Public Interest/Public Service Scholars Program
Meet Our Current Scholars
Class of 2013
B.S. Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, 2006
Originally from Hamilton, Massachusetts, Mary studied comparative behavioral psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her involvement with campus political activism during the 2004 presidential campaign motivated her to focus on her longtime interest in social justice. After an internship in the Office of Congressman John Tierney in 2004, Mary decided to pursue a career of promoting social justice through the political process.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa, Mary went to work for the American Civil Liberties Union's Washington Legislative Office as a Legislative Assistant. While working as a Legislative Assistant, Mary focused on First Amendment speech rights, Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and immigration rights. She participated in multiple focused campaigns to oppose harmful federal legislation by drafting formal letters to Congress and Executive Agencies, commenting on proposed agency rules, and requesting action on agency policy that was likely to impede civil rights and liberties. In 2008, Mary joined the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program as an Advocacy Coordinator. In this role, she was responsible for developing and executing legislative policy strategies with the ACLU's state affiliates, and forming lasting coalitions with outside advocacy organizations. She also had the opportunity to speak at outside events including university classes, affiliate seminars, and grassroots political rallies as a representative of the ACLU.
Mary is excited to continue working to preserve civil rights and liberties for vulnerable communities as a PIPS scholar at WCL.
B.A. in International Relations, Stanford University, 2005
Alice developed her interest in public service while in college. As a sophomore at Stanford University, Alice served a fellowship working with HIV/AIDS Orphans in rural Uganda. The following summer she interned at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda where she learned firsthand the successes and challenges of the Rwandan reconciliation efforts, specifically as they pertained to the countless children orphaned by the 1994 Genocide. These grassroots experiences left Alice with the understanding that she wanted to focus her career on increasing vulnerable children's access to opportunity.
Alice was awarded the Community Service Award at Stanford, which is given to one Senior student for his/her demonstrated commitment to public service. Her experiences working with AIDS orphans in Uganda, orphans of the Genocide in Rwanda, abandoned children in Chile, and teenage reconciliation initiatives in South Africa deepened her reason to go to law school: to uphold human rights by being a legal advocate for children in need.
After college, Alice worked as a Paralegal/Investigator at a nonprofit law firm committed to fighting for the human rights of those caught up in the criminal justice system in the South. In this position, Alice visited people in jail in Georgia, Alabama, and post-Katrina Louisiana to document conditions and advocate for prisoners' rights to adequate health-care, protection against physical and sexual abuse, and overall fair and just conditions. After moving on to work for the Obama campaign in 7 states, Alice moved to DC and became a Political Appointee at the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.
Alice hopes to lend her career to working in the field of international human rights law, with a particular focus on being a legal advocate for children in need.
B.A. in International Relations, Wesleyan University, 2004
Born and raised in New York City, Arli developed an early love of social justice and advocacy. She first explored the legal field in 2004 as a paralegal at McVey Mullery Dulberg & Cho, an immigration law firm in San Francisco. She worked one-on-one with English and Spanish speaking clients, helping to develop cases ranging from family-based immigration and employment visas to deportation defense and asylum.
Arli wants to pursue a career in public interest law because it combines the intellectual challenge of interpreting the law with the compelling nature of working directly with underserved populations. To expand upon her paralegal skills and bolster her knowledge of community development, Arli joined the Calvert Foundation based in Bethesda, Maryland in 2007. Calvert Foundation is a social lending institution that invests in microfinance organizations, affordable housing groups, and fair trade operations around the world. As a Senior Portfolio Associate, Arli was responsible for servicing the domestic portfolio, including managing all legal documentation, loan disbursements and renewals, investment committees and requests for loans. Arli also served as dedicated manager and spokesperson of the Fair Trade portfolio, and traveled to numerous Fair Trade conferences domestically and internationally to communicate Calvert Foundation's dedication to Fair Trade.
Arli earned her BA from Wesleyan University in 2004, where she wrote her senior thesis essay on the merits of microfinance in Latin America. During her undergraduate years she studied abroad in Chile and worked at a microfinance institution in Paraguay. Arli loves the outdoors, enjoys travelling, and spent the three months prior to law school exploring Southeast Asia and India.
