The Women’s Leadership Fellows Program (WLFP) is a selective co-curricular program that provides training in effective communication, self-awareness and resilience, seeking and receiving feedback, and professional development, among other key leadership skills. Fellows are selected early in their first year at NYU Law and participate that January in the Sara Moss Women’s Leadership Training Program, a week-long leadership development program, named in honor of Sara Moss ’74, a BWLN founding supporter.
Yeabsira Asrat is a 2L from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She graduated from Barnard College in 2019 with a double major in Africana Studies and Political Science. Before starting law school at NYU, she worked as a Legal Assistant at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, supporting attorneys in the firm’s Finance team and at Milbank LLP as an SEO scholar. At NYU, in addition to being a Birnbaum fellow, she is an AnBryce scholar, the Social Work Coordinator for the Suspension Representation Project, the Community Service Co-chair for the Women of Color Collective and the Black Allied Law Students Association. This summer, she was a Summer Law Clerk at Willkie Farr & Gallagher where she will be returning next summer. In her downtime, Yeabsira enjoys cooking, reading, running, catching up on TV and movies, and spending time with her loved ones.
Walla Elshekh (she/her) is from New Jersey and graduated from Seton Hall University in 2018 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics. Before law school, Walla worked at the Center for Court Innovation, supporting community courts’ training and technical assistance across the U.S. and to justice practitioners globally. She also is a trustee of a local nonprofit that provides resources to unify and strengthen Muslim communities throughout the state, including connecting leaders to anti-racism and gender equity training. Walla is a 2021 Sponsors for Equal Opportunity (SEO) fellow who spent her pre-1L summer at Shearman & Sterling LLP and her 1L summer at Morrison Foerster LLP. In addition to being a Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Fellow at NYU Law, Walla participates in the Entrepreneurship Clinic, is a Lawyering Teaching Assistant, and is the Private Professional Development Co-Chair for the Black Allied Law Students Association.
Alijah Futterman grew up in Chicago. She received a BA in Sociology at Stanford University, concentrating in data science, markets, and management and a minor in Spanish. During her time at Stanford, Alijah researched alternatives to carceral punishment and the traditional justice system. Following her research experiences, Alijah began to work within the legal system to advocate with communities who are oppressed by the systemic injustices entrenched in our laws. She interned with the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division—Immigrant and Employee Rights Section through Stanford in Washington, and before her senior year of college, she was a judicial intern for Hon. Jorge L. Alonso in the Northern District of Illinois. After graduating from Stanford, Alijah worked as a legal assistant for Medina Orthwein LLP, a civil rights law firm in Oakland, where she worked on race discrimination class action lawsuits and civil rights lawsuits on behalf of transgender people housed in California prisons. At NYU, Alijah is a Root-Tilden-Kern scholar, a Board Member of EPIC’s Solitary Confinement Project, a Research Assistant to Professor Vincent Southerland, and a member of the Criminal Defense and Reentry Clinic. During her 1L summer, Alijah was a law clerk for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.
Helen Griffiths ’24 is passionate about defending civil liberties. Helen worked at the ACLU of Colorado as a public policy strategist where she drafted bail reform legislation, led the COVID-19 depopulation campaign, supported winning ACLU lawsuits to decriminalize homelessness, and launched the Redemption Campaign to expand clemency. In 2020, Helen coordinated the successful campaign to repeal the death penalty in Colorado. As an intern, Helen worked on health policy, reproductive rights, political ideology, and international affairs in Mozambique, Germany, and Colorado. In college, Helen founded the Democratic Dialogue Project to foster communication across political divides and received multiple awards for her research on immigration policy in France and the US. Helen grew up moving between six countries on four continents before graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Colorado College in 2018 with a BA in political science. At NYU Law, Helen is a Furman Public Policy Scholar, Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Fellow, President of the American Constitution Society, and Chair of the Law Women Advocacy Committee. She spent her 1L summer as a legal intern at The Policing Project and as a Research Assistant for Professors Rachel Barkow and Barry Friedman.
Batya Kemper is a 2L interested in litigation, intellectual property, and privacy law. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in History from Barnard College in 2020, where she wrote her thesis on Soviet cyberpolicy and the role of computer networks in the fall of the Soviet Union. In college, she interned in the IP practice group of a BigLaw firm, in Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s office, and at PEN America. She also spearheaded a cybersecurity for activists initiative and did research in Russia on a fellowship from the Columbia President’s Global Fund. After college, Batya served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Santa Barbara Public Defender, where she managed and tracked data. At NYU, Batya is a member of Law Women’s Partnership & Diversity Committee and a staff editor for JIPEL. Her 1L summer she interned at the Center for Democracy and Technology on their Security and Surveillance team, and her 2L summer she will be at Stroock.
