J.S.D. Candidates

Learn more about Columbia’s current J.S.D. candidates:

Michael Adams portrait

Michael Adams is a J.S.D. candidate at Columbia Law School. He also holds an LL.M. from Columbia Law School, where he was a James Kent Scholar and Charles B. Bretzfelder Constitutional Law Scholar, an LL.B. (Hons) from Monash University Law School, and a B.Media (Hons) from the University of Adelaide.

Michael’s interests include constitutional law and theory, in particular the separation of powers, executive power, and equal protection; national security law and theory, in particular the nature of emergency powers and the so-called “national security constitution;” public international law, in particular human rights law, as well as the laws of war and international criminal law; and legal philosophy, in particular the nature of legal authority and sovereignty, as well as legal interpretation.

The working title of Michael’s doctoral thesis is “The ‘Constitutional Outsider’ in National Security Law: Identity, Strategy, and the Separation of Powers.” The thesis will explore the origins of and tensions in treating groups as constitutionally exceptional for the purposes of national security, as well as the impact of the administrative state and international law on that dynamic and its broader implications for constitutional legitimacy.

Before beginning his J.S.D., Michael worked as a researcher at Human Rights Watch in its International Justice Program. His work included the research and writing of a report, entitled Who Will Stand for Us? Victims’ Legal Representation in the Ongwen Case and Beyond, proposing a new approach to the legal representation of victims before the International Criminal Court, based on fieldwork documenting the experience of victims in the case against former Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen. This work was supported in part by a Columbia Law School Postgraduate Public Interest and Government Fellowship.

Previously, Michael worked on policy at the Victorian Law Reform Commission, most prominently on a report recommending the introduction of an intergovernmental medicinal cannabis scheme. Michael was also the Senior Associate for the Honorable Justice Pamela Tate of the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal, and taught constitutional law at Monash University Law School.  

Michael’s academic publications include the forthcoming co-authored work Emergency Powers, with Cambridge University Press, and the following articles:

Michael W.R. Adams and H.P. Lee, “Judicial Recusal and Removal—A Comparative Study of the New Zealand Wilson Saga” (2015) 2(2) Journal of International and Comparative Law 187.

Michael W.R. Adams and C.K. Wareham, “Is Judicial Consideration of Credibility and Reliability Under Section 137 of the Uniform Evidence Law a Guarantee of Fairness or ‘Moral Treason’?” (2014) 40(2) Monash University Law Review 243.

H.P. Lee and Michael W.R. Adams, “Defining Characteristics of ‘Judicial Power’ and ‘Court’ – Global Lessons from Australia” (2013) 21(2) Asia Pacific Law Review 167. (Presented at the International Conference on Judicial Independence and Globalization, Hong Kong (2012)).

Ramiro Alvarez Ugarte

Dissertation Title
The Politics of Rights in Delegative Democracies: A Study on Argentina

Ramiro’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of constitutional law and social movements in Latin America. His dissertation is a study on the dynamics of rights-claiming in Argentina. His initial hypothesis is that the processes through which citizens organize, demand rights and engage public officials through their own constitutional narratives must have peculiar features in Latin America, partially determined by the delegative nature of most democracies in the region. Ramiro’s work draws on his constitutional law background and builds on theories concerned with the role of ordinary citizens in constitutional interpretation. Ramiro’s supervisor is Professor Jamal Greene.

Before coming to Columbia, Ramiro taught Constitutional Law and Social Change (2011-2013) and Constitutional Law (2013-2014) at the Universidad de Palermo, in Buenos Aires. Previously, he held an assistant position at the Law School of the Universidad de Buenos Aires (2006-2008). He worked as a human rights attorney at the Association for Civil Rights (2011-2014) and at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (2009-2011). He has been published in peer-reviewed legal journals in Argentina on issues of constitutional law, legal mobilization and freedom of speech.