B.A. in French, Duke University, 1997; M.A. in Linguistics, University of North Dakota, 2001
Raised in the Charlotte, NC area, Jennifer's interest in international issues stemmed from her experience as a volunteer ESL teacher with refugees during her college years. A semester abroad in Cameroon further solidified her desire to work cross-culturally. After graduating from Duke University with a Bachelor's in French, she worked in social services and taught English as a second language at a community college, while completing her master's degree in linguistics during summers at the University of North Dakota.
Since 2003, she has coordinated adult English language programs and provided immigration legal services to refugees through Catholic Social Services in Charlotte, NC. Teaching citizenship classes to elderly refugees sparked her interest in immigration law. Many of her refugee students struggled to acquire the necessary language skills to become US citizens, and it became increasingly clear that these students needed an advocate to navigate the immigration legal system. After training, she became a Board of Immigration Appeals Accredited Representative. Since 2008, she has been representing mostly elderly and disabled refugees in naturalization, adjustment of status and family reunification cases before US Citizenship and Immigration Services/Department of Homeland Security.
In 2008, she traveled to Burundi and Tanzania for a month to explore the issues faced by returning refugees. She served as a volunteer consultant/editor for Lutheran World Federation, an international development organization focusing on the integration of repatriated refugees from Tanzania to Burundi. She plans to continue her work with immigrants and refugees in law school and beyond.
B.A. in Sociology and B.A. in Laws, Society, and Justice, University of Washington, 2006
Raised in the Seattle area, Jeremy graduated from the University of Washington in 2006 where he studied sociology and issues at the intersection of law, society and justice. After graduating, he worked for a local youth music non-profit (where he continues to volunteer) and as a legal assistant in a regional law firm doing foreclosure work on behalf of banks.
From 2007 to 2009, Jeremy was a Youth and Community Education volunteer with the Peace Corps in Niger. While there, Jeremy saw many instances of petty corruption, including a school director who refused to accept donated textbooks unless he received a kickback. Having seen first hand how public corruption disrupts governance and development, Jeremy is set on pursuing a career focused on combating crimes which take advantage of our trust, such as public corruption and fraud.
At WCL, Jeremy has volunteered with and organized foreclosure outreach to homeowners with WCL's Take Back Your Home program - a way to recenter himself after having previously represented banks in the process. He has also assisted in organizing, with much help from others, volunteer trips over the school holidays to New Orleans, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
Jeremy hopes to end up in a US Attorney's office working on corruption and fraud cases, but saving time to enjoy life through biking, hiking, and playing soccer. Eventually, he plans to take the experience he has gained and return to development work by assisting those fighting corruption in the developing world.
B.S.F.S. Culture & Politics, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 2003; M.A. Anthropology, Graduate Diploma in Forced Migration & Refugee Studies, The American University in Cairo, 2006; M.A. Arabic, University of Maryland at College Park, 2007
Cyrena grew up in northern New England and moved to Washington, DC in 1997. Since then, the intersection of international human rights and domestic civil rights concerns has formed the core of both her academic and professional endeavors. After working as a reading tutor in a DC public school, she took leave of her undergraduate studies in 1999 and moved to Tanzania to volunteer at the Mkombozi Centre for Street Children, an organization serving and advocating for the rights of children.
She then returned to Georgetown University, completed her senior thesis on the politics of international humanitarian assistance in the Sudan in 2003, and received a Boren Fellowship to study anthropology and forced migration at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. While there, she served for six months as a Resettlement Assistant with UNHCR, determining individual refugees' eligibility for resettlement to the U.S., Canada or Australia. She also co-authored a funded research study, "Expectations & Experiences of Resettlement," which traced Sudanese refugees' perspectives on their resettlement from Egypt to each of those countries. In 2005, Cyrena received a second Boren Fellowship to develop her skills in Arabic. She studied at the University of Maryland and Damascus University in Syria for the next two years, and interned as a translator and Protection Assistant at UNHCR in Damascus during the spring of 2007.
While a 1L at WCL, Cyrena is on a leave of absence from her current position as a Policy Advisor with the Office for Civil Rights & Civil Liberties (CRCL) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Her portfolio at CRCL has included immigration issues, refugee integration, and engagement of American Arab, Muslim and South Asian communities. She looks forward to her time at WCL, and to working with her colleagues to advance human and civil rights in the U.S. and beyond.
