Chris graduated from Tufts University in 2014 with a degree in International Relations and Spanish. As an undergraduate, he was an intern for then-Mass. State Rep. Carl Sciortino, where he worked with local communities to end Massachusetts’s cooperation with the federal Secure Communities immigration enforcement program. Following graduation, Chris moved to Amman, Jordan, where he worked for two years as an open source analyst researching a wide range of national security and human rights issues. While in Jordan, he volunteered at a number of organizations working with immigrant and refugee communities including Jesuit Refugee Service and Tamkeen, where he researched arbitrary detention of South Asian migrant domestic workers. Chris is a founding member of Sawiyan, an Amman-based NGO that supports underserved refugee communities through social inclusion programs and advocacy work. In 2016, Chris moved to Washington, DC, to continue his career as an analyst, focusing on Middle East security issues. He is excited to be a member of the PIPS community and looks forward to using law to advance transparency and accountability within national security.
Originally from Bethesda, Maryland, Anjali recently returned from a 5 year stint working for the BlinkNow Foundation, a nonprofit in rural Nepal. There, she headed a transition to adulthood program for vulnerable youth. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Anjali studied political science after having studied in Turkey twice on State Department grants and has advanced fluency in both Nepali and Turkish. She plans to advocate for quality education for all.
A St. Louis native, Molly attended the University of Notre Dame, graduating cum laude with majors in Gender Studies, Peace Studies, and Philosophy. There, she worked as the student research assistant at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the law school and conducted independent research for her thesis on the impact of sex work policies on human trafficking. During her summers, she interned as the government relations intern with NETWORK Lobby for Social Justice and as a victim advocate in the Domestic Violence Courts of St. Louis. After graduating, Molly lived in Guatemala, where she worked at an orphanage called Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos and ran their girls’ empowerment program. She hopes to incorporate the lessons she learned about the impact of international law and customs on Guatemalan people in her future work. Since she was 14 years old, Molly has known that she wanted to work in international human rights law, specifically against sexual and gender based violence. She is excited to be attending AUWCL as a PIPS Scholar to gain the tools and knowledge of the law she needs to fight for gender justice and human rights on a global scale.
Megan comes to WCL after graduating from Oberlin College with a degree in politics, Latin American studies, and peace and conflict studies. For five years, her passion has been in conflict transformation and restorative justice. While at Oberlin, Megan crafted various research and advocacy projects based in Hawai'i, Nicaragua, D.C., and around the U.S. These projects focused on systemic inequality, peace education, and U.S.-Latin American foreign relations. One of her research projects resulted in a set of policy recommendations for child abuse prevention agencies in Iowa, contributing to a set of bills written on mandatory reporter training and child sexual abuse prevention -- one of which passed in the recent legislative session. She brought her hands-on research skills to her internship with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, where she solidified her dedication to peacebuilding by working in the community to take action on global denuclearization. In the year between undergrad and WCL, she returned to her hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, and worked in victim advocacy at the Restorative Justice Center of the Polk County Attorney's Office. She interviewed and accompanied victims of assault, robbery, and domestic violence to mediations and the courtroom, explaining legal procedures and providing county resources. Megan also started her own company since graduation: she has used this company to provide bilingual services to local nonprofits, female-owned businesses, and single mothers and families. She is very passionate about her local volunteer work with the Youth Justice Initiative of West Des Moines, United Way, and Rotary International. Megan is absolutely thrilled to join American University and is looking forward to learning from her PIPS community. She plans to focus on international human rights law at WCL to equip her for a career in peacebuilding and survivor advocacy.
Anya was born in Halle, Germany and grew up in Pennsylvania. Prior to attending college, she spent a year learning with the Church Land Programme, a land rights organization in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Anya went on to graduate summa cum laude from Goshen College in 3 years with a degree in Social Work, and a minor in peace and justice studies. In college she pursued her passions for advocacy and reform by helping to found a student initiative to develop on-campus sexual assault prevention programming, as well as organizing her own cross-cultural semester, during which she studied at Chief Dull Knife College on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, in Lame Deer, Montana. Since graduating college, she has focused on work with justice involved youth. She founded a creative writing program in a local juvenile detention center and worked with youth in a truancy prevention program as a means of justice diversion. Each of these experiences gave Anya the honor of learning from people whose life experiences inform her perspective and goals entering law school. She is eager to build on this foundation by pursuing a degree in public interest law and is honored to do so as part of the PIPS community.
