2019 Postgraduate Fellowships
Undergraduate Degree: B.A. in global studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara
Experience: The Legal Aid Society, extern; Make the Road New York, intern; New York Legal Assistance Group, intern; Peace Corps, primary literacy educator in Dominican Republic; Columbia Law School Advanced Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
Motivation: “During my tenure with the Peace Corps, I gained critical experience working with local youth on complicated and often very sensitive issues. My primary project focused on improving literacy practices in local schools, but following the Peace Corps’ multifaceted approach, I also developed youth groups dedicated to HIV awareness and sexual health, as well as mental health and well-being. I worked with community members of Haitian descent to acquire documentation in the wake of the Dominican government’s devastating policy stripping them of citizenship. My experience navigating the Dominican immigration system inspired me to apply to law school to become an immigration lawyer.”
Goals: “While at The Door, I look forward to being able to provide relief for one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, namely undocumented youth. Given the current state of our immigration system and the onslaught against asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile status protections, it is increasingly important to provide zealous and creative advocacy for undocumented children. The Door is renowned for taking on particularly challenging and sensitive cases and for providing exceptional representation. The mentorship, training, and experience I gain working with The Door will help me become a much stronger advocate as I move forward in my career as an immigration lawyer, while also allowing me to pursue work that I am passionate about directly after law school.”
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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