Madison Lahey is a 2L student from a variety of southern states who brings a background in state-level budget and policy to law school. Madison attended the University of Virginia, where she earned a B.A. in history and a Master of Public Policy, and worked for the North Carolina General Assembly as a nonpartisan fiscal analyst for several years before law school. She is interested in employment and labor law, and administrative law more generally, and volunteers as a student advocate with the Unemployment Action Center. Madison loves teaching and will be a TA for Civil Procedure and Constitutional Law as a 2L. When she is not at the law school, you can find Madison exploring the various parks around Brooklyn, attending as many theater productions as possible, and watching women’s soccer.
Sophie Liao is a 2L from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2019 with degrees in Political Philosophy, Policy, & Law (PPL) and East Asian Studies. Before law school, Sophie worked as a management consultant at Deloitte. During her 1L summer, Sophie was a summer associate at Gunderson Dettmer LLP and a research assistant for Professor Helen Hershkoff. At NYU, she is Co-President of the JD/MBA Association and APALSA’s Private Professional Development Co-Chair. She is also a student advocate with the Technology Law and Policy Clinic and a staff editor for the Journal of Law and Business. Outside of school, Sophie enjoys indoor cycling, boxing, and playing fetch with her rescue dog, Oreo.
Tamara Matheson was born in Jamaica and raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida. She attended Swarthmore College graduating in 2018 and majored in Political Science with a minor in Black Studies. Prior to law school Tamara worked at the ACLU of Washington State’s Information and Referral program. During her 1L summer, Tamara interned at The Legal Aid Society and served as an RA for Professor Peggy Cooper Davis. At NYU, Tamara is a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and is a Research Assistant for Professor Davis.
Yasmeen Metellus is from Pembroke Pines, Florida. She is a current 2L at NYU Law. She graduated from Columbia University in May 2020, with distinction. She has a BA in Political Science. During her time at Columbia, she served as the co-founder and president of Columbia University Black Pre-Professional Society, an organization that provides career resources for underrepresented minorities on campus. Prior to law school, Yasmeen worked as a strategy analyst at Accenture and as a civic engagement fellow with Ignite National. At NYU, Yasmeen is a member of Trial Advocacy and the High School Leadership Institute. She also serves as a 1L representative for the Women of Color Collective. In her free time, she enjoys reading and tracking her books on the Goodreads app and exploring new restaurants in New York.
Ana Molina is a 2L student who was born in Mexico to Central American parents and grew up in suburban Dallas. She graduated from Columbia University in 2016 with a double major in Political Science and French. After undergrad, she spent a year as a Princeton in Latin America fellow, working at the Cojolya Collective of Maya Women Weavers in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala where she supported an all-indigenous artisan cooperative. Upon her return to the United States, Ana fundraised for a juvenile justice nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area and at a national immigration-oriented culture change nonprofit. She specialized in program design, project evaluation, and impact measurement. In these roles, Ana saw the disparate impact of the legal system on people of color, impoverished communities, and LGBT individuals, and she went to law school to learn how to be a more effective advocate for herself and others. At NYU Law, Ana is a member of the Latinx Law Students Association and a co-chair of Law Women’s Partnership and Diversity committee. For her 1L summer, Ana was a New York City Bar Diversity Fellow and a legal intern at Bloomberg L.P. She is also a TA for Prof. Benjamin Liebman’s Tort’s class. Outside of school, Ana loves to read magical realism, explore the city’s museums, and spend time with her husband, daughter, and cat.
Jessica Moore is a 2L fellow from McDonough, Georgia. She graduated from Harvard University in May 2021 with degrees in Neuroscience and English Literature. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities, and is the founder of Access LSAT, a non-profit that provides free LSAT tutoring to pre-law students with disabilities. Jessica spent her 1L summer at the New York Attorney General’s Office, assisting attorneys in the bureau of Criminal Appeals and Federal Habeas Corpus. At NYU, in addition to being a BWLN Fellow, Jessica is a Dennis Washington Leadership Graduate Scholar and Herman Biggs Student Scholar, a Staff Editor for the Law Review, a Music Director for the a cappella group Substantial Performance, and a CAP advocate for survivors of intimate partner violence. In her free time, Jessica volunteers as a Manhattan Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the foster care system. For fun, she performs stand-up comedy, dotes on her dog, and writes musicals.