J.S.D., Candidate, Columbia Law School (2014 – present)
LL.M., Columbia Law School (2009)
J.D., Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina (2003)

Research Interests
Democratic and Popular Constitutionalism
Civil Society
Politics of Rights
Judicial Review and Judicial Systems
Social Movements and Legal Mobilization

[email protected]

Daniela Ayala Chaim

Danielle’s scholarship draws on her background and interest in corporate governance and capital markets, as well as in corporate taxation. She is writing her dissertation about the economic effects and policy implications of the emerging common ownership structure in the U.S. capital markets while focusing on the tax avoidance consequences of such structure. In recent years, there has been a major transformation in the ownership of U.S. corporations: from mainly retail investors to mainly institutional investors. Given their sizable stakes, and consequent market concentration, institutional shareholders have become capable of influencing the behavior of their portfolio companies.

Danielle’s initial hypothesis is that common ownership might result in higher legal risk-taking by the portfolio firms, and in particular, tax risk-taking. Through her law and economic analysis, she plans to show that institutional investors who are involved in the governance of their portfolio companies can affect the regulatory risks associated with high levels of tax noncompliance, by creating coordination between the companies.

Her interdisciplinary research emphasizes the intersection between capital markets, corporate governance, and regulatory risks, and demonstrates how ownership structure can affect the cost-benefit analysis of tax policies and impose enforcement challenges on regulators. These findings have significant policy implications which will be explored in her dissertation. Danielle is guided by Professor Goshen, Professor Raskolnikov, and Professor Gilson.

Before coming to Columbia, Danielle worked in the private sector in Israel. She holds an LL.B. from Tel Aviv University and LL.M. from Columbia Law School. She has held various research and teaching appointments at Columbia University, Tel Aviv University and The College of Management Academic Studies.

Fields of Research

  • Corporate governance
  • Common ownership
  • Capital market regulation
  • Law and economics of capital markets
  • Corporate tax avoidance


  • 2018-present: J.S.D., Columbia University Law School
  • 2017-2018: LL.M. (James Kent Scholar), Columbia University Law School
  • 2009-2013: LL.B. (magna cum laude) (B.A. in Accounting), Tel Aviv University

Contact details

Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen is a J.S.D. candidate and the Research Assistant of Prof. John C. Coffee, Jr. at Columbia Law School. His J.S.D. studies the impact of hedge fund activism on innovation originality of public companies. Roy served as a Senior Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Israel and as an accountant and an attorney at the Israel Securities Authority (Israel’s “SEC”), in the Corporations Finance Division.

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Yaron Covo

Yaron’s research focuses on the intersection of disability law and sports law. Specifically, Yaron explores how various normative mechanisms in the sporting arena can play a role in changing societal misperceptions about, and attitudes towards, disability.  

Yaron earned an LL.M. from Columbia Law School (2019, James Kent Scholar), where he was a Fulbright Fellow and Norman E. Alexander Scholar. During his LL.M. studies, Yaron served as a teaching assistant to Professor Elizabeth Emens (Disability Law, 2019). Additionally, Yaron won the Milton B. Conford Prize (Best paper on jurisprudence) and the Emil Schlesinger Prize (student most proficient in the subject of Labor Law).  

Between 2014-2018, Yaron served as a law clerk to the Hon. Justice Daphne Barak-Erez of the Supreme Court of Israel. Yaron received his LL.B. from Tel Aviv University (2014, magna cum laude). During his LL.B. studies, Yaron worked at a leading Israeli law firm specializing in labor and employment law.  

J.S.D. Committee
Professor Elizabeth Emens (chair), Prof. David Pozen, Prof. Petros Mavroidis.

Research Interests
Disability Law, Sports Law, Labor and Employment Law, Human Rights.

Columbia Law School, LL.M. (James Kent Scholar, Fulbright Fellow), 2019.

Tel Aviv University, LL.B (Magna Cum Laude, TAU Law Memorial Award), 2014.

Gambling on Disability Rights, Colum. J. L. & Arts (forthcoming, 2020).

