Current Furman Scholars


THIRD Year Students

Sheila Baynes ’14
Sheila graduated from Harvard in 2003 with a degree in History and Literature. Prior to law school, she pursued an 8-year career in wilderness and leadership education in Alaska and Wyoming, including time spent as a high school teacher for at-risk Alaska Native teenagers and as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). After her first year of law school at NYU, she worked as the Helaine Barnett Fellow at Legal Services Corporation in Washington, D.C. and as a research assistant for Professor Rachel Barkow. Sheila will spend her 2L summer as a Ford Foundation Fellow with the Environmental Defense Fund in Boulder. She is a staff editor for the N.Y.U. Law Review and a Root-Tilden-Kern public interest scholar, as well as a board member of the Environmental Law Society and a teaching assistant for Judge Douglas Ginsburg. Sheila’s research interests include Administrative, Land Use, and Natural Resources Law.

Cynthia Benin ’14
Cynthia graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford in 2008 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and minors in Mathematics and Spanish. After college she spent three years as a Product Marketing Manager for Google in the Mountain View, CA and New York, NY offices. At NYU Law, she’s Treasurer of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund and has done volunteer legal research for various animal advocacy organizations. She is currently an editor of the N.Y.U. Law Review and has served as a research assistant for Professor Adam Cox and a teaching assistant for Professor Clayton Gillette. She spent her 1L summer at the ACLU of Arizona and will spend her 2L summer at Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Julian Ginos ’14
Julian, a Brooklyn native, graduated summa cum laude from SUNY Binghamton with a B.A. in English. During his 1L summer, Julian worked at the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel and researched juvenile justice reform for Professor Kim Taylor-Thompson. In the fall of his 2L year Julian interned at the FBI’s New York field office. He is a research assistant for Professor Barry Friedman and a staff editor on the N.Y.U. Annual Survey of American Law. Julian is interested in national security law and criminal procedure, and will spend his 2L summer at Paul, Weiss in Washington, D.C.

Ankur Mandhania ’14
Ankur graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Mathematics in 2010. After college, he traveled to India for several months before coming to NYU. He is currently an intern for Judge Jesse M. Furman of the Southern District of New York, and a staff editor on the New York University Law Review. His Note will be on choice of law issues in federal bankruptcy courts.  He spent his first summer as a research assistant for Professor Arthur R. Miller, and will be splitting his second summer between Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C. and Munger, Tolles and Olson in Los Angeles. 

Daniel Nowicki ’14
Dan graduated with High Honors from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in History. During college he was a Midshipman in Naval ROTC and served as Battalion Commanding Officer of the Berkeley NROTC unit. After receiving his B.A., Dan was a fellow in the Texas Governor’s Office, where he worked with state governmental organizations to ensure their compliance with state funding and auditing regulations. After his 1L year Dan interned with Judge Sean Lane at the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, drafting bench memos and researching legal issues raised in various bankruptcy “mega-cases”.

Maria Ponomarenko ’14
Maria graduated from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in History and Economics, and a Masters in Social Sciences.  She completed a Ph.D. in History at Stanford University, where she received a number of fellowships, including the Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellowship from the Stanford Humanities Center.  Her dissertation, titled “The Department of Justice and the Limits of the New Deal State,” focused on issues of federalism and institutional capacity in the New Deal and World War II years. Prior to attending law school, Maria spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. She is currently in her second year at NYU law, and is interested primarily in constitutional law, and civil and criminal procedure.  She has worked as a research assistant for Professors Barkow, Issacharoff, and Friedman, and will spend her 2L summer at Quinn Emanuel in New York. She is currently a staff editor on the N.Y.U. Law Review.



Thad Eagles ’15
Thad hails from North Carolina and graduated from Haverford College in 2010 with a degree in History and a minor in Spanish. Prior to law school, he worked as a paralegal with Philadelphia Legal Assistance assisting homeowners facing foreclosure. Thad spent the summer after his first year of law school with the ACLU in Philadelphia and will spend the second working for WilmerHale in Washington D.C. At NYU he is a staff editor for the N.Y.U. Law Review and a research assistant for Professor Samuel Issacharoff. His interests include constitutional law, civil liberties, and civil procedure.

Patrice Wylly ’15
Patrice attended Princeton University, where she received an A.B. in Mathematics.  She completed an M. Sc. in Sociology at the University of Oxford, where she graduated with honors and was recognized for best overall performance in her class.  Her thesis, Eco Friendly or Eco Trendy, used Agent-Based Modeling to investigate the social mechanisms driving the Prius’ popularity, and received the A.H. Halsey Prize for best dissertation. After graduation, she worked as a Data Analyst at Recyclebank, a start up that provides a rewards program for everyday “green” actions.  After her 1L year, Patrice worked for Professor Oren Bar-Gill, researching unconscionability case law for the Third Restatement of Contracts.  She is also research assistant to Dean Emeritus Richard Revesz, and she has worked as a teaching assistant for President John Sexton’s The Supreme Court and Religion Clauses Honors Seminar and Professor Sally Katzen’s Legislation and the Regulatory State.  She is currently a staff editor on the N.Y.U. Environmental Law Journal. Her research interests include Climate Change Policy and Law and Behavioral Economics.




Nabil Ansari ’16
Nabil graduated with High Honors from Wesleyan University, where he obtained a B.A. in the College of Letters. At Wesleyan he wrote his thesis on the moral and political theory of Jurgen Habermas. Before graduate school he worked as a research assistant for the public policy division of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.  Nabil is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation develops a contextualist theory of political legitimacy, examining the roles of democracy, expertise, and tradition as sources of legitimacy.  At NYU Law he hopes to pursue his interests in constitutional law and the law of democracy. 

Kristen Loveland ’16
Kristen graduated from Columbia University with a BA in History and a concentration in Creative Writing. She received an MPhil in Modern European History from the University of Cambridge, where she graduated with distinguished performance. While pursuing her JD, Kristen is also a doctoral candidate (ABD) in the History Department at Harvard University. Her dissertation traces the history of legal, ethical, and political debates on reproductive technologies in postwar Germany, situated in a comparative and global frame. Kristen’s doctoral studies are supported by Harvard University’s Presidential Scholarship, and her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council and the Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies. She is currently in her first year at NYU Law and is particularly interested in comparative constitutional law and family law.

Susan Navarro Smelcer ’16
Susan graduated with distinction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a B.A. in Political Science and highest honors for her undergraduate honors thesis.  She completed her M.A. in Political Science at Emory University, where she is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD). Her dissertation uses game theory and large-N quantitative analyses to explore the ways in which dissenting opinions influence the development of the law. Before coming to NYU, Susan was an analyst at the Congressional Research Service, where she advised members of Congress and their staffs on a wide range of issues relating to federal judiciary, including the appointment and removal of federal judges.  Her research in these areas and others has been published in Political Research Quarterly, Studies in American Political Development, and PS: Political Science and Politics.

Wen Xue '16
Wen graduated from Tsinghua University with a bachelor's degree in Automotive Engineering. She then joined a research team in Automobile State Key Laboratory, Tsinghua University, while pursuing a master's degree in Automotive Engineering. She specialized in vehicle network design, vehicle harness design, and network self-diagnose programming. She is the co-inventor of more than 10 patents in vehicle intelligent system and the author/co-author of multiple papers on vehicle harness design. After graduation, Wen worked as a patent agent for two years at King & Wood Mallesons, prosecuting invention and utility model patents relating to mechanical matters, as well as design patents. Wen is now a first year law student at NYU School of Law. Her primary interest is in patent law and intellectual property law.


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