Tushita Saraf was born and raised in Kolkata, India, and is currently a 2L at NYU Law. She graduated from University of California, Berkeley in December 2018, with a BA in Political Science. Prior to law school, she worked as a corporate legal assistant for a boutique law firm in San Francisco, where she provided legal support to emerging companies throughout their lifecycles. At NYU, she is a member of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA), Women of Color Collective (WoCC) and Startup & Social Enterprise Law Group (SESL). Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, reading fiction and puzzling. She spent her 1L summer as a summer associate at BraunHagey & Borden LLP and will be spending her 2L summer at Gunderson Dettmer in New York.
Rochelle Ballantyne is a 3L and a native of Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Stanford University in 2017 with degrees in African and African-American Studies and Political Science. Following two years in the corporate sector working as a paralegal, Rochelle returned to graduate school to get her Masters in Education Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University. During her time there, her research focused on the ways bias informs punishment in schools and specifically the ways these disciplinary practices push Black girls out of schools and into prisons. During her 1L and 2L summer Rochelle was a summer associate at Sidley Austin LLP. At NYU Law, in addition to being a Fellow, Rochelle is an AnBryce Scholar, a Hays Fellow, and a member of Black Allied Law Students Association, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex, Women of Color Collective, and the Suspension Representation Project. Outside of school, Rochelle enjoys reading, kickboxing, scouring all the streaming services for new shows and movies, and traveling.
Carol Chen is from New York City and a current 3L/MBA1 at NYU Law/NYU Stern, as a JD/MBA candidate. She graduated from the University of Michigan in December 2019, with distinction. She has a BA in Political Science and Communications & Media Studies. During her time at Michigan, she was a research assistant for the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, where she helped track down documents and information on civil rights cases being litigated across the U.S. She also interned at a law firm in New York as an undergrad. During her 1L summer, Carol was a summer associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and a research assistant for Professor Rachel Barkow. During her 2L summer, she was a summer associate at Skadden, Arps. At NYU, in addition to being a BWLN Fellow, Carol is an AnBryce Scholar, a Staff Editor for the Review of Law and Social Change, and was Private Professional Development Co-Chair for the Women of Color Collective (WoCC) and the Publicity Co-Chair for APALSA.
Meg Chu (she/her) is a JD/MPA candidate at NYU Law and NYU Wagner. After graduating summa cum laude from Northeastern University with a BA in English, she moved back home to New York to pursue a career in public service. Before law school, Meg completed a two-year fellowship at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Division of Appeals and Opinions, where she supported attorneys with matters related to immigration, health care, and environmental regulation. During her 1L summer, she interned with the Legal Counsel Division of the New York City Law Department and researched various areas of municipal law to inform legislation and rulemaking. Most recently, she spent her 2L summer as a summer associate at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. In addition to being a BWLN Fellow, Meg is a Furman Public Policy Scholar, a Law Review Executive Editor, and formerly served as APALSA’s Korematsu Chair. Outside of school, she also serves as a student member of the New York City Bar Association’s NYC Affairs Committee. Meg is currently studying public administration at NYU Wagner, where she focuses her studies on urban policy and government.
Eliza Hopkins, Class of 2023, is from Buffalo, NY. In 2017, she graduated cum laude from Yale with a BA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and her senior thesis analyzed how gendered, xenophobic depictions of British Muslim women negatively impact the efficacy of the UK’s domestic counterterrorism efforts. Prior to law school, Eliza worked as a domestic violence and rape crisis counselor in Boston, MA, and volunteered for a midwifery advocacy group. At NYU, Eliza is a Staff Editor for the Law Review, Co-Chair of Law Women’s Wholeness Committee, Community Development & Events Co-Chair of If/When/How, and a Teaching Assistant for the Lawyering Program. She spent her 1L summer interning at the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Texas, defending indigent clients on matters ranging from fraud to illegal re-entry. In her free time, Eliza loves hiking, reading novels, and getting lost in Prospect Park.