Beyond Individual Discrimination: Why FIFA Fails to Address Discriminatory Practices in World Football, 20 Tex. Rev. Ent. & Sports L. (forthcoming).

On the Right to Counsel in Disciplinary Proceedings of Sports Associations, in Essays in Honor of Justice Yoram Danziger (Limor Zer-Gutman & Ido Baum eds., 2019) (Hebrew).

Frank Giaoui

• Ph.D. (Doct.) Sorbonne Law School
• Post Doc. J.S.D. candidate, Columbia Law School
• Research Scholar, Columbia Business School
• Adjunct Professor, Lorraine University School of Law
• ESSEC MBA graduate and former visiting professor
• Managing Partner, Hera Finance corporate M&A advisory

Frank holds a Ph.D. (Doct.) in Comparative Law from Sorbonne Law School (Paris, France) and an MBA from ESSEC Business School (France). He is a Post Doc. J.S.D. candidate at Columbia Law School (New York City, USA) and a Research Scholar at Columbia Business School (New York City, USA). As a professional, he was also trained in executive programs with professors from
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Insead.

In 2018, Frank defended his doctorate dissertation, a comparative Law and Economics analysis between American Common law, French Civil law and International commercial law of damages as a remedy for contract breach. He is currently leading an empirical research involving professors and students in Computer Sciences, Law and Economics from both sides of the Atlantic. He teaches in Master2 at University of Lorraine, Metz Law School. He writes and speaks regularly on the subject at International law & economics conferences.

In 2016 and 2017, Frank has served as the Academic Liaison for the visiting scholar program at the invitation of the Dean of International Programs at Columbia Law School, and as the Special Advisor to the President of University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne for the development and capital campaign in the USA.

Frank was a Visiting Professor in Corporate Finance at ESSEC Business School (2002–2005).

See also www.herafinance.com.

Frank is an entrepreneur. He specializes in cross border Mergers & Acquisitions, fundraising and transition management with Hera Finance, the corporate advisory boutique he founded in 1996. His practice is focused on deals between start-ups or family-owned companies on one side and large corporations or private equity funds on the other side. He originated and closed 60 deals for a cumulative value in excess of $1,7 Bn.

Before that, Frank worked as a manager and a partner with Bain & Company, Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman) and Kingfisher PLC.

Frank has published more than 60 articles and a book on international corporate development and finance.

CV Frank Giaoui, PhD

Say Goo

Say H Goo is Professor of Law at HKU, Deputy Director of Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research (RCCPRR), Director of Japan and Korea Programme, and founding and former Director of Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL).  He joined HKU in 1995 after over five years of teaching at University of East Anglia and the University of Exeter.  A Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators in England (FCIS) and The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries (FCS), he also sits on the HKSAR Insurance Appeals Tribunal. He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law, Honorary Visiting Professor at University of Exeter, Co-Principal Investigator of a major HK RGC research grant project on Enhancing Hong Kong as an International Financial Centre, Co-Investigator of a HK GRF research grant on Corporate Governance of Controlled Firms: An Empirical Study of Company Constitutions in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, and Collaborator of a Singapore Government MOE research grant project on Legal Transplantation in the Development of Corporate and Securities Laws.  He is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Corporate Law and Securities Regulation at the University of Melbourne, editorial member of leading international journals and reviewer for well-known publishers and journals. He was also member of the HK Government’s Standing Committee on Company Law Reform, and Advisory Group on Corporate Insolvency Law Reform, and sat on Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Insurance Law Association. He has published widely in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance including books and journal articles that were cited by English Law Commission and the English and Hong Kong courts. He has visited many universities including Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge Universities and spoken at UN, UNCITRAL, APEC, and Insol Conferences.