B.A. in International Relations and B.A. in Spanish, Tufts University, 2003
Born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Carson studied International Relations and Spanish at Tufts University in the Boston suburbs and spent her junior year abroad in Madrid, Spain. After completing her bachelor's degree, Carson moved to Washington, D.C. for a fellowship at the D.C.-based non-profit, Polaris Project, which endeavors to combat human trafficking. Committed to continue working on trafficking, she later joined the International Organization for Migration, an international, inter-governmental non-profit organization that assists migrants in need. There, she managed a program that collaborates with social workers and legal advocates around the country to provide family reunification assistance to trafficking survivors opting to remain in the United States.
Having facilitated the reunification of over 200 hundred families but often lacking direct interaction with beneficiaries in her work at IOM, Carson began mentoring a recently resettled refugee family from Iraq and volunteering at the DC Employment Justice Center's Worker's Rights Clinic. She plans to continue working with her Iraqi family and volunteering in a variety of public interest capacities while at the Washington College of Law. Carson also enjoys traveling, playing recreational softball, water skiing, and spending time with her family, especially her adorable niece and nephew. She is really looking forward to continuing to work with victim and migrant populations and to studying the law with a specific focus on human rights at WCL.
B.A. in Political Science and Minor in Journalism, University of Notre Dame, 2005
Emily grew up in both Denver, CO and Granger, IN. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 2005, she moved to Washington, DC to work on the legislative staff of then-Senator Ken Salazar. When Salazar was appointed to be Secretary of the Department of Interior, Emily stayed on the Hill to work for Senator Michael Bennet, who was appointed to the seat. As a Legislative Assistant in Senator Bennet's office, Emily handled appropriations, defense, telecommunications, transportation, and veterans issues. Her work focused on developing legislative proposals and working to move them through the relevant Senate committees, advising the Senator on legislative actions, and researching various policy alternatives. Emily comes from a diverse family.
Emily has three sisters who were adopted from South Korea and three siblings with disabilities. Because of her family background, she has a special interest in disability law. She's also interested in environmental law.
B.A. in International Relations, College of Wooster, 2006
Originally from Colorado, Elly graduated from the College of Wooster in Ohio with a degree in International Relations. She then joined the Peace Corps and served for two years in a rural village in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, West Africa. While there, she co-organized a young women's nutrition-health camp to battle the country's problems with diabetes, taught youth and adult English classes, and led a team of Mauritanians in fundraising, implementing, and managing the renovation of her town's elementary school. After the country experienced a coup d'état, Elly developed an interest in criminal justice systems as her colleagues worried that ethnicity and political opinions would soon become criminal offenses.
Upon finishing her Peace Corps service, Elly worked at an inner–city Denver elementary school and volunteered with the Colorado "I Have A Dream Foundation." Seeing her fifth grade students struggle with personal criminal charges and charges against their relatives, Elly decided to pursue a career in juvenile public defense.
Since coming to WCL, Elly has interned with public defense offices in Virginia and New Orleans. She has also coordinated pro bono volunteer trips to New Orleans for WCL students, helped raise grant money for students in unpaid summer internships with public interest organizations, and worked at the Department of Justice and USAID. Elly hopes to work domestically in public defense after graduating and to eventually return to working in international legal development.
B.A. in Environmental Studies and Sociology, Amherst College, 2009
Growing up in rural West Virginia surrounded by both natural beauty and destructive extractive industries, Cynthia developed an early interest in environmental protection. She studied sociology and environmental studies at Amherst College in Massachusetts, a combination that advanced her interest in environmental justice issues. She was one of the first group of students to graduate from Amherst with the new Environmental Studies major.
After college, she returned to West Virginia to spend a year working as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the coalfields. The non-profit she worked with trains local watershed groups throughout Appalachia to better address the water quality problems stemming from coal mining, oil and gas drilling, timbering, and inadequate sewage treatment systems. Cynthia is excited about the move to DC and the chance to study environmental law at WCL.
Class of 2014
B.A., History, University of California, San Diego, 2008
Originally from Idaho, Rachael studied Middle Eastern History at the University of California, San Diego. During college, Rachael volunteered extensively with the International Rescue Committee, a non-profit organization that aids refugees. This experience made Rachael passionate about helping victims of tragedy, violence, and crime.
After graduating, Rachael moved to Naples, Italy where she worked as a paralegal for the U.S. Navy JAG Corps. Rachael’s work covered a broad range of legal areas including international, administrative, tax, immigration, and criminal law. Her three years in Naples gave her a unique look inside government agencies and one of the world’s largest public service organizations, the U.S. Department of Defense.
