Scholars and Alumni

Current Scholars

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 spent her 1L summer at the Center for Reproductive Rights Global Legal Program, and her 2L summer at the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center.


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. During her 1L year, Mariel interned 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. Mariel spent her 1L summer at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Tacoma, Washington, and her 2L summer at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office.

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 spent his 1L Summer at the Federal Defenders of New York for the Southern District of New York. 


Nora Kirk

Nora 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. She spent her 1L summer interning at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in North Carolina.


Class of 2019

Astrid Reyes

Astrid Reyes is originally from Washington, D.C. She recently served as a Paralegal with the ACLU's Racial Justice Program, where she worked on cases pertaining to housing and lending discrimination, affirmative action, and the school-to-prison pipeline. As a college student, Astrid double majored in International Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexualities Studies, with a focus on addressing women's rights issues by utilizing the universal human rights framework. She spent the Fall semester of her junior year in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she studied the international human rights system and interned for a local non-profit that provides free legal services to survivors of gender-based violence. A first-generation Salvadoran-American, Astrid has worked with Latino communities in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and New York City as a middle school and ESL tutor, community health educator, and reproductive rights and immigration reform advocate. Prior to joining the Racial Justice Program, Astrid served as the Legal Administrative Assistant for the ACLU’s Human Rights Program and interned for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health and MADRE. Astrid was a Questbridge Scholar at Emory University and graduated with Honors in the Spring of 2013. 


Gerardo Romo

Gerardo Romo grew up in Perris, California. He graduated from Columbia University in 2014, majoring in Ethnic Studies with a focus on Latinx Studies and minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At Columbia University he was an executive board member in Proud Colors, building a community and presence for queer and transgender people of color on campus, and was the first Gender and Sexuality Chair at the Chicanx Caucus. During his last year at Columbia, Gerardo was the Organizing Intern at the LGBTQ Justice Project at Make the Road New York in Jackson Heights, Queens where he worked with the immigrant LGBTQ community to rally against police violence and profiling and the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution-related offenses.  He also surveyed the neighborhood on gender identity and gender expression workplace discrimination for Make the Road’s 2013 report Discrimination at the Workplace, From Application to Termination. Before law school, Gerardo was a paralegal at the Center for Appellate Litigation, advocating for incarcerated people’s needs in New York State prisons and Rikers Island and assisting clients with parole hearings by drafting letters of support.



Class of 2016

Frances Dávila - Immigrant Justice Corps Fellow, Civil Action Practice, The Bronx Defenders
Alicia Nieves (bio) - Kirkland & Ellis New York City Public Service Fellow,

Class of 2015

Cristopher Santos - Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor
Luis Angel Reyes Zavalza

Class of 2014

Christine LaRochelle
Amy Pont

Class of 2013

Lisandra Fernández-Silber - Law Clerk to Chief Judge Denise Page Hood, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
Kevin Terry
Jordan Wells (bio) - Staff Attorney, New York Civil Liberties Union

Class of 2012

Maria Romani

Class of 2011

Alba Lucero Villa

Class of 2010

Maribel Hernández
Andrea Nieves (bio) - Advocacy Specialist, Brooklyn Defender Services

Class of 2009

Tom Fritzsche (bio) - Clinical Teaching Fellow, Immigration Justice Clinic, Cardozo School of Law
Melissa Navarro