His J.S.D. work takes an Economic Efficiency and Social Justice approach to reforming corporate governance arguing that in many countries, law reform in the past has often been influenced more by what is right or wrong (normative enquiry), or what is fair or unfair (justice consideration), but less influenced by economic efficiency (law and economic analysis or economic consideration) of the rules, and this sometimes leads to the adoption of the wrong rules with unintended consequences.  His thesis is that we should consider the economic principles of free market in law reform especially in the area of corporate law and corporate governance, and adopt rules that would facilitate the operation of free market and remove market failures.   In this, he does not advocate the strict adherence to cost-benefit analysis, because even if the cost of measures adopted would initially outweigh the benefit, those measures may still be necessary to maintain market confidence and integrity.  He argues that we should instead analyse if the rule to be adopted would remove the obstacle to the smooth operation of free market.  Several areas of corporate governance issues will be focused on for this inquiry, although the thesis should be applicable generally to other areas.  He recognizes that rules that allow free market to function efficiently can also lead to certain sections of the society deprived of the resources allocated under the free market system.  Where the resources are basic and fundamental to every individual’s need in the society (eg basic food, health care, necessity and housing), other measures need to be taken by the state to provide a safety net for these sections of the society so that they can have access to these resources (the social justice consideration).  This thesis will therefore also investigate whether any rules of safety net are required in the areas examined.  The thesis will also consider whether any rule change should be done through self-regulation or government regulation as they both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the institutional arrangements and culture (the consideration of cost of regulation and enforcement).  He is guided by Professor John C. Coffee Jr. and Professor Merritt B. Fox.

Contact: email 

Ephraim Heiliczer

J.S.D. Research

Ephraim Heiliczer’s research focuses on society as a victim of crime. His research is entitled “Transformation of Criminal Laws: The Demise of Sodomy, Adultery, and Treason and the Evolution of Bribery.” The first part of his dissertation examines the demise of the criminal “conduct unbecoming a citizen,” focusing on the crimes of sodomy, adultery and treason. This analysis involves a comparison of treatment of these laws in civilian and military law, and the impact of the demise of these laws in modern western societies. The second part of the dissertation focuses on the transformation of the law of bribery, in particular commercial and foreign official bribery, and its relationship to the demise of “crimes unbecoming a citizen.” The final part of the dissertation focuses on the impact of the evolution of bribery on international business.

Prior to attending Columbia Law School, Ephraim was a lecturer at Netanya Academic College in Israel and worked as a litigation associate in private practice.

Contact details

Kristrun Heimisdottir

Kristrun Heimisdottir—Iceland

Zeina Jallad

Zeina Jallad is the first female J.S.D. candidate at Columbia Law School from the Arab region. She is a legal consultant, researcher, and lecturer with an intersectional focus on the law. Her body of work reflects her wide-ranging experience in the fields of International Law, Human Rights, Criminal Law, and Gender Justice. Recognized as the youngest Law graduate by the University of Jordan (2004), Zeina also holds an LL.M from Columbia University (2008), where she focused her research on International Comparative Criminal Law and gender justice. She is currently a senior partner at the Palestinian Samaan Ziadeh Law firm and a member of both the Palestinian Bar Association (2004) and the New York City Bar (2012).

Zeina has a robust professional profile both within and outside of academia. She has lectured on legal topics at Birzeit and Columbia respectively as a faculty lecturer and assistant professor. As a visiting assistant professor at Columbia, she collaborated with Professor Katherine Franke, the Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law, to successfully develop and co-teach a course entitled "Occupation: Law, Politics, Morality.” Her strength as an educator is re-enforced by her near two decades of experience consulting for a variety of international organizations including but not limited to IIIM, UN Women, OHCHR, UNDP, UNFPA, and the European Commission. Recruited as a multi-lingual legal expert and researcher for these institutions, she worked on issues of social mobility and impact litigation for disenfranchised communities in the MENA region. Her time as the Secretary of the Committee on the Middle East and North Africa for the NYC Bar Association reflects her expertise in the region.

Zeina’s academic interest in international human rights law has developed alongside and complemented her professional experience as a legal expert on the humanitarian crises in both Syria and Palestine. After serving as an EU appointed manager for the largest donor-funded development project in Palestinian Bar Association’s history, she went on to co-develop the Association’s first Strategic Plan as well as their official Code of Conduct for Palestinian Lawyers. While doing so, Zeina extended her services as a legal expert and researcher to the Syria team at the Office of the UNHCHR, where she worked with the OHCHR to develop human rights-based approaches to humanitarian aid.