Keiana was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and graduated Cum Laude from Amherst College in 2016 with a B.A. in Political Science, French, and International Relations. After 1L, Keiana worked at Legal Aid Society in the Criminal Appeals Bureau supporting indigent clients through the criminal appellate process. She completed an internship at Bronx Defenders this past summer in their immigration practice, which followed her participation in the full-year Immigrant Rights Clinic during 2L. At NYU Law she is a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, part of the Coalition on Law and Representation Leadership Collective (CoLR), and a member of BALSA, the Rose Sheinberg Committee, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex (EPIC), and Women of Color Collective. She will finish her 3L year as a Pro Bono Scholar working at Brooklyn Defender Services in their immigration practice. Keiana hopes to continue working at the intersections of criminal law and immigration upon graduating.
Mari LeGagnoux is a 3L from Santa Monica, CA, and graduated from Brown University in 2016 with a BA in English. Prior to law school, she reported on animal welfare litigation and legislation for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She spent her 1L summer as a judicial extern for the Honorable William S. Dato of the California Court of Appeal and her 2L summer as an associate at O'Melveny & Myers in Century City, California. This year, in addition to being a Fellow, Mari is a judicial extern for the Southern District of New York and an Articles Editor on the NYU Law Review. At NYU, she has also served as a teaching assistant for 1L Torts, research assistant for Professor Catherine Sharkey, and vice president of West Coast Connection.
Arielle Lipan is a third-year JD candidate at NYU Law originally from Scottsdale, AZ. She received her undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science and her master's degree in Applied Economics from the University of Alabama. Prior to law school she led the fundraising operation on state and federal level campaigns across the country. Now she is pursuing a legal career in international public interest, focusing on human rights. She is currently a 1L representative in the NYU Law Student Bar Association, on the board of the NYU Law Democrats, and a researcher for the 2021 ICC Moot Court team. In her downtime, Arielle enjoys knitting, catching up on TV and movies, and planning her next trip.
Yulanda Lui is from Toronto, Ontario, and graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2017 as a Loran Scholar with a BA in Gender, Race, Sexuality & Social Justice and a minor in Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies. Prior to law school, Yulanda co-founded Yarrow Intergenerational Society for Justice, a non-profit organization which combines service provision and community organizing to address racism, gentrification, and the systemic marginalization of low income Chinese elders. At NYU Law, Yulanda is a Root-Tilden-Kern scholar and an Articles Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics. She also served as a Chapter Co-Director of the NYU International Refugee Assistance Project and a 2L Leadership Co-Chair of the Women of Color Collective. Most recently, she spent her 2L summer as a Movement Lawyering Intern at the Community Justice Project in Miami, Florida. Yulanda is a strong believer that relationships are at the core of social change and she plans to use her JD to support the power of communities to determine the future of their neighborhoods.
Jencey Paz (she/ella) grew up in the D.M.V. metropolitan area and graduated from Yale with a B.S. in Psychology with a concentration in neuroscience. Prior to law school, she worked at Ayuda, an immigration legal non-profit providing legal support to migrants seeking humanitarian relief. She spent her 1L summer at Community Resource Initiative, researching the impact of the Salvadoran Civil War on local and national multigenerational trauma for the mitigation defense of a high profile capital case. More recently, she interned at at the Immigrant Defense Project, working on research and litigation at the intersection of criminal and immigration law. At NYU, she is a member of the Coalition on Law & Representation (CoLR)’s leadership collective and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), a Staff Development Editor for The Review of Law and Social Change (RLSC), a student advocate in the Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic, and a Teaching Assistant. She formerly served as the Executive Co-Chair of the Women of Color Collective (WoCC), Academic Chair of Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA), and a staff editor for the Review of Law and Social Change.
Zaynab (she/her) is a third-year student at NYU Law. Originally from Somalia, she immigrated to Georgia at a young age and spent majority of her life in metro-Atlanta. In December 2019, Zaynab graduated from Emory University with a BA in History with a concentration in law, economics, and human rights and Arabic. While at Emory, her interest in working in advocacy/organizing spaces with impacted communities, particularly with low-income communities of color, was further solidified through her experience serving as community outreach assistant for the City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and her internships with Congressman Hank Johnson’s district office and Congressman John Lewis’s Washington, D.C. office. At NYU Law, Zaynab is also a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and serves as Co-Chair for the Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA), Diversity and Inclusion Chair for the Public Interest Law Students Association (PILSA), and is a student advocate with the Immigrant Rights Clinic. Zaynab spent her 1L summer interning at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU. Outside of school, Zaynab enjoys cooking, running, and rewatching Flavor of Love.
