Meet the 2023 J.D. and LL.M. Postgraduate Public Interest Fellows

Columbia Law School graduates have received prestigious fellowships that support positions in public interest and public service organizations.

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This year’s group of fellows possess a wide range of experience working in social justice and human rights and are committed to a career in public service. They will tackle issues including antitrust, climate change, corporate wrongdoing, juvenile justice, and immigrants’ rights at organizations around the world. 

“These fellows have demonstrated dedication to the causes they serve, and their fellowships are the culmination of years of hard work in public service,” says Erica Smock, assistant dean and dean for Social Justice Initiatives and public service lawyering. The fellows will work at organizations including ACLU of Illinois, the Clooney Foundation For Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, UN Women, and the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. “These graduates will represent the Law School at a wide variety of organizations, which speaks to the breadth of their interests and talents.”

Below, meet some of the J.D. and LL.M. fellows and learn what drew them to their organizations and what they hope to achieve. 

Interviews have been edited and condensed. Check back for updates as more fellows are added.

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Cody Davis Aceveda ’23

Name of Fellowship: Global Public Service Fellowship
Organization: EG Justice
Hometown: Woodland, Washington

Cody Davis Aceveda ’23 earned a B.S. in environmental science and resource management from the University of Washington and an LL.M. in international business law from King’s College London. Before Law School, he worked for Sealaska Environmental Services as an environmental technician and, during his 1L summer, he interned for Just Atonement. At Columbia Law, Aceveda participated in the Smith Family Human Rights Clinic and was a research assistant for the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. He also participated in the Environmental Law Moot Court. 

Why EG Justice? “Working at EG Justice allows me to continue my work in Africa that I started at the Smith Family Human Rights Clinic while also gaining more experience in international environmental law and human rights. Working on international environmental law topics is where I see myself working in the future.”

Fellowship goals: “I hope to earn valuable experiences working with local communities fighting corruption and fighting for their environmental rights. Practically speaking, I hope to better familiarize myself with cutting-edge developments in international climate change law.”

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Tal Avrhami ’23

Name of Fellowship: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann Fellowship
Organization: ClientEarth
Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona, and Tel Aviv, Israel

Tal Avrhami ’23 holds a B.A. in criminology from Bar-Ilan University. Prior to law school, he spent 10 years as a freelance translator, tutor, and content writer. At Columbia Law, he was co-president of the Environmental Law Society, communications chair of First Generation Professionals, and a notes editor for the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. He externed with Earthjustice and the New Standard Institute, where he worked on New York's proposed Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act after publishing a peer-reviewed paper on the relationship between trade law and the environmental repercussions of fast fashion. During his Law School summers, he interned with the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and Greenpeace International, where he wrote portions of Greenpeace’s brief for the European Court of Human Rights in one of its first climate cases (People v. Arctic Oil). In 2023, he also received an LL.M. in international criminal law from the University of Amsterdam.

Why ClientEarth? “I don’t think any issue is more pressing—or terrifying—than the climate crisis. ClientEarth has successfully won environmental cases abroad to block the construction of coal-fired power plants, safeguard natural environments, and protect the communities that rely upon them. In the United States, they are at the forefront of a new litigation strategy that leverages financial and securities law to hold corporate entities accountable for their climate impacts.” 

Fellowship goals: “I look forward to gaining litigation experience both in the United States and abroad, with an emphasis on suing corporations. I hope to be part of the process of pioneering new legal strategies—for example, those relying on human rights law or securities law—to combat the climate crisis. Not to ‘save the planet,’ but to mitigate the unprecedented scale of human suffering that it will inevitably engender.”

Madhuri Belkale portrait 2023

Madhuri Belkale ’23

Name of Fellowship: Cohen Milstein Fellowship 
Organization: Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll  
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Madhuri Belkale ’23 earned a B.S. in psychology and political science from the University of Iowa. While at Columbia Law, she was a research assistant to Professor Kellen R. Funk, a teaching assistant to Professor Bert Huang, and an intern with the Texas Civil Rights Project and Neufeld Scheck & Brustin. She was also a Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellow, a member of the 1L Human Rights Advocates Program, and articles editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and the Columbia Journal of Race and Law. Belkale served on the leadership boards for the South Asian Law Students Association, Empowering Women of Color, and the Midwest Society. Following her fellowship, she will clerk for Judge Arenda Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Why Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll? “Cohen Milstein has an impressive history of using class action litigation to hold large corporations accountable and compensate victims of corporate wrongdoing. I couldn’t be more grateful to start my legal career fighting corporate abuse—while learning and receiving training from some of the nation’s experts on federal class action litigation.” 

Fellowship goals: “I hope to gain an understanding of putting together a plaintiff’s class and litigating a class action, from start to finish, while ensuring that the class’s interests are put first at each step of the process. This fellowship will give me an opportunity to develop my legal writing and reasoning skills, so that I am able to be a strong advocate for my clients, as I move forward in my career.”