Zeina has researched and authored several reports outlining strategies to advance the rights of besieged communities. She produced an actionable framework for the Victims and Survivors Centered Approach to Justice and Accountability for use by the UN’s International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism for Syria (IIIM), and the lead field research and production of the official Country Assessment for Palestine Gender Justice and the Law for UN Women. Her fieldwork with Syrian refugees in Jordan informed her brief for the International Center of for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), which outlines the role that justice and reconciliation may play in the prospect of their return.

Within the academic sphere, Zeina is working on a J.S.D. which analyzes the conditions that gave rise to the human rights failures she examined throughout her professional career and explores their various non-normative solution. The three case studies which make up her J.S.D are: Analyzing the Corporeal Logic of Law and Social Change in The Arab World: The Case of Bouazizi; Plural Belonging: The Samaritans’ Negotiation of Space in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; and Identity Annexation: Israel’s strategic inclusion of Samaritans under the Law of Return. The project is the culmination of her years of scholastic inquiry into and publishing on the intersection of international and criminal law, social studies, gender theory, and political science. In her study of these topics, Zeina has drawn on her upbringing and personal background to provide a unique perspective on minority rights in the Middle East in particular. Her current research into the Samaritan’s echoes her earlier academic explorations of feminist theory and the legal system; her notable body of work on the Palestinian context highlights the way in which ordinary women living in socio-political oppression have conceived of and influenced legal policies through informal channels.

Zeina is the recipient of various grants and awards for her professional and academic contributions including the Palestinian Rule of Law Award, Open Society Institute (2007), Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law (2008), Palestinian Faculty Development Award, Open Society Foundations (2012), Center for Gender and Sexuality Research Fellowship Award, Columbia University (2013), Civil Society Scholars Research Award, Open Society Foundations (2014), Tamari Foundation and Hassib Sabbagh Foundation Research Award (2015), The Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School, IGLP (2016& 2017), and International Women Award, P.E.O (2016 & 2018).


Writing Samples:

Zeina Jallad Charpentier et al., An Uncertain Homecoming: Views of Syrian Refugees in Jordan on Return, Justice and Co-existence, International Center for Transitional Justice, New York (2019).

Zeina Jallad, Gender Justice and the Law: Assessment of laws affecting gender equality in the Arab States, Palestine, UN Women in ppartnership with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2018).

Zeina Jallad, The Power of the Body: Analyzing the Logic of Law and Social Change in the Arab Spring, 6 COLUM. J. RACE & L. 139 (2016).

Zeina Jallad, Palestinian Women And Security: A Legal Analysis (2012).

Zeina Jallad et. al., Legal and Regulatory Framework of the Government’s Management of the Legislative Process: The Palestinian Case, Institute of Law, Birzeit University, Palestine (2007).


Download Zeina's Current CV

Arundhati Katju

2016–2017 Human Rights Fellow

Arundhati Katju is a lawyer practicing in Indian trial and appellate courts. Her work encompasses a broad array of practice areas, including white collar defense, legal aid, and LGBT rights litigation. Arundhati successfully represented the lead petitioners in the Indian Supreme Court’s historic judgment in Navtej Singh Johar and others v Union of India, where the Court struck down India’s 157-year-old sodomy law and upheld the rights of LGBT Indians to equality and dignity. Alongside her litigation practice, she is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought at Columbia University.

In 2019, she was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of the Year.

Heading her own law offices since 2011, Arundhati has a robust white-collar defense and commercial litigation practice. She regularly acts as a barrister for leading Indian law firms, having represented clients from India, Germany, Singapore and the U.S. in corruption and defense procurement cases. She has advised India’s leading public university, prosecuted pollution complaints on behalf of the State pollution regulator and been appointed amicus curiae to assist the Delhi High Court on numerous occasions.

