The Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program

2021-22 Hays Fellows

Trip Carpenter

Trip Carpenter '22

Trip Carpenter is a third-year law student who is committed to work at the intersection of religion and reproductive justice. He graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2014 where he majored in History and Film Studies. He also graduated with a Master’s degree in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University in 2016. Prior to law school, Trip  worked as a Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Policy Analyst at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. Trip was responsible for conducting policy research, training city procurement staff, and enforcing M/WBE contract rules at NYC Mayoral Agencies. He spent his 1L summer interning at Housing Works and his 2L summer at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. In addition to his role as a Hays Fellow, Trip has been a Student Advocate in the Reproductive Justice Clinic, an Articles Editor on the NYU Law Review, and a summer Research Assistant for Professors Barry Friedman and Erin Murphy.


Johari Menelik Frasier

Johari Menelik Frasier '22 

Johari Menelik Frasier originally hails from Baltimore, Maryland and is passionate about expanding voting rights, radically changing the criminal legal system, and reforming the judiciary. He graduated in 2013 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Humanities and received a certificate from the Two-Year Professional Musical Theatre Workshop at Circle in the Square Theatre School in 2015. Before coming to NYU Law, Johari pursued a career in theatre and joined the Operations Group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP as a legal assistant, where he continues to work. At NYU, he has served as Ending the Prison Industrial Complex’s Access Project director and a member of the Black Allied Law Students Association’s Public Interest Committee, and he has helped organize events such as rallies, phonebanks, and teach-ins regarding the federal and state judiciaries, character and fitness, and police misconduct. As a research assistant to Professor Stephen Schulhofer, he studied the effects of Berghuis v. Thompkins on arrestees’ rights to remain silent and worked as a student defender in the Federal Defender Clinic. He spent his 1L summer at the Center for Popular Democracy in the Voting Rights and Democracy Team helping to ensure people could vote safely in the 2020 election. In 2021 he worked as an intern in the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders. Currently, Johari is a member of the New York City Regional Chapter of the People’s Parity Project and one of the Managing Editors for the New York University Review of Law and Social Change. He also sings as part of the law school’s acapella group, Substantial Performance.


Miranda Katz

Miranda Katz '22

Miranda Katz is a third-year law student and a native of New York City. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in anthropology she worked as a journalist, reporting on civil rights and workers' rights; separately, she became involved in grassroots abortion access work. At NYU, Miranda has deepened these focuses while building advocacy skills. She has served as a student advocate in the Reproductive Justice Clinic; sat on the boards of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice and the Public Interest Law Student Association; and worked as a research assistant for Professors Cynthia Estlund and Jonathan Harris. Miranda spent her 1L summer as a Peggy Browning Fellow with the National Employment Law Project, helping fight for policies to protect and support low-wage workers. During her 2L summer, she served as a summer associate at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP, assisting with litigation on behalf of individuals subject to police misconduct and discrimination. She hopes to use her law degree to support movements for economic justice, reproductive justice, and civil rights.


Shirley LaVarco

Shirley LaVarco '22

Shirley LaVarco (she/her) is a first-generation college graduate, a third year law student, and an aspiring advocate for poor people accused of crimes and those who are incarcerated. Her work is informed by her experiences growing up in New York, in a family impacted by poverty and the criminal legal system. Before law school, Shirley worked as a paralegal with the Innocence Project's strategic litigation team, where she focused on reliability issues with eyewitness identification and confession evidence. She spent her 1L summer with the Legal Aid Society's Criminal Defense Practice in Queens, and her 2L summer with the ACLU's Capital Punishment Project. Shirley has advocated for individuals seeking parole in New York State, both through NYU's Racial Justice Clinic and the Parole Preparation Project. She is an editor for NYU Law Review, a Birnbaum Women's Leadership Network Fellow, and an AnBryce Scholar. Shirley earned her BA from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, with a concentration in mass incarceration and inequality in the United States. She has an affinity for coffee, yoga, and the Craigslist free section.


Mac McMechan

Mac McMechan ‘22

Mac McMechan is originally from Indianapolis, Indiana though they moved around quite a bit before landing in NYC for law school. Mac graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010 with a major in Educational Studies and minors in Latin American Studies and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After graduation, they moved to New Orleans where they taught middle school science before transitioning to hospitality. Over the next decade, Mac worked in various food and beverage establishments in New Orleans, Taos, and Indianapolis. In each city, they encountered coworkers whose lives detrimentally butted up against different parts of the US legal and labor systems. When spinal cord damage that affected their left leg prevented them from continuing in hospitality, Mac came to law school with the goal to become a legal advocate for hourly-wage workers. At NYU Law, they are involved in student advocacy with the Disability Allied Law Students Association and Law Students for Economic Justice. Mac interned at the Transgender Law Center their 1L summer, participated in the Civil Litigation Employment Law clinic as a 2L, and interned as a Peggy Browning Fellow at Levy Ratner for their 2L summer. Volunteering with the Unemployment Action Center and completing research assistant work for Professor Cynthia Estlund led Mac to a fascination with and commitment to the intersection of labor and tax law as a powerful nexus for economic justice. (Mac will be a Fellow from Spring 2022 to Fall 2022.)


Camara Stokes Hudson

Camara Stokes Hudson '22

Camara is interested in children’s rights, racial justice and police abolition. She was born in Brooklyn, NY, raised in Washington, DC, and graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies. After undergrad, Camara worked as an Associate Policy Fellow for Connecticut Voices for Children, where she was a researcher and lobbyist on issues of race equity in education. At NYU, Camara has served as the 20'-21' BALSA Public Interest Chair and Co-Director of the Suspension Representation Project. This year, she is one of the Colloquia Editor on the Review of Law and Social Change. Her 1L Summer Camara was the Helaine M. Barnett Fellow at the Legal Services Corporation and this summer she is working for the Advancement Project and as a research assistant.


Edward Ye

Edward Ye '22

Edward is a second-year law student committed to working at the intersection of immigrants’ rights and international human rights. As a recent immigrant from China, his commitment to immigrants’ rights is formed by his understanding of the local and global impacts of immigration policing and enforcement. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2019 with a degree in law and political science. While at HKU, he worked with organizers from the migrant domestic workers community to demand an end to unjust immigration policies and labor regulations. He went on to work with asylum seekers from South/Southeast Asia to navigate the restrictive asylum system in Hong Kong. Edward spent his 1L summer at Sanctuary for Families, where he provided immigration legal services to survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking. He furthered his work on racial justice and immigrants’ rights through NYU’s Immigrant Defense clinic and an internship at Catholic Charities. During his 2L summer, he worked at TakeRoot Justice, where he advocated for immigrant clients in partnership with community-based organizations. After law school, Edward hopes to continue to provide legal services to immigrant clients while empowering immigrant communities of color.