Public Interest Law Center

Current Scholars

Class of 2020

A native of the Florida panhandle impacted by the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Mae Bowen ‘20 found politics via environmental tragedy. Her time as a field organizer for the Obama campaign launched an early career in policy communications that took her from the EPA to the White House. Not content with being just the messenger, Mae transitioned to law after serving twice as an observer delegate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations. Now interested in the intersections of environmental law and international diplomacy, Mae spent her 1L summer in Geneva, Switzerland at the United Nations International Law Commission working on its Protection of the Atmosphere project. As a 2L she refocused on domestic environmental litigation, with clinical work on urban water pollution at the Natural Resources Defense Council and a summer working on civil enforcement actions, primarily under the Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund), and the Oil Pollution Act, at the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division. As a 3L, Mae will extern at the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, splitting her time between the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and the Bureau of United Nations Affairs. She is proud to serve as the Community Education & Accessibility Coordinator for the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, a member of the NYU Law Sustainability Committee, and former Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Society. Mae graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University in 2016 with a B.A. in Environmental Sciences and Political Science.

 

Abdul Dosunmu ’20 is deeply committed to working to improve our nation’s opportunity landscape through social and place-based policy. Prior to law school, Abdul was an appointee of President Barack Obama to the U.S. Department of Transportation, where he served as a Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and as an Advisor to the Department’s Chief of Staff, helping to advance Secretary Foxx’s work to promote safety, innovation, and equity in transportation. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Abdul served as a Senior Associate at Precision Strategies, a political strategy firm founded by three pioneers of the Obama presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, where he worked to develop strategic communications for political campaigns, advocacy organizations, foundations and civic tech startups. Additionally, Abdul has worked in various capacities at the White House, President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the University of Chicago, and the Office of the Mayor and City Council in Dallas, Texas. At NYU Law, Abdul serves as a staff editor for the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, and spent his 1L summer interning at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, D.C. Abdul graduated from the University of Chicago in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science, and is a proud native of Dallas, Texas.

Catherine Larsen '20 got her start in Nebraska politics in 2012, when she served as a legislative page in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. During and after college, Catherine continued her Nebraska political work in several capacities, including as an aide to a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature and as a campaign manager and operative on numerous state, legislative, and local races in Nebraska. She spent her 1L summer working on campaign finance and government ethics issues at the Brennan Center for Justice, in addition to serving as a Research Assistant to Professor Helen Hershkoff. Catherine is a 2014 High Distinction graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a B.A. in English and Political Science.

 

 
 

Zoe Palenik ‘20 is interested in environmental law and policy, with a focus on the administrative issues surrounding the passage of environmental regulations. During college, she was introduced to environmental work when she served as a research assistant and lab manager in a paleoecology lab, analyzing historic environmental impacts through archaeological pollen analysis, and she got her start in environmental law as an intern with the University of Chicago Law School’s Environmental Law Clinic. At NYU, she currently serves as a student fellow with the Guarini Center on Environmental, Energy, and Land Use Law and as a research assistant with the Institute for Policy Integrity, where she also spent her 1L summer. Zoe graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago in 2016 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a minor in Statistics.

 

Michael Pizzi '20 focuses on international law and emerging technology. While at NYU, he has worked as a Research Fellow in AI Ethics and Governance at UN Global Pulse, a Student Clinician in NYU’s Tech Law and Policy Clinic, and a summer associate in the international litigation department of a New York law firm. Prior to graduate school, Mike was a foreign affairs reporter in New York and the Middle East and, later, worked for a pro bono law firm that advises on peace negotiations. He earned a B.A. from Williams College, an M.A. from Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Jordan. He speaks Arabic and has lived in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.

 

 

Class of 2021

Vedan Anthony-North FPP

Vedan Anthony-North '21 is passionate about criminal justice reform and racial justice. Prior to attending NYU Law School, Vedan worked at the Vera Institute of Justice on a number of projects related to ending mass incarceration and improving the criminal justice system’s response to public health crises. Her major projects included leading a cross-cultural exchange of prison administrators and influencers to Germany, working with New York City on reducing the use of solitary confinement on Rikers Island, advancing sentencing reform in a number of states, improving access to post-secondary education opportunities for incarcerated people, and assisting county governments to find solutions to jail incarceration growth. Vedan holds a B.A. in English from Barnard College, Columbia University.