Arundhati was also a public defender with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee, India’s top legal aid program, for over three years. In this role, she argued nearly 100 appellate cases before the Delhi High Court. Her pro bono work includes representing child sexual abuse survivors in cases against their abusers.

Arundhati holds a B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) degree from the National Law School of India University, and an LLM from Columbia Law School, where she was a Human Rights Fellow, James Kent Scholar, Public Interest Honoree and Herman N. Finkelstein Memorial Fellow. She was awarded the CLAGS Duberman-Zal Fellowship, 2019-20.

She has taught white collar crime law at the National Law University, Delhi, and worked with India’s National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to draft the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. Her work has been published in the Indian Express, Times of India, Scroll.in, and ConstitutionNet.org; she has spoken at the UN and given a Tedx talk about the case, available here.

Her doctoral project, “From Criminal Tribe to Sexual Citizen: Creating Identities through Colonial Law, Constitutional Rights, and Global Human Rights Movements,” focuses on the genealogy of sexual, criminal and constitutional identities in South Asia through the colonial, independence, and post-liberalization periods. Her research sheds light on the history of sexual and gender regulation in South Asia in order to better develop strategies for future LGBT rights challenges in the region.

Arundhati is a yoga teacher and practitioner in the lineage of Sh. TKV Desikachar, and has taught yoga in New Delhi and New York. 

Email: [email protected]

Maria Emilia Mamberti

María Emilia Mamberti is a lawyer from Argentina, specialized in Administrative Law (University of Buenos Aires) and Human Rights. Her areas of interest include social and economic rights, administrative and constitutional law, and public interest litigation.

María Emilia currently works as an independent consultant, having advised a wide range of institutions including the World Bank, the Argentine Federal Government, and different local and international non-governmental organizations, such as the Center for Economic and Social Rights in New York City. She also teaches an access to information Clinic at the University of La Plata (being the youngest and only women among clinic directors), where students seek to advance progressive views on transparency and accountability.

She is the co-founder and president of the Centro para la Implementación de los Derechos Constitucionales (CIDC), an NGO based in her natal Province of Buenos Aires, devoted to fighting discrimination, tackling corruption and promoting rights-based public policies.

María Emilia is a graduate of Columbia Law School’s LL.M. program, where she was a Human Rights Fellow, a Fulbright Scholar, a James Kent Scholar, a Public Interest Honoree, a Post-graduate Fellow in Public Interest, and a P.E.O. Grantee. She was awarded the Human Rights Institute Commendation for Leadership and Commitment in Human Rights and the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law.

She holds her law degree (magna cum laude, first of her class) from the University of La Plata in Argentina, and a master’s degree on Global Rule of Law and Constitutional Democracy from the University of Genoa in Italy.

Her dissertation will explore new forms of legal experimentalism in Latin America, to advance a model of decision making based on decentralization and local deliberation. In particular, she will analyze how experimentalism can help define the content of economic and social rights in public interest litigation. Her project will not only analyze, document and explain past and present phenomena, but also build a concrete catalogue of recommendations that Latin American countries (and others similarly situated) could consider when trying to implement experimentalism in the future. Her analysis will be based on learnings from public interest litigation across the region and will explore the possibility of generalizing relevant findings to re-write administrative and procedural law.

María Emilia is admitted to the practice of Law in Argentina.

Contact: [email protected]

Adi Marcovich Gross

Adi is a J.S.D. candidate specializing in corporate law, bankruptcy and finance. Her doctoral dissertation focuses on the inter-relations between the different current and prospective capital providers of the corporation. Her project examines the merits and pitfalls of the recent covenant-lite lending trend from a triangular perspective, which takes into account the effect of the changing lending practices on third parties. Using both theoretical and empirical tools, she examines how covenant-lite syndicated loans affect debt enforcement and the firm's ability to refinance. Professor Talley, Professor Morrison, and Professor Pistor support her work at Columbia.