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Natsuki Hosoya ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: Global Public Service Fellowship 
UN Women—Ending Violence Against Women section
Hometown: Kanagawa, Japan

Natsuki Hosoya ’23 LL.M. graduated from the University of Tokyo with an LL.B. Previously, she was an associate at Nishimura & Asahi in Japan and a member of the Lawyers for LGBT and Allies Network. At the Law School, she was an LL.M. representative for If/When/How—Lawyering for Reproductive Justice and was a member of the Columbia Society of International Law, OutLaws, Columbia Law Women’s Association, and Post-Dobbs Working Group. Hosoya was also a legal intern for Sanctuary for Families, Uncontested Divorce Project.

Why U.N. Women—Ending Violence Against Women section? “I am convinced that eradicating gender-based violence is one of the keys to advancing gender equality in the world, and the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence is the primary goal of my career. Through both my personal and professional experiences, I have come to fully understand how gender-based violence severely impacts women and girls. Working at UN Women will provide me with a great opportunity to put into practice what I have learned at Columbia Law School and will allow me to gain practical experience that will benefit my future work in Japan and other East Asian countries, where gender-based violence is one of the most serious problems threatening women and girls.”

Fellowship goals: “I will be working with the Ending Violence Against Women division at UN Women to prevent and respond to sexual harassment of women and girls in public spaces. I would like to use my expertise and background in supporting women survivors of gender-based violence to help our team understand this context and develop more effective and comprehensive laws and policies to prevent sexual harassment. I believe that this fellowship will be an opportunity to enhance my legal skills to use international law as a tool to create an environment free of all forms of gender-based violence.”

Tamar Katz smiling

Tamar Katz ’23

Name of Fellowship: Millstein Financial Regulation Fellowshi
Organization: Executive agency
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas

Tamar Katz ’23 holds a B.B.A. in finance and a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to law school, she was an investment banking analyst at Citigroup. At Columbia Law, she was an articles editor for the Columbia Business Law Review and research assistant for Lev Menand, associate professor of law, and Timothy Wu, Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology. Katz was also a research associate for the Center for Economic and Policy Research, an extern in the antitrust bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General, and an intern at the Federal Trade Commission.  

Why an executive agency? “While I learned a great deal as an investment banker, I concluded that a career in finance would not provide me with the meaning that I wanted. After learning about antitrust, I realized that antitrust enforcement could satisfy my desire for a meaningful career—one where I would not be relegated to facilitating growth at all costs (as in finance), but where I would have the opportunity to interrogate the broader implications of that growth on other stakeholders. Working in the policy office of an executive agency is the ideal postgraduate opportunity because it will enable me to continue working on cutting-edge policy questions in a subject area I am passionate about. The Millstein Fellowship thus makes possible a career path that would otherwise be unavailable to a recent law school graduate like myself.”

Fellowship goals: “First, I want to continue building subject-matter expertise at the intersection of private equity and antitrust. While there is a great deal of legal and economic scholarship on private equity and antitrust independently, there is little scholarship that addresses the intersection of the two. I find this topic endlessly fascinating and hope to work in a government setting where I can continue contributing to this growing body of knowledge. Second, I want to participate in ongoing policy debates concerning how federal antitrust enforcers should evaluate private equity investments. Having learned about these issues in varying professional and educational settings, I would be excited to practice in this area as a government lawyer because of the ability to translate good ideas into concrete policy change.”

Laura McFeely

Laura McFeely ’23

Name of Fellowship: Kirkland & Ellis New York City Public Service Fellowship
Organization: Center for Appellate Litigation
Hometown: New York City

Laura McFeely ’23 received a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College. Prior to attending law school, she focused her career on advancing equality in American society in employment, economic development, and education. At Columbia Law, McFeely was a Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellow. She worked with the trial and capital habeas units at the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Alabama and with the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Practice in the Bronx. She was a volunteer with the Health is Justice Project and participated in the Paralegal Pathways Initiative. McFeely was also a teaching fellow for Professor Maeve Glass ’09 and a research assistant for Professor Elizabeth F. Emens. She is a member of the Academic Scholars Program and was an articles editor for A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual

Why Center for Appellate Litigation? “I’ve been interested in appellate public defense since my internship at the Federal Defenders for the Middle District of Alabama, where I was inspired by the team’s truly tireless advocacy on behalf of their incarcerated clients. I’ve long admired the Center for Appellate Litigation and its commitment to client-centered advocacy, and I was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the externship there this past fall. Getting to work with their team on our client’s appeal confirmed for me that the organization would be an amazing place to start my legal career. They are devoted to supporting their clients as best they can, through direct appeals as well as through their special projects that they have created in response to clients’ needs.”

Fellowship goals: “I will be working on direct criminal appeals and providing whatever additional support my clients need. My goals are to make a real difference in the lives of my clients through fighting unjust convictions, reducing jail time, and, more generally, responding to their needs in a very difficult time. I hope to build the foundation for my legal career by becoming a more effective advocate and learning how to build strong relationships with clients.”

