Scholars and Alumni

Current Scholars

Class of 2016

Frances DávilaFrances Dávila

Frances grew up in Venice Beach, California. In 2010, she graduated from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where she majored in culture and politics. As an undergraduate, she served as co-chair of MEChA and programed immigrant rights events while advocating for a US-Latino Studies program through the Georgetown Initiative on Diversity and Inclusiveness. After graduating, she taught ESL at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago. In 2011, Frances began working for Communities in Schools of Los Angeles at her alma mater, Venice High School, where she developed college access initiatives specifically tailored to the needs of undocumented youth. The summer before law school, Frances interned at Atlas: Developing Immigrant Youth, where she served immigrant youth and helped them apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, U and T visas and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. She also participated in Families for Freedom’s Speakers Bureau, focusing on the intersection between the criminal justice and immigration systems. As a 1L, Frances co-found and co-chaired the NYU Law Immigrant Rights Project and was instrumental in creating its Detention Center Project. She also participated in the Suspension Representation and the Prisoners’ Rights and Education projects. During the spring semester, she interned in the Immigration Unit at Brooklyn Defender Services where she assisted attorneys involved in the groundbreaking New York Immigrant Family Unity Project. This internship cemented her interest in criminal-immigration issues. During her 1L summer, Frances took the opportunity to work in Arizona at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project. She represented adult non-citizens detained in the Eloy Detention Center who were in removal proceedings. As a 2L, Frances is a Staff Editor on the Moot Court Board and a student advocate in the Immigrant Rights Clinic. She was also chosen as an NYU Social Sector Leadership Diversity Fellow. During her 2L summer, she will intern at the Defender Association in Seattle, where she will delve into the criminal side of criminal/immigration work.

Alicia NievesAlicia Nieves

Alicia graduated with honors from Indiana University with majors in political science and migration studies. Her academic interests in college led her to research the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on Latin American settlement in the American Midwest. Outside the classroom, Alicia assumed leadership roles in public policy campaigns that affected the Latino community. As an undergraduate, she co-founded a statewide student coalition to lobby for pro-immigrant state legislation, including instate tuition for undocumented college students. Additionally, Alicia interned with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, helping the organization’s campaign to register new citizens to vote. She also worked in Washington, DC, with, an advocacy group co-founded by Mark Zuckerberg to promote policies to keep the United States competitive in a global economy, including comprehensive immigration reform and education reform. For her public service work in college, she was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship in 2012. At NYU Law, Alicia is currently the co-chair of LaLSA and a staff editor of the New York University Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. She also works at a legal tech startup called Plainlegal. During her first year of law school, Alicia earned a Ford Law Public Interest Fellowship to intern at the New Economy Project for the summer of 2014.

Class of 2017

Julianna Morgan-TrostleJuliana Morgan-Trostle

A native of Amherst, Massachusetts, Juliana graduated from Haverford College with a major in political science, a minor in Spanish, and a concentration in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies. She co-founded the college’s first support group for sexual assault survivors and led efforts to reform campus sexual misconduct policies. Her senior thesis examined the framing strategies employed by stakeholders in Argentina’s same-sex marriage and abortion rights movements. Before law school, Juliana worked as a paralegal at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, where she assisted homeowners facing foreclosure. She spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina, where she researched reproductive rights-related judicial decisions and interned at Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Catholics for Choice). Upon her return to the US, Juliana worked at an international consulting firm developing communications and advocacy strategies for a variety of global health issues. She also volunteered at Brooklyn-based Atlas: Developing Immigrant Youth, where she helped Spanish-speaking youth petition for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). Juliana will spend her 1L summer at the Center for Reproductive Rights Global Legal Program.

Mariel VillarrealMariel Villarreal

Mariel Villarreal is from Los Angeles, California. She moved to New York for college, graduating cum laude from Columbia University in 2010. She received a BA in comparative ethnic studies and in history. Mariel studied abroad in Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico, writing a thesis on resistance movements and grassroots activism in San Cristobal. While at Columbia, Mariel became a research assistant at the African American Policy Forum, a social justice think tank dedicated to providing scholarly research and public discourse surrounding issues of institutionalized inequality and discrimination. After graduating, Mariel became a paralegal in the Rackets Bureau at the Manhattan DA’s office, working on investigations into white-collar and organized crime, as well as public integrity and official corruption. Two years later, Mariel became a paralegal at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project in New York, where she assisted attorneys with case-tracking, research, and case-filing, in addition to handling intake and requests for legal assistance from immigrants nationwide. During the four years between undergraduate and law school, Mariel also worked as a volunteer teacher at Make the Road NY in their Citizenship Through English classes, a mentor to an international high school student in Bensonhurst, and a contributing blog editor at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee for their People's Campaign for the Constitution Blog. Mariel is currently interning at The Door in the Legal Services Unit, working with immigrant youth on their petitions for immigration relief, as well as their applications for work authorization and permanent residence.

Class of 2018

Bobby HunterBobby Hunter

Bobby Hunter was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and raised in Ames, Iowa. He graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 2012 with concentrations in Education and American Studies, and received the Yat K. Tow prize for his work in the Providence community. During college, Bobby coordinated the Olneyville ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program, Providence's only-tuition free English program for adult English language learners, where he instructed ESOL classes and supervised volunteer teachers. He also worked on several organizing projects with Hope United, a student group that has grown into the Providence Student Union, a citywide education advocacy organization working to amplify the voices of Providence public school students. After college, Bobby provided research support to the Vera Institute of Justice's 2013 report Coming of Age With Stop and Frisk, which examined young people's responses to excessive police contact. He then worked as a legal assistant and paralegal at the ACLU Racial Justice Project, where he supported class-action lawsuits and federal administrative complaints challenging racial discrimination nationwide, including issues of racial profiling, fair housing, lending discrimination and the school-to-prison pipeline. Bobby also worked as a paralegal at Make the Road New York, where he has helped build immigrant worker power by supporting wage and hour litigation, legislation, and administrative advocacy to promote workplace justice. At NYU, Bobby has participated in the Suspension Representation Project, providing free representation to students facing superintendent's suspension hearings.  He will spend his 1L Summer at the Federal Defenders of New York for the Southern District of New York. 


Nora KirkNora Kirk

Nora Kirk is originally from Portland, Oregon. She graduated cum laude from American University in 2015, where she studied Strategic Communication and Criminology. While at American, Nora worked with BleakHouse Publishing, a criminal justice press featuring creative writing from incarcerated individuals. Before attending law school, Nora was an investigative intern at the DC Public Defender’s Service, where she was exposed to the toll the justice system has on disadvantaged communities. Following this experience, Nora’s senior capstone focused on racial tension on campus and the resulting social segregation by students. The project culminated in a comprehensive report and suggestions that were pitched to university administrators, which were adopted by the diversity and inclusion office the following year. During her 1L year, Nora has been a part of Suspension Representation Project, served as a youth mentor for the Urban Assembly League, and is on the Young Professionals board at the Ms. Foundation. This summer, she will be interning at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in North Carolina.




Class of 2015

Cristopher Santos
Luis Angel Reyes Zavalza

Class of 2014

Christine LaRochelle
Amy Pont

Class of 2013

Lisandra Fernández
Kevin Terry
Jordan Wells

Class of 2012

Maria Romani

Class of 2011

Alba Lucero Villa

Class of 2010

Maribel Hernández
Andrea Nieves

Class of 2009

Tom Fritzsche
Melissa Navarro