Sarah Brafman ’16 chosen as a 2016 Skadden Fellow

Sarah Brafman ’16, a former co-president of NYU Law Students for Reproductive Justice and Ford Foundation Public Interest Law School fellow, has been selected as a 2016 Skadden Fellow.

Sarah Brafman
Sarah Brafman ’16

Brafman will spend the next two years at A Better Balance (ABB), a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting better workplace policies to help families, particularly those that are low-income. She will support ABB’s new direct legal services arm, working to ensure, among other things, enforcement of two of the workplace protection laws that the organization has helped pass in New York: the Earned Sick Time Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Brafman hopes that the success of these New York laws will encourage other cities to adopt them to benefit employees across the country.

While her passion for working on reproductive justice and women’s issues has already taken her to the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the National Women’s Law Center (where she did her Ford Foundation fellowship in the summer of 2014), the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, and even birth doula training, Brafman’s next undertaking focuses on both men and women. “It’s about the family as a whole,” she observed.

At ABB, Brafman will promote health and economic security, she said, using a bottom-up model of supporting community advocacy. “One of the things I really like about A Better Balance is that clients are really involved in helping think through how you can better enforce these laws and make these laws. It’s a collaborative process.”

Brafman was also a student and later a teaching assistant of the Reproductive Justice Clinic, led by her adviser and mentor Professor of Clinical Law Sarah Burns. “My legal education here has taught me to think not just about the law but also about justice and equality and how to use the law to engender more equality,” Brafman said.

“Sarah has proven herself to be a dynamic, thoughtful professional thoroughly committed to a career serving clients in the public interest,” Burns said. “It will be exciting to see her direct litigation project unfold to help A Better Balance enforce these two laws.”

The two-year fellowship, established by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 1988, has been called a “legal Peace Corps” by the Los Angeles Times. Fellows receive a salary and benefits while they pursue projects at public interest organizations.

Posted January 21, 2016