2019 LL.M. Public Interest & Government Fellowships

Archana Eliza George ’19 LL.M. Awarded LL.M. Public Interest & Government Fellowship at The Legal Aid Society


Archana Eliza George ’19 LL.M.

Undergraduate Degree: LL.B. from the University of Sydney

Experience: Advantage Partnership Lawyers, paralegal and intern supervisor; Projects Abroad Human Rights Office, legal intern; Northern Land Council, legal intern; Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning Program, tutor and program coordinator; Antunes Lawyers, attorney; Family Court of Australia, judicial clerk; Women’s Legal Services NSW, pro bono attorney; Pigdon Norgate Family Lawyers, attorney; Sanctuary for Families, legal intern; The Legal Aid Society, legal extern

Motivation: “I was born in India and moved to Australia when I was 8 years old. My experiences as a first-generation immigrant and my exposure to both Indian and Western norms regarding gender roles while growing up shaped my interest in gender studies, immigrants’ rights, and women’s rights issues. While I was in law school and following graduation, I sought roles that enabled me to work closely with refugees, women, and children, particularly in the area of family law, where I had the opportunity to advocate for victims of domestic violence and other gender-based harms. One of the most transformative aspects of my LL.M. experience was my externship with The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit, where I worked on matters involving undocumented youth. The externship helped me realize that I do not necessarily have to choose between my two passions—family law and immigration law—as I pursue a career in public interest law. I learned it is possible to work on the intersection of these areas of the law: to work on matters that require me to draft petitions for custody and for asylum; to appear in family court and immigration court; and to represent clients who are immigrants, children, victims of domestic violence, and victims of government persecution.”

Goals: “My long-term career plan is to utilize my background and experience in family and immigration law to advocate for the rights of immigrants, women, and children. At The Legal Aid Society, I will have the opportunity to learn from attorneys who have devoted their careers to zealously advocating for the most marginalized members of our community and to strengthen my skills in providing culturally sensitive and trauma-informed legal representation to vulnerable clients.”

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 May 13, 2019