Amara Macks Wilson
Amara Macks Wilson is a 3L from San Francisco, CA. She graduated from Colgate University in 2014 with a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies. Prior to law school, she worked several years for Galvanize, a tech-ed startup in Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco, before serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. As a volunteer, her work focused on community-based youth development and capacity building. She also served as the Vice Chairwoman of the Gender and Development Committee. Following the Peace Corps, Amara worked as a legal assistant for a family law firm specializing in representing contemporary and non-traditional families in the Bay Area. At NYU, she is a staff editor on the New York University Law Review and a Judge John J. Galgay Fellow in Bankruptcy and Restructuring Law. She is also the alumni co-chair of BALSA and a member of WoCC. Amara spent her 1L summer as a judicial intern for the Honorable David S. Jones of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. In her downtime, she enjoys analog photography, running, and watching Bay Area sports.
Katie Zavadski is a 3L from Brooklyn, NY. Prior to law school, she spent seven years as a journalist, most recently as the research editor at the investigative news outlet ProPublica and an adjunct professor at the CUNY Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. At NYU, Katie is a staff editor on the New York University Law Review and a student fellow with the Program on Corporate Compliance and Enforcement. She’s also a teaching assistant for Professor Erin Murphy, a research assistant for Professor Katrina Wyman and the Center on Civil Justice, and on the boards of OUTLaw, Law Women, and the Jewish Law Students Association. Katie spent her 1L summer as an intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She holds an AB in Comparative Religion from Harvard and an MA in Religious Studies from NYU, and is a co-director of the Princeton Summer Journalism Program.
Class of 2021
Grier Barnes ’21
Grier is from Washington, DC. After she graduated from Yale in 2014 with a BA in Global Affairs, Grier worked as a litigation paralegal at Shearman & Sterling in New York. She then spent three years developing the global financial compliance program at Stripe, a payments company headquartered in San Francisco. For her 1L summer, Grier worked at the Fraud Section in the Department of Justice; she then spent part of her 2L fall as a clinic extern at the NY Attorney General’s Investor Protection Bureau. Grier was a member of the Sullivan & Cromwell summer associate class of 2020 that was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis. At NYU, Grier is a staff editor on Law Review and a Mitchell Jacobson JD Scholar. In her free time, Grier enjoys running, gardening, and cooking for others.
Cassi Carley ’21
After finishing her PhD in Computer Science at Duke, Cassi decided to attend law school in order to pursue a career in algorithmic justice—working to make technology positive, especially for marginalized groups. Her Ph.D. focused on computer vision and AI, and her thesis included an application for detecting cell phone interaction to protect sensitive user data captured in surveillance settings. Additionally, Cassi has explored the ethics of emerging technology as a fellow at the Duke Center on Law & Technology; founder of Ethical Tech; and member of the Duke Moral AI research group, on behalf of which she led a presentation at We Robot 2018 on the group’s work on algorithms and kidney exchange policies. At NYU, Cassi is a co-founder and President of Rights over Tech, a new student group, as well as a part of the Cyber Scholars program; Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law; and Privacy Research Group. Cassi spent this past summer before her 2L year as a Privacy, Data, and Security fellow at Perkins Coie in Seattle, including a two-week externship with Intel in the Bay Area.
Alli DeJong ’21
Allison is a member of the class of 2021 at NYU Law and is originally from Seattle, WA. Before law school, Alli worked on the Advancement Team at Thunder Valley Community Development Organization on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. She supported the organization’s cultural development and anti-poverty initiatives through fundraising, data analysis and programmatic development. Alli received her BA in Political Science from Carleton College in 2015. As a Global Engagement Initiative Senior Research Fellow at Carleton, Alli conducted research on the relationship between tribal sovereignty and federal sexual assault law. She was also co-chair of Carleton’s Amnesty International chapter.
Amanda Gonzalez Burton ’21
Amanda is from Union City, NJ. Prior to law school, Amanda founded an online business while earning her MBA at Rutgers Business School and worked as an independent consultant for several years. Her interests in the challenges at the intersection of law and business, especially for emerging companies, brought her to law school. Amanda spent her 2L summer at Cooley LLP where she will return as a full-time associate in the corporate group following graduation. She graduated with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Florida State University. At NYU Law, Amanda is a member of the Business Transactions Clinic and a Senior Staff Editor on the Journal for Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. She has served on the Executive Board of Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA). Amanda is a 2018 SEO Law Fellow and alumna of Teach For America-Baltimore. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys running, listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, and spending time with her two rambunctious sons.