Since matriculating at American University, Rachael has interned with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., with Judge Florence Pan at D.C. Superior Court, and with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office in Maryland. Rachael is an Articles Editor on the American University Law Review, and a member of the Mock Trial Honor Society.
After graduating law school, Rachael hopes to move back to the western United States and work as a criminal prosecutor.
B.A., International Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2007
Amy was born in California but raised mostly in North Carolina. As an undergraduate at UNC, she studied globalization and international development, with a focus on Latin America. One summer Amy interned with Student Action with Farmworkers as a health outreach worker visiting migrant farmworkers. That experience exposed her to the questions of poverty and development that were playing out in the tobacco fields of North Carolina. One year after graduation, Amy went to work as an organizer for the United Food & Commercial Workers Union, International, where she worked to organize non-union facilities in the retail industry in Arizona, the meatpacking industry in Kansas, and the public sector in Maryland. These battles exposed her to the weakness of labor laws in this country and the vulnerability of workers in non-union jobs.
B.A., Political Science and Women's Studies, Colgate University, 2008
Originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania, Lydia developed an early interest in political engagement. At Colgate University, Lydia pursued those interests in her studies and extracurricular activities as she began organizing her peers on a variety of issues including voter registration, campaign finance reform, and women's issues. After graduation, she moved to Albany, New York to take a position as a grassroots organizer at Citizen Action of New York, a statewide social justice organization. At Citizen Action, Lydia organized local communities to engage in health care issues. Then in 2009, Lydia took a position at Families USA, a Washington, DC based consumer advocacy organization dedicated to achieving affordable health care for all. She came to Families USA in the heat of the health care reform debate. There, she advocated for reforms to expand coverage to more americans, particularly disadvantaged and low income populations. As a Field Associate, Lydia worked with grassroots organizations across the country to mobilize people in support of health care reform. In addition to her work at Families, she also organized a group of local people in her neighborhood to advocate for change. After the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, Lydia has been working with local advocates to ensure successful implementation of the new law. At WCL, Lydia hopes to continue to explore her interests in civic engagement, health and poverty law.
B.A., Latin American and Latino/a Studies, Vassar College, 2008
Claire developed an early interest in international justice and human rights through her undergraduate coursework and internships at various non-profit organizations. Claire worked on a number of issues ranging from ESL education to improving access to basic services such as food and housing. She also completed an internship in Paris, France at France Amérique Latine, an organization working to promote human rights, democracy and economic development in Latin America. Following graduation, Claire received a fellowship to live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for a year where she used her time outside of class to teach dance and art to children at a local NGO. She then completed an internship at Justiça Global, an organization with a mandate to protect and promote human rights and strengthen civil society and democracy in Brazil. Claire contributed to research and reports on human rights violations in prisons as well as on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions in the country. Upon her return to the United States, Claire performed research for the National Security Archive regarding a genocide case in Guatemala and the assassination of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Claire went on to work for two years at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court in their New York City office. During her time there, Claire oversaw membership outreach to more than 2,500 NGO members around the world; attended the 2009 International Criminal Court meetings in The Hague and the 2010 ICC Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda; and contributed to global campaigns to ensure a fair, effective and independent ICC and improve access to justice for victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
B.A, History, Economics, and English, The Ohio State University, 2005
Christine spent a year with the Mercy Volunteer Corps from 2007-2008 and worked as a full-time volunteer at Mercy Education Project in Detroit, Michigan. MEP provides after-school tutoring, GED preparation, adult literacy, and other educational services to girls and women in Detroit. When her year with the Mercy Volunteer Corps ended she began working as a paralegal with the United Community Housing Coalition in Detroit. UCHC focuses on preventing homelessness through advocating for low-income Detroiters at risk of losing their housing due to eviction and foreclosure. Because of her experiences in Detroit, Christine is interested in community advocacy and development, housing law and policy, and poverty law. She looks forward to participating in volunteer and clinical opportunities at WCL and hopes to explore the outdoors in the DC area as well.
B.A., Spanish (Latin American Studies), Columbia University, 2005; M.A., Latin American Studies, Tulane University, 2008
Originally from Amherst, Massachusetts, Lauren graduated from Barnard College in 2005 with a degree in Spanish: Latin American Studies. Lauren received a Master's degree in Latin American studies at Tulane University in 2008, where she wrote her thesis on gendered barriers to cervical cancer prevention in Peru. Prior to law school, Lauren worked at public health NGOs in Peru, Bolivia, and the United States. Lauren plans to continue her work on gender and health issues, and is particularly interested in assisted reproductive technologies.
