Shazreh Khan ’20 Named Recipient of the JD Distinguished Fellowship Program
July 21, 20120
American University Washington College of Law graduate Shazreh Khan ’20 is the recipient of the 2020 JD Distinguished Fellowship Program. The program provides funding for selected graduates performing substantive legal or law-related work at external organizations, enabling each Fellow to continue her or his legal training while seeking long-term employment.
Khan is spending her fellowship in an attorney-in-training position at the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition International (TASSC), taking part in legal intakes to determine whether a survivor is eligible for services; working with survivors on asylum declarations; creating and executing plans for gathering evidence for cases; writing legal briefs for affirmative and defensive asylum cases; and giving “Know Your Rights” Presentations, among other projects.
Khan interned at TASSC her 1L summer, and enjoyed it so much that she returned her 2L fall semester to extern. TASSC has hosted a number of AUWCL legal interns, and TASSC Legal Services Program Manager Angela Edman ’09 is also one of the first recipients of the JDDF Program.
“[My internship] was the first time I experienced hands-on legal asylum work,” Khan said. “What I really appreciate about TASSC is its unique holistic approach to survivors of torture who are seeking asylum. TASSC not only provides legal services but it also provides psychological and social services as well as a community for survivors of torture. The departments are very interconnected, and the environment is very conducive to expressing ideas regardless of job title.”
At AUWCL, Khan had the opportunity to take a wide range of classes that were related to immigration and human rights, citing Immigration & Naturalization Law, Trafficking in International Persons, International Law, and Migration in the Global Economy as classes that provided her with a foundation in understanding the history, policy and law on immigration and human rights.
The Clinical Program, Khan said, provided her with a hands-on experience to build on what she had learned in these courses.
“Everyone grows in their legal understanding and their confidence in their ability to advise a client or represent a client at a hearing. After a year of Clinic, I feel much more comfortable in my ability to represent and advise clients and I believe it has prepared me for the role of a legal fellow,” she said.
Along with Clinic, Khan was involved with the Equal Justice Foundation (EJF) her 2L year, working towards securing items and promoting the annual EJF auction, as all proceeds go to funding public interest internships for AUWCL students.
“I believe in the importance of providing funding for public interest legal work. It’s difficult for a lot of law students who are interested in public interest jobs to realize that without funding, they will have to do an unpaid internship,” Khan said. “Such funding really is essential for students who might be passionate about the work but financially unable to take on unpaid work.”