The Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship within the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network supports one rising 2L or 3L student spending their summer focused on promoting or improving women’s rights. The Gillette Fellowship was established in honor of the late Abby Lyn Gillette, former assistant dean of academic affairs at NYU School of Law from 2000 to 2008 and an independent consultant for the Dean’s Office for several years thereafter. During her time at NYU, she was responsible for introducing much of the technology that is central to the student experience at NYU Law. A loving wife, mother, and grandmother, Abby passed away on March 31, 2017, after a brief battle with leukemia. The Gillette Fellowship was established by Abby’s husband, Professor Clayton Gillette, and their son Alex, in honor of her commitment to advancing women’s leadership in the legal profession.
The 2022 recipient is Hannah Warntjes ’23.
2022 Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship Recipient: Hannah Warntjes ’23
Hannah Warntjes (she/her/hers) ’23 is spending her 2L summer on the Federal Policy and Advocacy Team at the Center for Reproductive Rights. As an intern, she will support the Federal Team’s legislative and administrative advocacy efforts to create and advance progressive public policies that will strengthen reproductive rights and access for people with the capacity for pregnancy. Originally from Dripping Springs, Texas, she is passionate about dismantling the systems of power and oppression that normalize gender-based violence and threaten bodily autonomy. She hopes to spend her legal career working to ensure everyone has the ability and resources to make informed decisions about their bodies, sexuality, and reproduction. She spent her 1L summer at the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, where she fought for women’s civil rights and civil liberties through impact litigation and legal advocacy work. At NYU Law, Hannah is an Online Editor for the NYU Law Review and a member of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice. She also served as a Legal Advocate for Sanctuary for Families’ Uncontested Divorce Project, where she represented a domestic violence survivor in her uncontested divorce proceeding. Hannah previously attended Berkeley Law in California, where she was a researcher for the Reproductive Justice Project, a research assistant for the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice, and an Associate Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice. She holds a degree from Harvard University in Government, where she graduated cum laude, and manages 80 acres of family farmland in Iowa. In her free time, Hannah loves to ski, cook for friends and family, and explore Brooklyn with her dog, Ritz, and partner, Alex.
2021 Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship Recipient: Emily Chang ’22
Emily Chang ’22 is spending her 2L summer at the National Domestic Workers Alliance. She will support their work to improve conditions for domestic workers, including efforts to move the National Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights forward. Originally from Queens, New York, she is dedicated to promoting the rights and welfare of women of color and immigrant communities. Before coming to law school, she worked with Chinese women on visa issues through Sanctuary for Families’ Anti-Trafficking Initiative and spent a summer interning with Women for Afghan Women’s Community Center in her Queens neighborhood. She spent her 1L summer at Safe Horizon’s Domestic Violence Law Project, where she provided direct services and assisted with the representation of survivors of intimate partner violence in Family Court and Integrated Domestic Violence Court. At NYU Law, Emily serves on the Coalition on Law and Representation’s Leadership Collective. In her 2L year, she is one of the co-chairs of the Public Interest Law Student Association, an ALSA representative on the Inclusion and Diversity Committee, and a student advocate in the Civil Rights Clinic. She holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College in Growth and Structure of Cities, where she graduated magna cum laude.
2020 Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship Recipient: Rachel Riegelhaupt ’21
Rachel Riegelhaupt ’21 is spending her 2L summer at Sanctuary For Families Immigration Intervention Project, where she represents undocumented women seeking to escape and overcome gender-based violence by helping them secure and maintain lawful immigration status in the US. Originally from NYC, Rachel has a longstanding commitment to both refugee rights and the prevention of gender-based violence. She holds a BA from Johns Hopkins University, where she double-majored in International Studies and Sociology with a concentration in Global Social Change and Development, and an MA from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, where she focused much of her research on the prevention of conflict-related sexual violence. Before law school, she worked with the UN Refugee and Migrant Response Team in Greece’s Education in Emergencies team, and then advocated on behalf of rural Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank through a 2017-18 Dorot Fellowship. While at NYU Law, she has represented gender-based violence survivors in Family Court and through the Title IX system through the Sanctuary for Families Courtroom Advocates Project and Campus Advocates Project, and has assisted migrants and asylum-seekers with their immigration related casework through the New Sanctuary Coalition’s weekly asylum clinic. During her 1L summer, she facilitated civil society and NGO participation at the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women’s 73rd Committee Review through an International Law and Human Rights Fellowship with the International Women’s Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific. She is the current President of NYU Law’s Immigrant Rights Project and the Events Chair of the NYU International Law Society.
2019 Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship Recipient: Sami Sexton ’20
Sami Sexton ’20, a 3L at NYU Law, is originally from Fort Smith, AR. Before law school, she attended Hendrix College in Conway, AR, where she graduated with honors in Politics in 2017. In college, Sami was actively involved in student groups and the local community, holding leadership positions on the mock trial team and completing internships at Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, the Arkansas State Legislature, and political campaigns. At NYU Law, Sami discovered her passion for direct legal services by participating in the Unemployment Action Center. She spent her 1L summer working in the Family Law Unit of Staten Island Legal Services, where she worked with victims of domestic violence who had pending cases in Family Court. During her 2L year, she represented a client in the Uncontested Divorce Project and worked in the Racial Equity Strategies Clinic. She also held board positions in the American Constitution Society, RISE Indivisible, and the High School Law Institute, and she was a staff editor on NYU Law’s Moot Court Board. In her 3L year, Sami will represent NYU Law in the New York City Bar National Moot Court Competition. During her 2L summer at the New York Legal Assistance Group, Sami built on her 1L summer experience and assisted with representation of domestic violence victims in Family Court.
2018 Abby Lyn Gillette Fellowship Recipient: Astrid Reyes ’19
Astrid Reyes ’19 is originally from Washington, DC. Before law school, she served as a paralegal with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program, where she worked on matters such as the school-to-prison pipeline’s disparate impact on girls of color, and as a legal assistant for the ACLU’s Human Rights Program. She also interned at NYC-based women’s rights organizations, MADRE and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. As a college student, Astrid double majored in international studies and women’s, gender, and sexualities studies, concentrating on addressing women’s rights violations by utilizing the universal human rights framework. A first-generation Salvadoran-American, Astrid has worked with Latinx communities in Washington, DC, Atlanta, and New York City as a middle school and ELL tutor, community health educator, and reproductive rights and immigration reform advocate. She spent her 1L summer at the Center for Justice and International Law in San Jose, Costa Rica, where she worked on cases concerning women’s human rights violations in Mexico and Mesoamerica. As a 2L, Astrid was part of the Reproductive Justice Clinic, and served on the boards of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, OUTLaw, and the Identity Documents Project, and was a staff editor with NYU Law’s Review of Law and Social Change. She was at the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Global Legal Program during her 2L summer, where she focused on reproductive and women’s human rights issues, including obstetric violence, forced sterilization, discrimination in access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, sexual violence, and abortion criminalization, affecting indigenous and marginalized women and girls in Latin America. Astrid was a Questbridge Scholar at Emory University and graduated with honors in 2013, and was a Latinx Rights Scholar at NYU Law.