Sophie was born in Lyon, France and grew up between Kentucky and Shanghai. She earned her undergraduate from Cornell University, majoring in economics, French literature, and government. In college, she worked as a research assistant for two years, analyzing Valence issues in Francophone African elections. Meanwhile, she worked as a legal intern for DuPont in Beijing, and from this learned the different channels multinational companies use with local governments to promote their long term interests. In her junior year, she studied French law and economics at Sciences Po Paris. After graduation, Sophie joined Teach for America and worked in low income neighborhoods as a high school math teacher, while earning her Master’s in education. As an educator, she served on the Rodel Teacher Council to influence progressive education policies and interned with the Delaware Community Legal Aid Society. Sophie hopes to use her diverse background to help her pursue her interests in labor rights and trade issues.
Paulina Lucio Maymon
Paulina Lucio Maymon is a human rights advocate whose research interests focus on international human rights, gender issues, intersectionality, and criminal justice. Prior to joining Washington College of Law, Paulina worked as a research associate at the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide and served as a paralegal for the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program. She worked on post-conviction litigation of death penalty cases in the United States and Tanzania and conducted research on the application of the death penalty around the globe. As a Fulbright scholar, she earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University, where she served as Managing Editor of the Cornell Policy Review. Her master’s thesis is titled “An Intersectional Approach to CEDAW as a Framework to Advance Indigenous Women’s Rights in Mexico.” In 2017, Paulina worked at the Evaluation Office of U.N. Women in New York City. Prior to attending Cornell, she worked as a Gender Equality and Human Rights Consultant at the Institute of the National Housing Fund for Workers (INFONAVIT), a federal institution that grants mortgage credits to workers in Mexico. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. Paulina is thrilled to become part of the PIPS community and develop new lawyering skills to support underserved populations.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sarah graduated magna cum laude from the University of Georgia in 2017 with degrees social work and criminal justice. During her junior year, she spent her spring semester interning in Washington DC for the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, where she assisted practicing attorneys on a number of cases ranging from voting accessibility, higher education admissions, and day-care expulsions. She spent the following summer in Alexandria, VA as a Case Management Intern in the Missing Children's Division at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. During her senior year, Sarah completed her BSW Field Placement at Peace Place, Inc., an organization in rural Georgia assisting survivors of domestic violence. Sarah also spent the past two years at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated summa cum laude in May 2019 with Master of Social Work and Master of Science in Criminology degrees. During her time in Philadelphia, she was deeply involved in the Petey Greene program, spending 2 hours each week tutoring youth in a juvenile correctional facility. She completed her MSW Field Placement with the Goldring Reentry Initiative, where she worked with individuals incarcerated in the Philadelphia Department of Prisons, helping them develop a sustainable re-entry plan, and continued to work with them upon release to implement that plan. Throughout this time, she has had the opportunity to work on a number of projects working with justice-involved youth, including interviewing recently released juvenile lifers in Philadelphia and doing mitigation on behalf of young people charged in the Philadelphia adult criminal justice system. This summer, she will be completing a policy internship with the National Juvenile Defender Center. She is excited to attend AUWCL and be among some of the most brilliant, public-interest oriented students and faculty in the nation, and looks forward to using her education to represent and advocate on behalf of young people in the criminal justice system.
Originally from Michigan, Courtney graduated from Indiana University in 2017 with majors in international human rights law and journalism and a minor in French. Courtney absolutely loved her time in Bloomington and was able to find her passion through many incredible classes, professors, and opportunities to work in public interest. Courtney spent all four years of her undergraduate education working in crisis intervention with Middle Way House, a domestic violence and rape crisis center. Working at Middle Way allowed Courtney not only to develop experience with direct client interaction, but also with public education and activism. Middle Way was where Courtney first began realizing she wanted to go into law. While working at Middle Way, Courtney began working with immigrant clients, which sparked her interest in refugee and asylum law. During her undergraduate years, Courtney interned in refugee resettlement and policy at Freedom House Detroit as well as the British Refugee Council during her study abroad in London. Studying abroad sparked Courtney’s passion for international work, and after graduation she joined the Peace Corps, serving from 2017-2019 in Botswana. While there, Courtney worked in organizational development and empowerment for Silence Kills Support Group, an NGO dedicated to working with female sex workers and men who have sex with men that are living with HIV.
