating for economic and criminal-justice reform.
Sullivan & Cromwell Scholar
Seth is passionate about working in the areas where environmental and social challenges interact and hopes to pursue issues of international environment and development throughout his career. Graduating from Stanford University with an individually designed undergraduate major in the Global Politics of Health, Human Rights, and the Environment and a Masters of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering focusing on atmosphere and energy systems, Seth has worked and studied in eight countries. Upon graduation, Seth worked as a John Gardner Fellow in the White House Council on Environmental Quality advancing the efforts of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, the first comprehensive Federal effort to build a U.S. national climate change adaptation strategy.
Following his service in Washington, Seth moved to rural Western Kenya where he has been serving as Operations Manager for the One Acre Fund. One Acre Fund provides a “comprehensive bundle” of support to smallholder farmers, giving over 75,000 farm families and growing in Kenya the tools they need to grow their own way out of poverty. Seth hopes to continue moving between policy and practitioner roles and is excited about the ways in which a legal education can enhance the impact of his work.
Filomen M. D’Agostino Scholar for Civil Rights, Civil Liberties and/or Criminal Justice
Adrienne graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 with a degree in Urban Studies. In her time at Penn, she was a Program Coordinator for Community School Student Partnerships and a Student Advisory Board member for the University’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Always eager to explore Philadelphia, she also served as a legislative intern for a City Councilman, worked to provide abortion access to low-income women at the Women’s Medical Fund, and completed an externship at The Reinvestment Fund, one of the city’s leaders in community economic development, during her undergraduate career. In her senior year, she was initiated into the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society for her campus leadership and academic achievement.
After graduating, Adrienne participated in Philly Fellows, a yearlong fellowship in non-profit management, working on the issues of homelessness and fair housing at Project H.O.M.E. Most recently, she has been learning about the criminal justice system as a paralegal for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York.
Adrienne was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Bethesda, Maryland. She is eager to apply a legal education to her passions for social justice and the revitalization of American cities.
A New York City native, Matt received a BA from Reed College in 2007.
Following graduation, he worked as a paralegal on death row appeals, taught English at a French high school, and performed research for a labor movement oriented think tank. He then investigated allegations of police misconduct for the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board for nearly three years. Subsequently, he obtained a master’s in political science from the Sorbonne (Université Paris 1), where he received high honors.
Matt is interested in issues of public policy, civil rights, and systemic inequality. After law school, he hopes to work toward the reform of the criminal justice system through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and grassroots organizing.