B.A., English, Harvard University, 2008
Matthew's younger sister, who has Down syndrome, has led to a lifelong interest in disability, but only as a senior in college did he develop an interest in law while studying special needs trusts. Matthew went on fellowship to work with people with intellectual disabilities in India and Bangladesh, where he returned to work for the Harvard Law School Project on Disability for two years. Matthew will be continuing his work while studying, which includes capacity building of self-advocacy groups and guardians of people with intellectual disabilities, public interest litigation, and legislative advocacy. Outside of work, Matthew enjoy reading, speaking, and cooking in Italian and Bangla, and playing basketball, soccer, and rugby -- though he cannot claim high levels of proficiency in any of the above.
B.A., Politics, New York University, 2006
Thais-Lyn Trayer joins the AU WCL community after three years with the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, where she managed legal reform programs throughout Asia. As ABA ROLI's youngest Program Manager, Ms. Trayer was responsible for the organization's second largest portfolio in the Philippines, and supported anti-corruption and judicial reform programs increasing access to justice and judicial efficiency. Ms. Trayer has also worked on criminal justice reform, anti-trafficking, and legal education projects in China, Mongolia, Cambodia, and Nepal. Additionally, she helped to secure funding for ABA ROLI's first program in Indonesia, which will assist civil society in legal advocacy efforts to strengthen the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights. Ms. Trayer's commitment to international development first began during her time in the United States Peace Corps, where she served for two years in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Ms. Trayer taught English in secondary schools in Poti, as well as assisted local NGOS in writing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating small grant projects. She established her community's first English language resource center, an English language scholarship program for disadvantaged high school students, and conducted one of the first PEPFAR-funded programs in Georgia to promote HIV/AIDS awareness peer education.
Upon return from the Peace Corps, Ms. Trayer helped to co-found Peace Corps Georgia's official alumni organization and facilitated its rapid start-up as a non-profit corporation following the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia. Ms. Trayer graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a major in Politics and minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. While at NYU, Ms. Trayer worked for the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs and also interned at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Ms. Trayer speaks Georgian and has studied German, Czech, and Arabic. She is originally from Pennsylvania and enjoys traveling, learning languages, and playing the piano.
B.A., Women's Studies, Earlham College, 2007
Liz graduated from Earlham College in 2007, where she deepened her understanding of social justice and developed a love of feminist theories as a Women's Studies major. At Earlham she co-convened the Womyn's Center, a student run campus space for woman-identified people.
After graduating from Earlham, Liz moved to Seattle where she completed a year of AmeriCorps service as a case manager for chronically homeless adults in the city's largest homeless shelter. Taking a liking to the Pacific Northwest, Liz stayed in Seattle for three more years, continuing to work in direct social service with homeless youth in shelter and transitional housing settings, as well as with survivors of domestic violence in a confidential shelter setting. Outside of work, Liz had the privilege of volunteering at Reel Grrls and at Legal Voice, two non-profits that tackle gender oppression from media and legal perspectives, respectively.
Liz believes that a legal education is a fitting next step for advancing her analysis of injustice and ability to work for social change. She is excited to join the WCL and PIPS communities, and proud to attend the alma mater of Alice Paul.
Class of 2015
B.A., Psychology and Hispanic Studies, Vassar College, 2008
Alia joins the PIPS community after spending a year in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a Vassar Maguire Fellow. While in Buenos Aires, she interned at Equipo Latinoamericano de Género y Justicia (ELA), where she researched issues surrounding gender violence and legalizing abortion in Argentina. Alia first began working as an advocate for survivors of violence in college when she interned at a domestic violence shelter and a non-residential domestic violence program. After graduating, she moved to New York City in order to work as a Senior Case Manager in Brooklyn Criminal Court for the Early Victim Engagement Project. In this capacity, she informed domestic violence survivors of their rights within the criminal justice system and advocated on their behalf with the District Attorney's Office and the police. It was during these interactions within the criminal justice system when Alia became aware of the deep class and race injustices that exist within this very system.
Hoping to learn more about criminal justice issues and broader impact change, Alia began working as a paralegal for the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she primarily worked on a class action lawsuit to reform New York State's public defense system. She also contributed to the NYCLU's work related to various civil liberties issues ranging from reproductive rights to immigrants' rights. Alia is excited to continue her work as an advocate for social justice, both at the national and international level.