Class of 2021
Originally from New Jersey, Cassie attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and graduated summa cum laude with degrees in Political Science and Spanish and minors in Latin American and Poverty Studies. During her junior year summer, she interned with Kids in Need of Defense, where she worked with unaccompanied minors in deportation proceedings. After graduation, Cassie moved to the U.S.-Mexico border to continue exploring immigration law through a yearlong service program with Border Servant Corps, where she worked on applications for humanitarian protections for immigrants, including U-Visa, VAWA, and asylum applications. After completing her service year, Cassie moved to New York City to work as an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) fellow at the Central American Refugee Center in Long Island. For two years she worked on IJC’s deportation defense team representing Central American asylum seeking families before federal immigration courts. The totality of Cassie's experiences in the immigration field served as the impetus for her desire to go to law school. Since being in law school, Cassie has interned at the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition and directly represented a client in immigration court, an experience that has sparked her interest in the trial litigation process.
Sarah chaney Reichenbach
Sarah is a 2L interested in civil rights and immigration law and gender issues. Since starting law school, Sarah has interned at the Tahirih Justice Center’s Baltimore, Maryland office, where she provided direct legal services to immigrant women and girls fleeing gender based violence. She is also a member of the American University Law Review, the Moot Court Honor Society, and the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF). Sarah came to WCL from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), where she supported programs in peacebuilding, security sector and criminal justice reform, and community dialogues in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Prior to her position at USIP, Sarah led the Genocide Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, where she analyzed U.S. policies during the Rwanda, Srebrenica, and Darfur genocides through Freedom of Information Act requests and primary source research. She also worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina with a grassroots women’s organization made of Srebrenica genocide survivors and supported programming related to the psychosocial support, economic independence, and advocacy for survivors. Sarah holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University, where she conducted research on the effects of al-Shabaab’s organized criminal activities on state-building in Somalia with a group of fellow graduate students. She received her B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Northern Colorado. Sarah plans to use her legal education to advocate for clients facing civil rights, economic justice, and immigration issues.
Catherine graduated from Smith College in 2011 with degrees in Sociology and Spanish. After graduating, Catherine spent five years serving survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Washington, D.C. During that time, Catherine worked particularly closely with immigrant and LGBTQ-identified survivors, striving to eliminate system generated barriers to their safety and empowerment. In 2016, Catherine moved to Havana, Cuba where she worked to educate hundreds of U.S. citizens about the effects of U.S. policy in Latin America and provided delegations with tools to advocate for change within their communities upon returning home. In her time at WCL, Catherine has focused her legal studies on the intersection of immigration, criminal law, and prisoners' rights. Most recently, Catherine served as a legal fellow at Legal Aid Justice Center, where she worked on a federal class action lawsuit challenging the detention of immigrant children and assisted in bringing suit against a private detention center for constitutional violations committed against civil detainees. Currently, as a student attorney with WCL's International Human Rights Law Clinic, Catherine is supporting litigation against the federal government on behalf of Central American families who were separated at the border under the Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy. Additionally, this November, Catherine will travel to Geneva to serve as a Special Assistant to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, where she will brief rapporteurs of the Committee Against Torture on country conditions and compliance with the Convention Against Torture. In her spare time, Catherine volunteers for the Honduras Program of the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective. Upon graduating from WCL, Catherine hopes to continue her work with grassroots solidarity movements that aim to combat racist, capitalist and heterosexist U.S. policies that cause harm at home and abroad.
Catherine was born in Colorado and grew up just outside of Boston. Her studies and work have focused on advocating on behalf of under-served, at-promise youth. During her undergraduate time at Oberlin College, she led an initiative to create a peer-mentoring program for underclassmen with disabilities. After graduation, she returned to Boston and taught 6th graders with learning and social/emotional disabilities for two years as an Americorps Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools. While there, she helped shift the conversation around students with disabilities from a deficit-perspective to one that centers on student and family voice. For the last three years, Catherine worked as an Education Coordinator at a Massachusetts child protective services office working to ensure youth in state care receive the educations they are legally entitled to. She also provided case management for youth in out-of-home placements (foster care, group care and residential). In her roles as teacher and coordinator, Catherine has had the opportunity to gain insights into the public and private institutions that impact children’s access to education. Catherine is excited to be a part of the AUWCL and PIPS community. She looks forward to further learning how to affect institutional change that engages kids and families as experts and partners.
