2019 LL.M. Public Interest and Government Fellowships

Ayisha Malik Kamara ’19 LL.M. Awarded LL.M. Public Interest and Government Fellowship at the African Services Committee (ASC)


Ayisha Malik Kamara ’19 LL.M.

Undergraduate Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in French and Spanish from the University of Ghana, LL.B. from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, and Professional Law Certificate from the Ghana School of Law

Experience: Ghana Air Force, Communication Squadron, cabin services manager; Puozuing and Associates, intern; Law Offices of Ayine & Felli, junior associate; Grace Amey Obeng Foundation International, pro bono legal consultant; Asana Memorial Foundation, founder

Motivation: “I come from Salaga, a remote town in the northern region of Ghana where a young girl’s highest aspiration is to be a good wife and dutiful mother, which usually happens at an early age. Fortunately, I became one of the few exceptions due to my father’s education and career as a diplomat. While I chose to work in the aviation industry after university, I was forced to reassess my career goals in 2011, when I was informed that my 13-year-old cousin was set to be married. I did everything within my power to stop her impending marriage. When the marriage was called off, I knew that I could not simply go back to aviation. I felt compelled to make a difference for children like my cousin on a grand scale. I enrolled in law school with a goal of learning to use legal advocacy to fight against the human rights abuse that is child marriage. Since graduating from law school, I have worked tirelessly to curb child marriage in my community.”

Goals: “ASC is a multiservice human rights agency based in New York City dedicated to assisting immigrant refugees and asylum seekers from across the African diaspora. I will help women self-petition for legal status under the Violence Against Women Act, which is intended to provide women and girls a means to escape from gender-based violence like child marriage, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and domestic violence. I will use my time at ASC to develop my advocacy and legal research into gender equality activism so that upon my return to Ghana, I will be better prepared to help children escape child marriages.”

The office of Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) guides Columbia Law School students who want to pursue public interest work throughout their academic careers and after graduation. SJI also assists in the process of applying to prestigious postgraduate fellowships. Read about other 2019 LL.M. public interest and government postgraduate fellows.

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Published on May 15, 2019