Frances McDonald ’21
Frances is from Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 as a Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies and a Philosophy double major. At UChicago, she was on the board of multiple clubs on campus and was the captain of the volleyball team. Her internship experience and interests include wrongful conviction work, criminal justice policy reform, and sports law. She worked for the Chicago Innocence Center and the Invisible Institute, undertaking wrongful conviction work and police misconduct research. She was also a policy intern at the Illinois Justice Project, where she led a research team and developed a white paper with policy recommendations about permanent supportive housing for people leaving the Illinois Department of Corrections. During her 1L summer she interned at the National Football League in the Corporate Legal Department. At NYU, Frances has been on the executive board of both BALSA and the Sports Law Association. She has also served as a case manager for the Washington Square Legal Services Bail Fund and as a Staff Editor for the Review of Law and Social Change.
Nora Niazian ’21
Nora grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Princeton University in 2017 with an A.B. in Politics. Before law school, she worked as a tax policy fellow at the Center for Economic Progress in Chicago. In summer 2019, she served as a research assistant to Ambassador Hussein Hassouna at the UN International Law Commission in Geneva. Most recently, she was a summer associate at Debevoise & Plimpton working in the firm’s litigation practice. At NYU, Nora is a Senior Articles Editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics and has held board positions with OUTLaw, MELSA, and First-Generation Professionals. She was a member of the EU Public Interest Clinic in Paris during spring 2020 and is enrolled in the fall 2020 UN Diplomacy Clinic as a student advisor to the Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN.
Zoe Ridolfi-Starr ’21
Zoe is from San Jose, CA, and earned her bachelor’s degree at Columbia University. Her work focuses on sexuality, gender, family, and the law. She currently serves as Policy Chair of the Sex Education Alliance of NYC, where she leads statewide legislative advocacy for comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive sex education, and is also a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee. During her 1L summer, Zoe was a legal intern at the New York Civil Liberties Union. Prior to law school, she led legislative advocacy efforts across a number of progressive issues, including LGBTQ youth homelessness, juvenile justice, gender violence, abortion access, and decriminalizing sex work. She regularly speaks and writes on these topics; her writing has been published in outlets including the Yale Law Journal and the New York Daily News.
Emily Sun ’21
Emily is passionate about gender justice and using the law to support survivors of gender-based violence. During her time at law school, she has interned at Her Justice, Safe Horizon’s Domestic Violence Law Project, Legal Aid, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Special Victims Bureau. Prior to NYU Law, she interned at Womankind, a domestic violence shelter and services organization serving the needs of New York City’s Asian women. She also worked as a management consultant. At NYU, she has been a student advocate in the Reproductive Justice Clinic and is active in the Domestic Violence Advocacy Project and the Anti-Trafficking Advocacy Coalition. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American Studies. She is fluent in Mandarin.
Serena Warner ’21
Serena Warner ’21 is interested in the intersection of sports, intellectual property, and business law. She graduated with a B.S. in Advertising and a minor in Political Science from the University of Oregon. Prior to law school, she spent two years overseas as a professional volleyball player in both Finland and the Philippines. In her 2L year, she was a clinic legal intern for the Brennan Center for Justice and a legal extern for the Brooklyn Nets. Currently, Serena serves as Managing Editor for the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy. Serena spent her 1L and 2L summers at Proskauer Rose, where she participated in their Silver Scholar program.
Stephanie Wuenscher ’21
Stephanie is interested in criminal justice reform and legal journalism. She interned with the Homicide Bureau at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in the spring of 2020 and continued working there as a Sudler Family Fellow during her 2L summer. She will be joining the Brooklyn DA’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney following graduation. During her 1L summer, she interned at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, supporting agency attorneys in investigating and prosecuting cases of discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In the years before law school, she was a case manager at a non-profit for individuals with developmental disabilities. Stephanie graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2013 as an Honors Scholar with degrees in English and Human Rights. Outside of school, she enjoys walking her dog, vintage shopping, and consuming novels, TV shows, and pasta.
