Four NYU Law students or recent graduates have been named Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellows this spring. The prestigious two-year fellowships, awarded to between 40 and 50 applicants each year, fund public interest legal work on behalf of underrepresented people and causes nationwide. EJW’s postgraduate legal fellowship program, the largest in the country, has 200 law school affiliates.
Through her fellowship, Sara Cullinane ’12 will work at Make the Road New York (MRNY), a major grassroots immigrant rights organization in New York City founded by Oona Chatterjee ’98 and Andrew Friedman ’98. Cullinane will focus on a health care access project for low-income local immigrants, working to ensure equal access to care through direct representation, administrative advocacy, strategic litigation, and community education. She worked at MRNY as a senior health care advocate from 2007 to 2009. Cullinane is a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and has served as a co-chair of Law Students for Economic Justice. She was in both the Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic, and clerked for both the Office of the General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ, and the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration. Cullinane has a B.A. in history with a minor in Spanish-language literature from McGill University.
Ashley Grant ’12 will pursue her fellowship project at Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), which is dedicated to protecting children’s right to an education, specifically low-income students experiencing academic problems or school discrimination. Grant will collaborate with other advocates and community groups to prevent older students from being pushed out of New York City schools and give them access to programs and services that will transmit marketable skills. She previously worked for AFC as a Juvenile Justice Project intern and law intern, and also interned with The Door and San Francisco Public Defender. Before matriculating at NYU Law, Grant was a special education teacher and Teach for America corps member in Los Angeles. At the Law School, she is a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and co-chair of the Education Law and Policy Society. Grant earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.A. in special education from California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Carmen Iguina ’10 will pursue a project at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California involving detained asylum seekers who lack representation. Iguina will work to provide individual legal representation, recruit pro bono attorneys, and implement impact litigation to expand detainees’ rights to language assistance and legal representation. She will also monitor detention conditions and advocate for more human treatment. Iguina currently clerks for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and has also clerked for Judge Kiyo Matsumoto of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. At NYU Law, she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, an NYU Law Review articles editor, and a co-chair of the Coalition for Legal Recruiting. Iguina was also a student in the Juvenile Defender Clinic and the Children’s Rights Clinic and interned for the ACLU of Southern California, the Legal Aid Society, The Door, and the Southern Center for Human Rights. She has a B.A. in psychology (mind/brain/behavior honors track) from Harvard University.
Kathryn Kliff ’12 will work in the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Division to enforce homeless families' right to shelter. In response to the problem of eligible families in New York City whose applications for shelter are denied, Kliff will develop and distribute informational materials about applicants’ rights, offer assistance in obtaining and presenting evidence of homelessness, and represent applicants at conferences and state hearings involving shelter denials and terminations. At NYU Law, she was in the Medical-Legal Advocacy Clinic and the Family Defense Clinic; interned for the Legal Aid Society’s Homeless Rights Project and South Brooklyn Legal Services; and served as a senior advocate for the Suspension Representation Project and as a director and advocate for Research, Education, and Advocacy to Combat Homelessness. Kliff has a B.A. in human biology with a minor in English from Stanford University.
In addition to the four regular EJW Fellows, Jessica Heyman ’12 will be part of EJW’s Public Defender Corps, launched in 2011 in cooperation with the Southern Public Defender Training Center. Heyman, one of 14 applicants selected, will undergo intensive training and mentoring to prepare her for a three-year public defender fellowship in which she is a full employee of the organization, Juvenile Regional Services in New Orleans. She will work as a regular staff attorney to provide holistic team-based advocacy for juvenile clients, going beyond resolution of criminal cases to address the root problems behind clients’ arrests. At NYU Law, Heyman has been a managing editor of the NYU Annual Survey of American Law; has taken the Federal Defender Clinic; clerked for the Southern Center for Human Rights and Orleans Public Defenders; and has interned with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the ACLU Racial Justice Project, and South Brooklyn Legal Services. Before coming to the Law School, she studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of San Andrés in Buenos Aires, worked as an interim project director for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and interned with the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission in Rwanda. Heyman earned a B.A. in international studies and literature with a track in anthropology from Yale University, where she founded the Artemis Project, an initiative for a permanent digital archive of testimonies from post-conflict truth commissions.
Posted on April 30, 2012