Six NYU Law students—Matthew Escalante ’23, David Sunshine Hamburger ’23, Zakiya Lewis ’23, Annie Lo ’23, Bex Rothenberg-Montz ’23, and Michaela Shuchman ’23—have been selected by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation to receive two-year fellowships for public interest work.
Established by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in 1988, the program provides salaries, loan assistance, access to legal resources, networking opportunities, and other support to graduating students who wish to pursue projects at public interest organizations.
Working at Legal Aid Chicago, Matthew Escalante will focus on the holistic representation of undocumented immigrant youth in the areas of immigration, education, and public benefits. Escalante will help youths file for humanitarian immigration visas and other applications specific to protecting and supporting victims of crime and human trafficking.
At the Georgia Legal Services Program in Savannah, David Sunshine Hamburger will concentrate on ensuring public housing residents’ access to safe and secure living conditions. In addition to providing legal representation to tenants challenging uninhabitable conditions, Hamburger will advocate against the demolition of developments and enforce tenants’ rights in the event of displacement by any demolition.
Zakiya Lewis will work at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington, DC, where her project will address the need for equitable education by developing litigation challenging anti-diversity and -inclusion legislation. Additionally, her project will provide legal support in defense of school communities, serving as intervenors or amici in lawsuits challenging inclusive district practices, and will offer legal guidance to local organizers. Lewis’s project will focus on supporting low-income students with marginalized, intersectional identities.
At the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Annie Lo will work to prevent displacement of low-income Asian American communities in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Lo plans to provide representation to tenants seeking secure, safe living conditions, and to community-based organizations seeking control over land use and affordable housing.
Bex Rothenberg-Montz will work at Housing Works in Brooklyn, assisting clients who have been identified by intake clinics and community outreach as victims of source of income (SOI) discrimination. Rothenberg-Motz will combat SOI discrimination by providing representation in housing matters, including repairs and evictions proceedings, as well as ensuring clients’ access to public benefits.
At Bronx Legal Services in New York, Michaela Shuchman plans to advance the educational rights of children in the Bronx. Through the direct representation of students at suspension hearings, community education, and the creation of a best-practices resource guide, she aims to implement a trauma-sensitive and healing-centered approach to school discipline.
Posted on January 12, 2023