Class of 2022
Samar Amidi ’22
Samar is from San Rafael, CA, and graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in Philosophy and Peace & Conflict Studies in 2018. She wrote her senior thesis on barriers to accessing mental health care at UC Berkeley, and is passionate about the destigmatization of the pursuit of mental health care. Prior to law school, she served as a fellow in the AmeriCorps JusticeCorps program, assisting self-represented litigants in the San Francisco Superior Court. During her 1L summer, Samar interned at the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, CA, and she spent her 2L summer at Covington & Burling's San Francisco, CA office, to which she looks forward to returning as an associate after graduation. At NYU Law, Samar is involved with the Middle Eastern Law Students Association and the Women of Color Collective, and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Board. This Fall she is also participating in the Federal Judicial Practice Clinic, in which she will be externing for the Hon. Judge Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In her free time, Samar enjoys watching movies, hiking, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Mari Dugas ’22
Mari Dugas is a JD graduate at NYU School of Law. She graduated with a BA from Wellesley College in Political Science and Russian Area Studies and has worked at Cooley LLP during her 1L and 2L summers with the firm’s cyber/data/privacy practice group. Prior to law school, Mari worked at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, where she served as the Project Coordinator for the Center’s Cybersecurity Project and the Defending Digital Democracy Project. She supported the Projects’ work in enhancing cybersecurity and incident response preparedness of election security officials through interactive training simulations. At NYU Law, Mari served as the Co-President of the National Security Law Society, and Professional Development Co-chair of LaLSA. She was also a Reiss Center Student Scholar and is a Student Staff Editor with Just Security. Mari was selected to participate in the Legislative and Regulatory Policy Clinic in Washington D.C., and will extern in the federal government.
Jemie Fofanah ’22
Jemie Fofanah graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Temple University with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Economics. On campus, she participated in competitive debate and served as her university team president for her last two years. After graduation, Jemie worked as a reader and research assistant to Judge David S. Tatel on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, a U.S. Senate staffer, a volunteer for the Rikers Debate Project, and an SEO Law Fellow. At NYU Law, she is active in Women of Color Collective (WoCC), Black Allied Law Students Association (BALSA), and Review of Law and Social Change. She is also an inaugural Robert A. Katzmann Scholar. During her 1L summer, Jemie worked as a law intern at the Office of the Appellate Defender and as a research assistant to Professor Rachel Barkow. She spent her 2L summer as a summer associate at Covington & Burling’s Washington DC office. In her free time, Jemie likes to watch HBO miniseries, try out new recipes, and is a junior cheerleading coach for the Soul Deevas.
Heather Globerman ’22
Heather is a member of the class of 2022 at NYU Law and is originally from Moultrie, GA. She received a BA in Political Science, a BA in International Affairs, and a BA in Arabic from the University of Georgia in 2019. While at the University of Georgia, Heather conducted undergraduate research with the University of Georgia Congress Project and the Sub-National Analysis of Repression project under the direction of Professors Anthony Madonna and K. Chad Clay respectively. In addition to her research work with the UGA Congress Project, she also co-authored a bill history on the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) that will be made publically available with the project. She also was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Sigma Pi, and the Vice President of the Undergraduate Moot Court Team, where she researched and co-wrote approximately four appellate level arguments for use in competition. Additionally, she attended the Center for Language and Culture (CLC) in Marrakesh, Morocco, and completed some course work for her degree in Arabic there. During her 1L summer, she worked in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Defender Program in Atlanta. She spent her 2L summer interning with the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. She is a member of Moot Court Board, and in her free time, she likes playing guitar and SCUBA diving.
Nina Haug ’22
Nina Haug is a member of the NYU Law class of 2022 and is originally from the New Orleans area. She was a Eugene McDermott Scholar at the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating magna cum laude in 2016 with a B.S. in International Political Economy. Prior to law school, Nina studied African history at UC-Berkeley, where her research focused on role of newly independent nations in the human rights movement. This summer, Nina will be an International Law and Human Rights Fellow through NYU Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. In her spare time, she enjoys baking excessive amounts of cookies and crocheting.
Stephanie Kerr ’22
Stephanie Kerr (she/her/hers) is a recent NYU Law graduate and native of Tampa, FL. She graduated from Tufts University in 2014 with a degree in Psychology and Community Health. Before beginning law school, Stephanie completed two years of AmeriCorps service working with students in Watts and South Central Los Angeles. She then served as a Program Manager for City Year where she led a team of AmeriCorps Members and managed the implementation of the Whole School, Whole Child service model. Stephanie is passionate about abolition, civil rights, education, and racial justice. Her legal experience includes The Bail Project, The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice, and civil rights firm Hadsell Stormer Rennick & Dai. Beyond her involvement with the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network, Stephanie is also the Diversity & Membership Editor for the NYU Law Review, a fellow for the Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law, and a dedicated member of the Coalition on Law & Representation, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex, and the Suspension Representation Project.
