Public Interest Law Center

Current Scholars

Class of 2025 

Helen Zhang

Helen Zhang ‘25 is a JD/ MPP candidate at NYU Law and the Harvard Kennedy School, and is interested in social policy, children’s rights, and socioeconomic and racial equity. Before law school, she worked in education policy research, development, and advocacy in Illinois, specializing in teacher workforce and higher education funding. During her 1L summer, she interned with the Affirmative Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department and worked as a research assistant on housing and land use legislation for Professor Vicki Been. In addition to being an FPP Scholar, Helen is a Staff Editor for Law Review and Mentorship Co-Chair for the Public Interest Law Students Association. Helen graduated from the University of Chicago in 2018 with a B.A. in Public Policy, and originally grew up on the Eastside of Seattle.


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Rebecca Kahn '25 is focused on technology law and policy, particularly as it intersects with societal equity, consumer protection, and civil rights. Prior to law school, she served as a Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Alex Padilla covering housing, education, labor, human services, and the arts. In this role, she helped draft and introduce legislation and supported the Senator’s work on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Prior to that, she served as a Legislative Assistant for two members of the House of Representatives, covering issues including healthcare and technology. She also worked as a product management consultant for a tech policy startup and as a cybersecurity consultant for a California congressional campaign. She has worked with EqualAI, a nonprofit working to advance responsible AI governance, since 2019. During her 1L spring, she was a Human Rights Scholar at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice researching federal digital identity issues. During her 1L summer, she interned in the White House's National Economic Council. Rebecca graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Princeton University in 2018 with an A.B. in Sociology and certificates in Portuguese, Creative Writing, and Entrepreneurship (focused on design-thinking for social innovation). She lived in Bahia, Brazil for a year, and originally hails from Ohio.


Miranda van Dijk

Miranda van Dijk ‘25 is interested in election law and voting rights, particularly at the state and local level. Prior to attending NYU, she handled communications and media relations for various Democratic lawmakers and candidates. As the Communications Director for the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM), Miranda led the coordinated effort to promote the platforms and campaign activities of Democratic candidates at all levels of government from 2019 to 2021. In 2020, she successfully organized and implemented the party’s switch to a digital voter-outreach strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic and played a key role in DPNM’s extensive voter protection efforts. Prior to living in New Mexico, Miranda worked as a Deputy Press Secretary at Rosen for Nevada and as a Press Assistant for Senator Chuck Schumer. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania College of Arts and Sciences Class of 2017. 


Will Haskell

Will Haskell '25 is interested in expanding our democracy and reforming our criminal justice system. Prior to law school, he served for two terms in the Connecticut State Senate as the youngest state senator in the country. During his campaign, Will was endorsed by President Barack Obama and after Election Day he was selected for Forbes' 30 Under 30. As the Senate Chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Will fought to enact Connecticut's free community college program, and as the Senate Chairman of the Transportation Committee, he helped to write Connecticut's Clear Air Act. Will also worked on the staff of Congressman Jim Himes and previously interned at the Democratic National Committee as well as the Office of the Connecticut Public Defender. During his 1L summer, Will interned with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, primarily assisting with voting rights litigation. In addition to being an FPP Scholar, Will serves as Advocate-in-Chief for the Suspension Representation Project, a staff editor for the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy, and a Parole Advocate. Outside of law school, he manages a political action committee dedicated to electing young leaders to state and local office. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2018.


Class of 2026

Charlotte Lebarron

Charlotte LeBarron ’26 is passionate about financial regulation and securities law policy, particularly ESG disclosure, corporate compliance and transparency, and accounting industry reform. Prior to law school, Charlotte worked as a Certified Public Accountant at BDO’s Boston Audit Practice. Charlotte then migrated to the Institute for Corporate Governance and Finance at NYU School of Law where she researched corporate and securities and participated in public policymaking with Former SEC Commissioner and NYU Law Professor Robert J. Jackson, Jr. In 2022, Charlotte’s research assistance was named in Honisgberg, Hu, and Jackson’s  Stanford Law Review paper on misconduct in the insurance industry,Regulatory Arbitrage and the Persistence of Financial Misconduct. Her policymaking work includes drafting a recommendation for the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee calling for reform in accounting standard setting. She has also helped draft several public comments and SEC rule-making petitions on topics such as the SEC’s authority to mandate climate-related disclosure for public companies and the need for enhanced human capital accounting disclosure. When a number of these projects were later discussed in Congress, Charlotte traveled to Washington and prepared academic experts for testimony before the House and Senate.Charlotte graduated from the Boston College Carroll School of Management in 2019 with dual degrees in Accounting and Communication and grew up in the rural “Hilltown” region of Western Massachusetts.Charlotte spent her 1L summer interning in the SEC's Enforcement division in Washington, D.C.


Humphrey Shen

Humphrey Shen '26 is passionate about health policy and antitrust law, especially as it relates to health care access, affordability, and equity. Prior to law school, he served as a Policy Lead at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) where he drafted CMS Innovation Center policies focused on value-based payment model design, health equity, and Medicare benefit enhancements. Prior to working at CMS, Humphrey was a policy research assistant at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy in DC, where he researched and co-authored several publications on health equity, federal and state health care payment reform, and artificial intelligence adoption in health systems. During his 1L summer, Humphrey was a summer law clerk at the Federal Trade Commission, Office of Chair Lina Khan. At NYU Law, Humphrey is also a staff editor for the Journal of Legislation and Public Policy and Co-President of the Health Law and Policy Society. Humphrey is originally from the Los Angeles area and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2021 with a B.A. in Health and Societies.


Class of 2027

Jose G.

José Guillermo Gutiérrez ‘27 is interested in government accountability, surveillance technology, and civil rights and civil liberties issues in national security. Before law school, José was a research and program associate in the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program, where he focused on law enforcement’s surveillance of social media to target constitutionally protected activity and marginalized communities, as well as efforts to reform the Department of Homeland Security. He also served on the negotiation and executive committees of the Brennan Center’s staff union. Before joining the Brennan Center, José was a research volunteer on the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition and a domestic policy intern on the Biden for President campaign. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy in 2020. José was born and raised in Mexico City.


Sarah W.

Sarah Wheaton ’27 is interested in the intersection of law and economic policy, particularly as it relates to helping low-income families and communities. Before coming to NYU, she worked in economic policy for the U.S. Department of Commerce and the White House Council of Economic Advisers. As an Economist at the Department of Commerce’s Office of the Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, she contributed economic analysis to the department’s regulatory work, assisted with implementation of place-based initiatives in the CHIPS and Science Act, and helped brief the Secretary on the state of the economy. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Council of Economic Advisers, where she covered a wide range of topics including labor, the social safety net, macroeconomics, health, and climate change. In addition to participating in White House policy processes and briefing senior staff, she contributed to multiple chapters of the yearly Economic Report of the President. Sarah graduated from Swarthmore College in 2021 with High Honors in Economics and Political Science and grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota.