Gallogly Family Foundation Public Interest Fellowship Program

The Gallogly Family Foundation created the Public Interest Fellowship Program to increase access to critical legal services and to help new lawyers pursue a career in public interest law.   The program supports recent graduates of American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL),  the University of Oklahoma College of Law (OU), and the University of Texas, Austin.

2020 Fellows

photo of Sahar Takshi

Sahar Takshi

During her time at AUWCL, Sahar has interned with organizations that advocate for seniors rights, including AARP/Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Justice in Aging, and the Office of Elder Justice at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She also had the opportunity to represent clients with disabilities as a student attorney in the Disability Rights Law Clinic. Takshi is currently a research assistant with the Georgetown Institute of Technology Law & Policy working on policy papers about algorithmic bias in the areas of public benefits, employment, and risk/threat assessments and their potential discriminatory effects against people with disabilities.

As a Gallogly Fellow, Takshi will work at the AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly in D.C. There, she will partner with their Economic and Health Security Unit to address the disparities in the District’s provision of Medicaid home- and community-based long-term care services through the Elderly and Persons With Physical Disabilities Waiver program (EPD Waiver), representing seniors whose EPD Waiver services are terminated or reduced, or who are denied from the program, in their administrative hearings; collaborating with the Office of Administrative Hearings to create resources for pro se litigants; and researching methods to bolster the availability and accessibility of home- and community-based long-term care services in the District and present those findings to the D.C. Council.

Photo of Hannah Yates

Hannah Yates

Hannah is originally from Glen Allen, Virginia.  She has interned at the Virginia Poverty Law Center, AARP Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and the Legal Aid Justice Center during her time at AUWCL. She has also volunteered with Tzedek DC and the Justice Collaborative. In 2019, she participated in an alternative spring break trip to the Navajo Nation, where she volunteered with DNA-People’s Legal Services. Hannah is currently a student attorney with the Disability Rights Law Clinic, and serves as a Dean's Fellow for the Office of Public Interest.

As a Gallogly Fellow, Hannah will partner with Blue Ridge Legal Services to provide legal services to historically underserved rural seniors living in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. As an advocate for older adults, she hopes to improve rural seniors’ access to aging services and prevent elder abuse and neglect, allowing rural seniors to stay in their communities.

Hannah is incredibly excited to pursue this fellowship and to return to the Shenandoah Valley.

2019 Fellows

Photo of Ariel Chapnick

arielle chapnick

Arielle is originally from Acton, Massachusetts, and she graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 2014 with a B.A. in Government and Spanish. Arielle discovered her passion for immigration law through her undergraduate internships, study abroad program in Nicaragua, and through an asylum law practicum course during her senior year. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work as an immigration paralegal at Maggio + Kattar, P.C. During her time in law school, Arielle has interned with Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services and Ayuda. Arielle is a student attorney with the Immigrant Justice Clinic, a Note & Comment Editor for the Administrative Law Review, and the Executive Co-Chair of the Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.

As a Gallogly Fellow, Arielle will partner with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Washington, D.C. She will increase CARECEN’s capacity for direct legal representation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, educate local immigrant communities on changes in the TPS and DACA programs, and implement innovative outreach methods to share information with community members of all ages. 


marissa ditkowski

Marissa was raised in Commack, New York, where she first discovered her interest in advocacy and the law. Marissa is particularly interested in disability rights due to her own experiences with physical disabilities and chronic conditions. Marissa has been committed to advocating on behalf of AUWCL students with disabilities to ensure they have the resources they require to succeed as the Student Bar Association Disabilities Liaison. Marissa has interned at the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities, where she largely focused on guardianship and alternatives to guardianship due to guardianship’s overly restrictive nature. She has also interned at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Commissioner Chai Feldblum's office, where she researched policies related to employment discrimination, reviewed federal sector appeals, and reviewed EEOC litigation recommendations. Currently, Marissa is an intern at Outten & Golden, a plaintiff-side employment law firm. Marissa has been volunteering at Tzedek DC since November 2017. In that time, she has assisted with interviewing clients, drafting client communications, drafting hardship declarations, and noting the intersection of debt collection matters and disability.

Marissa will be working at Tzedek DC, a non-profit that applies direct representation, community education, and legislative advocacy to assist low-income DC residents who are facing unjust, abusive, and potentially illegal debt collection practices. She will focus on the representation of low-income DC residents with disabilities, who disproportionately require representation in debt collection cases and currently have no tailored representation available in the DC area. Marissa is extremely excited to pursue this fellowship, which she conceived as a volunteer at Tzedek DC. As a woman with disabilities, she looks forward to being able to represent, educate, and empower clients within her community.


Dominique Perez-Sangimino

Dominique worked as a paralegal for a number of years, including her first year of law school. She quit her job to gain experience with humanitarian immigration law and worked with different non-profit organizations including Just Neighbors, Tahirih Justice Center, and Ayuda. She is currently a student attorney with the Immigrant Justice Clinic.

 As a Gallogly Fellow, Dominique will partner with Ayuda to provide immediate and direct immigration legal services at Northern Virginia domestic violence shelters. She hopes to empower immigrant domestic violence survivors who won't otherwise be served by educating them about their rights, conducting legal consultations, and representing them in their immigration cases.

2018 Fellow


Katherine Conway

As a Gallogly Fellow, Katherine will partner with the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition to provide direct representation to bond-eligible individuals in immigration detention in the greater D.C. area. Leaving detention increases people's chances of retaining immigration representation and strengthens communities by keeping families together and productive community members out of detention. The project will also identify best practices in bond representation and build bond representation capacity in our community by assisting organizations that do not traditionally represent detained clients through the creation of training materials for clinics, pro-bono attorneys, and clients themselves.  

Originally from Cleveland, OH, Katherine moved to Washington, D.C. in 2008, following her graduation from Connecticut College with a B.A. in International Relations. Prior to attending WCL, Katherine worked in the federal government and as an immigration and refugee policy analyst, most recently for Episcopal Migration Ministries. Katherine is currently a student-attorney with the Immigrant Justice Clinic, and a senior staff member with the American University Law Review.

2017 Fellows

Rudy Castillo

Rudy Castillo

Rudy Castillo is working with the Baltimore field office of Kids In Need of Defense (“KIND”) to provide direct representation to low-income, unaccompanied minors in need of immigration services in the greater Baltimore metro area. His project also connects immigrant families to existing community resources and services by building on existing medical-legal partnership models that have successfully served low-income or immigrant communities


Kristin Donovan

Kristin Donovan is working with the Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC) in Northern Virginia to improve working conditions in the residential and commercial cleaning industry. In particular, through outreach, advocacy, and direct legal representation, she is helping immigrant women cleaning workers who suffer wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other workplace rights violations obtain relief and hold abusive