B.A., Political Science and Minor in Russian/Eurasian Studies, Colorado College, 2009
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Carlie grew up in Hawaii, New Mexico and Colorado. She matriculated at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado with the intention of majoring in biology; however, a course on Middle Eastern politics ignited an enthusiasm for international policy early into her college career which prompted her to major in political science with an emphasis in international relations and a minor in Russian/Eurasian studies. During her undergraduate studies, Carlie focused on state capacity and how decisions made at the national level impact citizens of countries in political transition, particularly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In 2008, she was selected as the Colorado College representative for a non-resident Presidential Fellowship with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress during which time she developed and presented a research paper regarding the psychological implications of the Cold War on current American-Russian relations.
After graduating Cum Laude from Colorado College in 2009, Carlie joined the state staff of U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. Following a year in the Western Slope Office where she managed a large and varied caseload that encompassed housing, immigration issues, Veterans benefits and Internal Revenue Service cases, Carlie relocated to the main Denver Metro Office to specialize in issues relating to housing, banking and consumer protection. As the foreclosure crisis worsened, her primary area of focus became assisting homeowners who were struggling to avoid foreclosure. By identifying key Congressional liaisons in some of the country's largest banks, Carlie was able to facilitate enhanced communication between the homeowners and their servicers and advocated to ensure that the homeowners were receiving thorough consideration for all available assistance.Through her work in the Senator's office, Carlie developed a passion for direct advocacy which led to her decision to pursue a legal education and work in public interest law. While at WCL, she hopes to continue her work with housing advocacy as well as explore her interest in international policy.
B.A., Political Science and Economics, Trinity University, 2008
Pamela grew up in Garland, Texas. While earning her undergraduate degree at Trinity University in San Antonio, Pamela interned at San Antonio's U.S. Western District Court, the House of Commons in London, and the Supreme Court of the United States. After graduation, she traveled to Ecuador, where she taught a summer school course in an indigenous farming village. Upon her return to the United States, Pamela moved to Washington DC where she served as an Americorps Volunteer. During that year, she worked with So Others Might Eat at Shalom House, a transitional house for DC's homeless adults.
For the past two years, Pamela worked at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, Connecticut. As a part of the Family Based Recovery Program, Pamela provided in-home substance abuse treatment to parents with young children. She looks forward to continuing her commitment to the community's under-served populations during her time at WCL.
B.A., Hispanic Studies, The College of William and Mary, 2007
Born and raised in Virginia, Lindsay graduated summa cum laude from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia with a degree in Hispanic Studies. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, where she spent most of her time dancing tango and teaching English. She also founded the Swing Dance Club at William & Mary. Lindsay was particularly fascinated by an Immigration, Assimilation, and Ethnicity class that she studied her senior year Upon graduation, Lindsay worked as an immigration paralegal at Greenberg Traurig. She then took a break from legal work to teach English in Liberia, Costa Rica through the government agency "el Instituto Nacional de Aprendizaje". She also volunteered with the Migration section of the Pastoral Social Diócesis de Tilarán by assisting with consultations, event planning, and community meetings.
Upon her return to the United States, Lindsay began working as an immigration paralegal at Maggio + Kattar, an immigration boutique in Dupont Circle with a strong dedication to community service. Lindsay's work at Maggio + Kattar convinced her that she was ready to begin her legal studies. She hopes that her experience as a PIPS scholar at WCL will expand her ability to serve the immigrant community globally.
B.A., English, Vassar College, 2010
Sarah grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania and developed an interest in a myriad of social justice issues as a student at Vassar College. As an undergraduate, Sarah had the opportunity to work with different civil rights and civil liberties non-profit organizations. As an intern with the ACLU of Pennsylvania, she prepared reports on juvenile sentencing practices and immigration detention for use in lobbying campaigns at the state level. Sarah also worked at the New York, NY-based Center for Constitutional Rights, where, among other things, she provided research concerning the due process rights of arrestees for use in an amicus brief to the Louisiana Supreme Court. After graduating from college in 2010, she worked for the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network's Community Justice Project, which advocates for the protection and enhancement of the rights of low-wage workers and poor families. At the CJP, she focused on the development of new anti-poverty strategies, specifically those related to postsecondary education and workforce development programs for low-income persons.