 

 

 

Julia Brooks '21 focuses on international humanitarian law and policy. She most recently served as a Senior Legal Research Associate at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Previously, she spent several years working in Berlin, Germany on human rights and transitional justice, including at the Foundation “Remembrance, Responsibility & Future”, the German Parliament, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as a Senior Fellow with Humanity in Action, as well as in Sarajevo, Bosnia on post-conflict justice and governance at the Office of the High Representative, and in The Hague, The Netherlands at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Julia holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Public Policy from Brown University, magna cum laude.

 

Scott Greenberg FPP

Scott Greenberg '21 is interested in U.S. federal tax policy. Before law school, he spent three years working at the Tax Foundation, a think tank in Washington, DC. There, Scott wrote white papers and articles about an array of tax policy issues, such as the taxation of closely-held businesses and the tax exemption of municipal bonds. His work has been cited by several major news outlets. Scott spent his 1L summer working for the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the General Counsel, as well as serving as a research assistant to Professor David Kamin. At NYU, Scott is a staff editor on the NYU Law Review. He holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University.

 

 

Samuel Ison FPP

Samuel A. Ison '21 graduated as an Honors Scholar from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in Politics and a minor in Film Production. Prior to law school, he worked at the Brennan Center for Justice—a progressive law and policy institute—and served on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, working in both the Brooklyn national headquarters and organizing for the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania. More recently, Samuel worked as a Supportive Housing Manager at the Tenderloin Housing Clinic in San Francisco, CA where he provided services to formerly homeless adults, and as a Legal Assistant at Ramsey & Ehrlich LLP, a boutique white collar and criminal defense law firm.

Samuel’s policy interests are at the intersection of law, politics, and criminal justice reform, with a focus on both the potential and necessity for government actors—especially prosecutors—to institute sweeping reform policies. Currently, as a second-year law student, he serves as both a Student Fellow at the Center for the Administration of Criminal Law and a Staff Editor on the Annual Survey of American Law.

Eleuthera Sa ’21 is interested in reproductive justice and economic inequality. Before law school, she spent three years in the regional office for the Americas and the Caribbean at the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), a global network of sexual and reproductive health and rights organizations. She managed service delivery, research, and advocacy projects in Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, and Mexico. Before that, she spent several years at Wellspring Advisors, where she developed grantmaking programs to advance economic justice and women's rights in East Africa and Latin America. During her time at Wellspring and at IPPF, she helped shape a new body of research on abortion access, stigma, and legal norms. Eleuthera holds an M.P.A. in Economics and Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.A. in Linguistics and Languages from Swarthmore College.

 

Hannah UC

Hannah Umansky-Castro '21 is interested in the intersection of immigration, civil rights, and administrative law. Before law school, she interned in the immigration unit of Greater Boston Legal Services, where she worked on country conditions research to supplement asylum applications. She also conducted research for Harvard's Institute of Politics on a policy paper designed to improve the university's support system for undocumented undergraduates. At NYU, Hannah has served as a Student Volunteer and Policy Chair of the NYU chapter of IRAP (International Refugee Assistance Project), where she helped draft a comment in response to a DHS proposed rule on expanding the definition of public charge, called congressional representatives to gain support for the NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214, S 1123), and met with congressional staffers to push for increased oversight of the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program. She serves as a staff editor for the Review of Law and Social Change, volunteers with the New Sanctuary Coalition, and will participate in the Racial Justice Clinic with the ACLU in Spring 2020. She spent her 1L summer working on Travel Ban litigation and religious liberty issues at Muslim Advocates, a DC-based civil rights organization. Hannah is a 2016 graduate of Harvard College, where she graduated cum laude with an A.B. in Comparative Literature and a secondary field in Sociology.

Class of 2022

Kaitlyn McMillan FPP

Kaitlyn McMillan '22 is interested in issues relating to economic justice, with a particular focus on consumer protection and financial regulation. She most recently served as a Director’s Financial Analyst at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), where she worked primarily on issues relating to the debt collection and debt relief markets. During her time at CFPB, Kaitlyn was a project manager for the first-ever federal rulemaking proposal on the debt collection market and supported the Division of Research, Markets, & Regulations’ policy prioritization initiatives throughout the CFPB’s first leadership transition. In addition, Kaitlyn assisted the Office of Strategy with internal consulting projects, launched a survey to solicit feedback on the CFPB’s regulatory implementation materials, and helped author two reports to Congress on the debt collection market. Prior to joining CFPB, Kaitlyn also worked as an intern at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where her work centered on retirement security and student lending, and at the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. Kaitlyn graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 with a B.A. in Economics and Government and is a proud native of Rockaway, New Jersey.