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. She will participate in the Criminal Appellate Defender Clinic in her 3L year. 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 Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow, an AnBryce Scholar, and an editor for the NYU Law Review. 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.
Julia Leff ’22
Julia is from Baltimore, MD, and graduated from Columbia University with a degree in Political Science and Sociology. Prior to law school, she worked as a litigation paralegal at Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Julia was a recipient of the Sudler Family Fellowship and worked at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office during her 1L summer. More recently, she was a summer associate at Davis, Polk & Wardwell. At NYU, she is an active member of Moot Court Board’s Competitions Team and was awarded Best Oral Advocate in the Fall round of NYU's Marden Moot Court Competition and in a national moot court competition hosted by Howard University School of Law. In her free time, Julia enjoys watching dance performances and visiting museums around New York.
Lauren Marrero ’22
Lauren is an NYU Law graduate who grew up in northern New Jersey. She earned a BA in English with Distinction from the University of Virginia in 2015. Before law school, Lauren worked at Bloomberg in Washington, DC. At NYU, Lauren is involved in the Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA), Law Women, and the Women of Color Collective. She was the 2020-2021 LaLSA Academic Chair and a staff editor on the Law Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. She spent last summer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where she will be returning after graduation. She spent her 1L summer at McDermott Will & Emery. In whatever spare time she can find, Lauren enjoys reading Jane Austen novels and listening to true crime podcasts.
Iris Ryu ’22
Iris is originally from Changwon, South Korea, and graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to law school, she worked at the Multiscale Biosystem & Multifunctional Nanomaterials Lab and interned at Toyota. She also wrote the thesis on cause and effect of interstate cyber warfare in the 21st century from US perspectives as a member of Vertically Integrated Project. At NYU, she was Networking & Development co-chair of IPELS and is Diversity & Inclusion Editor of JIPEL. During 1L summer, she worked as a research assistant, mainly researching Civil Procedure topics. Iris spent her 2L summer at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Iris is interested in litigation and IP, especially on patents.
Esther Taati ’22
Esther Taati is an NYU Law graduate from Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending law school, she worked as a Transitional Employment Coach at Project Return in Nashville, TN, assisting formerly incarcerated clients' transition to the outside world through job coaching, housing assistance, and personal finance management. Over her 1L summer, Esther interned at Housing Works as a Direct Services Intern. While there, she assisted with a wide range of legal processes such as name changes, housing discrimination suits, and benefits cases for clients living with HIV. At NYU Law, Esther is a member of the Black Allied Law Students Association and the Women of Color Collective. She is a big supporter of public libraries, and enjoys reading romance and mystery in her spare time.
Hadiya Williams ’22
Hadiya is from both the Boston Area and Des Moines, Iowa. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst earning a dual-degree in Psychology-Neuroscience (BS) and Anthropology (BA) alongside a Certificate in Culture, Health, & Science. Upon graduation, Hadiya was named a 21st Century Leader by the University of Massachusetts. The following year, she returned to Amherst to earn her Masters in Public Policy, where she focused on her passion for women's health policy and health equity. At NYU Law, Hadiya was the Co-Chair of BALSA, the PILSA Diversity & Outreach Co-Chair, and a member of the Civil Rights Clinic. She is currently an Executive Editor on the Law Review, a member of the CoLR Leadership Collective, a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, a Center for Diversity Inclusion and Belonging Student Fellow, and a Pro Bono Scholar. During her 1L summer, Hadiya was a Public Policy Litigation & Law intern at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and a Research Assistant for Professor Hershkoff. Hadiya spent her 2L Summer as a Summer Associate at Sidley Austin LLP. She is interested in litigation and advocating for health justice in communities of color.
Jin Yeo ’22
Jin is originally from South Korea, and grew up in the U.K. and the Netherlands. She graduated summa cum laude from Ewha Womans University, double majoring in American Studies and International Studies, with a concentration in International Law & Diplomacy and East Asian Studies. Prior to law school, Jin worked at GE Korea where she assisted in negotiating intellectual property license and co-development agreements. She was a summer associate at the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications team at Bae, Kim & Lee, and a legal intern at New York Legal Assistance Group. At NYU, she is a Staff Editor for the Journal of Law & Business and served on the board of Asia Law Society.