Following her time at the CJP, Sarah worked as a corporate legal assistant at a law firm in New York, where her work focused on tracking the implementation of the financial reform legislation enacted in the wake of the financial crisis. Sarah is excited to join the WCL community, where she hopes to continue to explore her interests in domestic human rights, criminal justice reform, and gender issues.
B.A., Human Rights and Sociology, Bard College, 2010
Robert was born and raised in York, Pennsylvania, where he developed an interest in human rights and social justice from a young age. After campaigning extensively through his junior and senior years of high school to raise awareness of the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, Robert continued and expanded his efforts while studying human rights and sociology at Bard College. While in college, Robert went through a police academy and served in the state of Delaware as a municipal police officer. He also volunteered for 3½ years with the Red Hook Fire Company in New York, making the rank of Second Lieutenant before leaving the department to attend WCL. During his undergraduate studies, Robert became increasingly interested in the relation between international human rights law and U.S. domestic policy. His undergraduate thesis involved in-depth research of human rights violations at U.S. immigration detention facilities, a topic which he has continued to explore since graduating Bard.
While a student at Bard, Robert founded a small human rights research center and began developing a few research initiatives and other projects, including an interdisciplinary journal, which aims to foster discussion and broaden public understanding of human rights by incorporating arts, academics, law, politics, and current events into an accessible medium for a wide readership. While pursuing a JD/MPP at American University, Robert plans to continue running and expanding his research center—and to start working with the many great resources already available in the DC area—with the goal of developing effective ways to bring about domestic human rights reforms in state and federal arenas.
B.A., Political Science and Women's Studies, George Washington University, 2010
Shaina has been involved in public service work for much of her life, beginning in her home state of Rhode Island, where she held her first internship for the Office of the State Attorney General at age seventeen. A year later, after interning for the Office of the Governor, she left Rhode Island for Washington DC to attend college at George Washington University. While at GW, Shaina was involved in a variety of student organizations and causes. She continued to learn about government and politics, serving as an intern for Senator Jack Reed, and she discovered her love for nonprofit work through an internship at Carpenter's Shelter, a homeless shelter in Alexandria, VA. In the summer before her senior year, Shaina began work at District Alliance for Safe Housing (DASH), a domestic violence housing program in Washington DC. For the next three years, she served in a variety of different positions in the organization. As an intern, she laid the groundwork for a volunteer program and organized a national grassroots campaign for safe housing funding. Later, as a full-time resident advocate, she worked directly with residents of DASH's transitional housing program to provide resources and emotional support. In her last year with the organization, she served as Development Services and Volunteer Coordinator, managing DASH's various volunteers and overseeing in-kind donations.
Shaina's experiences at DASH solidified her passion for combating violence against women, as well as educated her on the intricacies of nonprofits. Her decision to pursue a law degree stemmed from the injustices that DASH residents encountered daily as they fought to reclaim their lives from abuse. Shaina is thrilled to be attending WCL, a school so historically supportive of social justice, and is looking forward to participating in clinical programs and volunteer opportunities in her time here.
B.A., International Studies and Politics, Brandeis University, 2009
Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Rachel's interest in social justice issues and specifically working with the Latino community was sparked while spending the summer between her junior and senior year of high school as part of a community service and Spanish immersion program in Granada, Nicaragua. She continued to pursue these interests while studying at Brandeis University, during which time she spent a semester studying at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán in Mexico and a summer volunteering in a Nicaraguan public school. Rachel's interest in workers' rights and migrant health was further developed as an undergraduate intern at Farmworker Justice in Washington DC, where she did research for the health team. After graduation, Rachel participated in a year of service through AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps. As part of this program, she worked as the Clinic Coordinator at the DC Employment Justice Center (EJC), coordinating a weekly clinic that assists low-wage workers who face employment related legal issues. After her year of service ended, Rachel joined The Legal Aid Society of DC as a legal assistant in the family law unit, where she provided litigation support for attorneys working on domestic violence, child custody and child support cases. She later re-joined the staff of the EJC as the Clinic Manager, where she took on additional responsibilities from her previous role, including running a workers' rights clinic in Southeast DC and assisting in the referral of pro bono cases.
Rachel also serves as a member of DC Advisory Council for AVODAH, where she supports the yearlong program by assisting with fundraising, recruitment and support for the current corps members. As a student at WCL, Rachel is looking forward to continue learning about the issues facing low-wage workers while exploring other areas of the law, particularly issues that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.