Oscar Londoño ’17 and Oluwadamilola (Dami) Obaro ’17 have been selected as 2017 Skadden Fellows. The prestigious two-year fellowship, established by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 1988, provides salary, fringe benefits, and tuition-debt assistance to 30 awardees nationwide while they pursue personally designed projects at public interest organizations of their choice.
Londoño is a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and special projects editor of the NYU Review of Law and Social Change. He will use his fellowship to work at the Community Justice Project and the Miami Workers Center (MWC) to create a community legal clinic for low-wage domestic workers. The clinic will support the organizing efforts of MWC and the National Domestic Workers Alliance in South Florida, a community with more than 95,000 domestic workers, by providing these workers with access to wage theft defense, community education, and strategic litigation and policy support on campaigns to pass a domestic workers’ bill of rights.
“The movement for domestic workers’ rights is critical because it implicates important questions at the center of workers’ rights, women’s rights, and immigrants’ rights,” Londoño asserts. “On a more personal level, I was inspired to do this project because of my own connection to the community as a native Miamian and as someone who comes from an immigrant family and who has family members and family friends who have worked as nannies, caretakers, and housecleaners.”
Obaro, a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and articles editor of the New York University Law Review, will work through her fellowship in New York City at the Community Development Project, part of the Urban Justice Center (UJC). Obaro’s project, inspired by her experience interning with UJC during her 1L summer, will provide representation and advocacy for low-income New Yorkers facing unlawful debt collection lawsuits by plaintiffs seeking rental arrears years after eviction.
“Housing attorneys are only normally funded to do anti-eviction work, but these suits are coming long after someone has already been evicted,” Obaro says. “And consumer attorneys don’t typically learn housing law. So, basically, the project is to fill a gap where people are not getting the legal help that they need.”
In addition to her experience at UJC, Obaro has worked at the Justice and Diversity Center’s Homeless Advocacy Project in San Francisco as well as the San Francisco Tenants Union. “People often don’t realize that just having stable housing is the fulcrum for everything in your life,” she states. “If your housing is messed with, it can ruin your education, your health, your job security. It’s just such an important foundation.”
Posted February 3, 2017