Adi holds an LL.B. in Law and Economics (magna cum laude, 2012) and an MBA in Finance (2013), both from Bar Ilan University, Israel. During her studies, she was a member of the editorial board of Bar Ilan University Law Review and served as a research and teaching assistant in corporations, bankruptcy, securities regulation and torts. She also holds an LLM from Tel-Aviv University (with thesis, magna cum laude, 2017) and an LL.M. from Columbia Law School (James Kent Scholar, 2018).

Prior to attending Columbia Law School, Adi practiced law for four years as a corporate associate in a leading Tel-Aviv based law firm. 

Email: [email protected]

Joshua Sealy-Harrington

Joshua’s doctoral project—“Seeing Power, Unseeing People: Disaggregating Identity”—explores the benefits and harms of analyzing hierarchy in society through the lens of “identity” and how that framing can undermine the ability for the law to be a site for progressive material and systemic change. Specifically, he is exploring (1) how deploying a vocabulary of identity in legal strategies can participate in the reification of pernicious logics that maintain social hierarchy; (2) the ways in which “identity” functions as a heuristic rooted in rendering the self—and others—legible, thereby eliding how different identity categories are co-constituting and how an emphasis on identity can miss certain powers and people excluded from its frame of reference; and (3) the benefits of disaggregating identity into its felt, perceived, and recognized manifestations, as a means of more closely tracking its work—and the law’s work on it—in society. His research is supervised by Professors Kendall Thomas (Chair), Katherine Franke, and Elizabeth Emens.

Joshua grounds his academic research by also working as a lawyer at Power Law, where he is a tireless advocate for social justice. He has appeared before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Before beginning his doctoral research, Joshua completed an LL.M. at Columbia Law School (where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, Fulbright Student, and Law Society Viscount Bennet Scholar), a J.D. at the University of Calgary, and a B.Sc. majoring in mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Further, Joshua has completed three judicial clerkships, two at the Supreme Court of Canada (for Justice Clément Gascon) and one at the Federal Court (for Justice Donald J. Rennie, now of the Federal Court of Appeal). He also worked for two years as a litigator in commercial law, intellectual property law, and constitutional law at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

Joshua regularly writes and presents on issues relating to racial justice and criminal/constitutional law. His writing has been published in various law journals, The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and Newsweek. And his legal scholarship has been cited in several textbooks, as well as in judgments of the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court of Canada. He is a frequent media commentator, whose analysis has been featured on CBC News, CTV News, VICE, and Canadaland. And he often presents to government, academic, and private institutions on Critical Race Theory and racial justice, including the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Department of Justice, the Indigenous Bar Association, and the Criminal Lawyers’ Association. Joshua can be followed on twitter @joshuasealy, where his online advocacy earned a “Best Twitter Account” award at the Canadian Law Blog Awards.


Joshua’s presentations and peer-reviewed publications include the following:

  • Publication – “Twelve (Angry) White Men: The Constitutionality of the Statement of Principles (2020) 51:1 Ottawa Law Review 195
  • Publication – “Colour as a Discrete Ground of Discrimination” (2018) 7:1 Canadian Journal of Human Rights 1 (co-authored with Professor Jonnette Watson Hamilton)
  • Publication – “The Inventive Concept in Patent Law: Not So Obvious” (2015) 27 Intellectual Property Journal 385
  • Publication – “Tied Hands? A Doctrinal and Policy Argument for the Validity of Advance Consent” (2014) 18 Canadian Criminal Law Review 119
  • Publication – “Assessing Analogous Grounds: The Doctrinal and Normative Superiority of a Multi-Variable Approach” (2013) 10 University of Toronto Journal of Law & Equality 37


Select examples of Joshua’s presentations include:

  • Presentation – “Interrupting Bias: How Systemic Racism, Discrimination & Distorted Thinking Lead to Wrongful Convictions” (Public Prosecution Service of Canada and Courthouse Libraries BC; Dec 10, 2020)
  • Presentation – Law and Social Movements (Ontario Bar Association and Roundtable of Diversity Associations – Annual Diversity Conference; Dec 7, 2020)
  • Presentation – Critical Race Theory and Systemic Racism (Law Society of Ontario – Human Rights Summit; Dec 2, 2020)
  • Presentation – Fraser v Canada: 20/20 Vision on Equality? (University of British Columbia Law – Centre for Feminist Legal Studies; Oct 30, 2020)
  • Presentation – Access to Justice and Systemic Racism (University of Alberta Law; Oct 27, 2020)
  • Indigenous & Black Representation on the Bench, Inclusion & Diversity (Indigenous Bar Association Annual Conference; Oct 23, 2020)
  • Presentation – Critical Racial Profiling (Criminal Lawyers’ Association Fall Conference; Oct 23, 2020)
  • Presentation – Racial Justice in Canada: Anti-Black Racism and the Legal Profession (Canadian Bar Association; Aug 20, 2020)
  • Presentation – Queer Theory is Dead; Queer Legal Theory Does Not Exist (Provocations in Queer Legal Studies; Yale; Sep 2019)
  • Presentation – Constitutionality of Polygamy Prohibitions (Law, Culture & The Humanities; Carleton; Mar 2019)
  • Presentation – Addressing Sexual Violence in University Teaching and Accommodation for Survivors (Always a Zero-Sum Game? Academic Freedom and Anti-Oppression; Carleton; Sep 2018)
  • Presentation – Interplay of ss. 7 and 15 in the Resolution of Impending Charter Disputes (Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences; University of Calgary; June 2016)

Maya Olga Shaton—Israel

Nofar Yakovi Gan-Or

Nofar Yakovi Gan-Or is a J.S.D. candidate at Columbia Law School. Her research explores questions on reproduction and the law, and lie at the intersection of family law, constitutional law, gender, and bioethics. Her J.S.D. dissertation takes on a comparative approach to examine the regulation of new reproductive practices. Her most recent work focuses on postmortem reproduction, the use of gametes of deceased persons to conceive a child following their death, and how this reproductive rout is being practiced in the United States and Israel.  

Before coming to Columbia, Nofar served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable (ret.) Justice Edna Arbel of the Supreme Court of Israel. She holds an LL.M degree from Columbia Law School, an LL.B. degree from Tel-Aviv University, and an additional undergraduate degree in Political Science, from Tel Aviv University Faculty of Social Sciences. Nofar has served as a teaching assistant in the courses Introduction to American Law, Reproductive Rights and Practices, and Meanings of Motherhood: Legal and Historical Perspectives. Nofar has also served as a research assistant in the fields of political and legal theory, labor law, criminal law, and abortion law, and was a member of the editorial board of Tel Aviv University Law Review “Iyuney Mishpat.”

Lihi Yona

Lihi’s research is focused on applying critical race methodologies to the intersection of dignity, equality and recognition, especially within the contexts of workplace anti-discrimination law.

Lihi’s scholarship centers groups who experience liminal legal recognition - mainly Mizrahi Jews in Israel, as well as trans and non-binary people in Israel and the United States. Lihi is interested in exploring the limitations of the concept of equality within anti-discrimination law—limitations stemming mainly from its dependency on legal recognition—alongside the perils of dignity-based universal protections, rooted in dignity’s cultural and racial biases. Her dissertation explores the possibilities of raceless critical race theory, and of a post-identitarian, anti-essentialist reconceptualization of anti-discrimination law. Focusing specifically on workplace protections, Lihi examines the promise offered by employment law to liminally recognized groups.

Lihi holds an LL.M. from Columbia Law School (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar), an M.A. in philosophy from Haifa University (Magna Cum Laude) and an LL.B., also from Haifa University (Summa Cum Laude). She interned at the Israeli Ministry of Justice, under the deputy to the attorney general, and was a young scholar at the Israel Democracy Institute up until 2019. During her LL.M., she won the Jeffrey Williams Memorial Prize for Critical Rights Analysis and the Norman E. Alexander Scholarship.