Class of 2020
Nick comes to WCL from Boston where he worked for 2,000 students in five elementary schools, with the nonprofit Playworks. For three years, he used play and games to teach socio-emotional skills like conflict resolution, communication, and collaboration. He trained recess staff and consulted with administrators to ensure recess was safe, positive, and active. Nick has facilitated leadership training for over 50 fourth and fifth grade Junior Coaches, who serve their schools by running games at recess. Nick advocated for hiring practices that were representative of the diversity of the students Playworks serves, and created cultural and trauma competency workshops for coworkers. Nick is excited to use the law as a tool in holding those in power accountable to the needs of the people, especially the needs of kids.
Originally, from Maine, Emily earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. As an undergraduate, she interned at two legal aid offices in Worcester -- one served the refugee population, and the other served the homeless population. Upon graduation, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC). JVC places volunteers in direct service organizations as full-time employees for one year. JVC placed Emily in a housing paralegal position at the Public Justice Center, located in Baltimore, Maryland. At the conclusion of her volunteer year, Emily worked as the Pro Bono Coordinator at the Homeless Persons Representation Project, also in Baltimore. As Pro Bono Coordinator, she led expungement clinics at homeless shelters and trained student and attorney volunteers. Serving low-income individuals solidified her passion for working alongside clients.
Christine Hammel Guest
Christine was born and raised in South Jersey and attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she majored in political science. As an undergraduate, Christine worked at private law firms, served as a research assistant in the Political Science Department, and worked as a resident assistant. She developed her passion for the law by competing in mock trial tournaments throughout her time in college. After graduating from Drexel in 2015, Christine worked in communications at a legal aid organization that connected pro bono attorney volunteers with low-income clients seeking civil legal assistance. Christine then moved to Washington, D.C. in 2016 and completed a year of service with City Year. Through City Year, she worked at a local middle school to mentor students and improve student literacy. Since coming to law school, Christine has developed a passion for civil rights and environmental law work. She has interned at the United States Court of Federal Claims and at Public Justice, and she spent her second summer as a law clerk at Earthjustice. Christine is a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, works with clients as a student attorney in the Civil Advocacy Clinic, and serves as the Associate Managing Editor of the American University Law Review. Her law review comment, DNA and Law Enforcement: How the Use of Open Source DNA Databases Violates Privacy Rights, was published in Volume 68.3 of AULR.
Amanda grew up in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a degree in International Studies and Geography in 2017. Amanda’s undergraduate studies focused on environmental policy and community development initiatives. Amanda served as a leader in multiple environmental and community development organizations at WVU, where she worked to address injustices affecting communities in Appalachia and around the world. As a law student, Amanda currently serves as the Symposium Editor for the Sustainable Development Law and Policy Brief and is also an American University Law Review staff member. Amanda has enjoyed legal internships with the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice, the American Wind Energy Association, and the Environmental Integrity Project. Amanda also worked as a Dean’s Fellow in the Legal Rhetoric Department at WCL. Amanda plans to use her legal career to serve and empower communities impacted by poverty and environmental degradation.
Sahar graduated cum laude from the University of South Florida with a bachelor's degree in psychology, membership in the Honors College and a passion for disability rights advocacy. She has been a long time leader in her local chapters of the non-profit Best Buddies International where her zeal for advocacy first developed; the summer prior to entering AUWCL Sahar had the opportunity to intern at their headquarters in Miami, FL. Throughout her collegiate career, Sahar sought to expand her knowledge in the field of health and disabilities through her coursework and even choosing to write her undergraduate thesis on the role of political correctness in reference to disabilities. She spent most of her free time volunteering at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Byrd Alzheimer's Institute where she interacted with patients and learned about the challenges they face. Seeking to elaborate on her familiarity with this concentration Sahar became a research assistant at USF's Alliance and Suicide Prevention Lab and an intern at an Elder and Disability Law Office; experiences that solidified her decision to pursue disability civil rights law. In law school, Sahar has had the opportunity to intern with organizations that advocate for seniors rights, such as 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, and plans to continue working in direct services after graduation.