2019 Postgraduate Fellowships

Clarisa Reyes-Becerra ’19 awarded Singer Fellowship at California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF).

Clarisa Reyes-Becerra ’19
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in human biology (concentration in American health care policy and reform) from Stanford University

Experience: Columbia Human Rights Law Review, editor in chief; California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, intern; Office of the New York State Attorney General, intern; National Alliance for Hispanic Health, intern; Columbia Law School Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, co-president; Columbia Health Law Association, academic chair; Columbia Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, legal intern and teaching assistant

Motivation: “My grandparents are Mexican immigrants who labored as factory and farm workers in California’s Central Valley, enduring years of pesticide exposure that poisoned their lungs and those of their children, who joined them in the field. My grandparents’ legacy motivates my efforts to improve access to health care for underserved communities.”

Goals: “As a Singer Fellowship recipient, I will work with CRLAF to develop the organization’s ability to enforce the rights of the Central Valley’s immigrant communities to access vital health care and social services. I will adopt CRLAF’s multifaceted advocacy model in executing this objective by providing no-cost legal services and community legal education, engaging in policy advocacy, and assessing potential impact litigation. Ultimately, this project will break new ground within CRLAF’s health advocacy by building its institutional capacity to secure legal rights to local health care programs and social services. CRLAF will be equipped to screen its immigrant and farmworkers’ clients not only for immigration relief but also for any public benefits for which they qualify.”

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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 the other 2019 public interest postgraduate fellows.

Published on March 18, 2019