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Shruti Narayan ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: LL.M. Pathways Public Interest and Government Fellowship 
Access Now
Hometown: Mumbai, India

Shruti Narayan ’23 LL.M. holds a B.A. in political science and an LL.B. from the University of Delhi. She previously worked as a litigation attorney in the chambers of Shadan Farasat and Warisha Farasat in New Delhi and as a law researcher for Supreme Court of India Justice (Ret.) Madan B. Lokur. While at the Law School, she was an extern with the Knight First Amendment Institute. 

Why Access Now? “Access Now is an international human rights organization with a digital focus. I was drawn to their work on internet shutdowns, content governance, and illegal surveillance, which pose serious threats to democracy. Access Now’s emphasis on research and advocacy to defend rights goes beyond strategic litigation to build sustainable and collaborative movements for change.”

Fellowship goals: “I look forward to working on the development of crucial digital rights and privacy policies in India within the framework of international law and to supporting litigation against rights violations. I am excited to improve my professional skills with Access Now’s mentorship structure and to explore new models of public interest lawyering that engage meaningfully with civil society.”

Portrait of Natia Navrouzov ’23 LL.M.

Natia Navrouzov ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: Global Public Service Fellowship 
Organization: Clooney Foundation for Justice
Hometown: France and Iraq

Natia Navrouzov ’23 LL.M. attended Universität zu Köln and Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, where she received a dual degree in French and German law. She earned a master’s degree in international economic law from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, then completed the French bar exam and was admitted to the Paris Bar. Prior to pursuing an LL.M., she worked in the field of arbitration in Paris and London. In 2018, she moved to Iraq to support the Yazidi community, which was subjected to genocide by the Islamic State group. She started to lead a documentation project at the NGO Yazda, which aims to collect evidence of crimes against Yazidis to secure justice for survivors. She eventually became Yazda’s first legal advocacy director, working on transitional justice issues, including criminal justice and reparations for survivors. At Columbia Law, she was a research assistant to Professor Sarah M. Knuckey and an extern at UN Women. Navrouzov received a Human Rights Fellowship as well as a Davis Polk Leadership Fellowship to create a digital platform on the Yazidi genocide.

Why the Clooney Foundation for Justice? “I have been working with the office of Amal Clooney since I joined Yazda. She and her team have been at the forefront of supporting Yazidi survivors since the beginning, and together with Yazda, we have reached important milestones, including several criminal convictions. Amal and her team’s hard work and care for the Yazidi community are inspiring, and joining those efforts is a natural next step in my pursuit for justice for my community. Working with the Clooney Foundation for Justice will also allow me to be mentored by an amazing team, grow my knowledge, share my experience, and support victims from other conflicts.”

Fellowship goals: “For my project, I will work on progressing accountability for Yazidis both in Iraq and globally.”

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Anna Norman ’23

Name of Fellowship: David W. Leebron Human Rights Fellowship
Organization: Global Witness
Hometown: Bridgeport, New York 

Anna Norman ’23 graduated from Nazareth College with a B.A. in history. At Columbia Law, she was a managing editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, co-chair of the human rights and public interest committee of the Columbia Society of International Law, president of the Christian Legal Society, and a participant in the Smith Family Human Rights Clinic. Norman was an intern for the Centre for Law and Democracy and the American Bar Association’s Center for Human Rights. She also worked on two capstone projects at the School of International and Public Affairs, working with the governments of Peru and Kosovo. 

Why Global Witness? “Working for Global Witness is the next step in my long-term goal of being a human rights attorney. As I have explored different areas of human rights law through classes and experiential learning opportunities, I have come to realize the importance of the intersection of corporate accountability and environmental justice in the human rights field. As such, I am honored to work at Global Witness, as these are the thematic areas of human rights that the org champions.”

Fellowship goals: “My goals at Global Witness are to build skills necessary for a career in corporate accountability and human rights. I hope to create life-long relationships and trust with communities fighting for their rights so that I can begin a career built on sustainable partner-based advocacy.”

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Lars Odland ’23

Name of Fellowship: Hueston Hennigan Fellowship 
Social Justice Legal Foundation
Hometown: Warrington, Pennsylvania

Lars Odland ’23 graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in history, minoring in educational studies. Prior to Columbia Law, he was a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic, where he taught English to high school students. At the Law School, Odland was a 2L staffer on the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, a project associate in the Center for Public Research and Leadership, and a legal extern at the civil rights bureau of the Office of the New York Attorney General. He was also a legal intern for the Center for Educational Equity and the Education Law Center and a summer associate at Dechert in New York. 

Why the Social Justice Legal Foundation? “I was a teacher before coming to law school, and I entered Columbia interested in juvenile rights issues. Thanks to my professors and peers, I now have a broad conception of children’s advocacy and see my future work at the Social Justice Legal Foundation as a continuation of that interest. I admire the organization’s commitment to challenging our inhumane prison system, and I look forward to litigating on behalf of the incarcerated, their families, and the communities around them.” 

Fellowship goals: “I hope to become an effective civil rights litigator in federal court. I’m excited to work on a small team where I will get to quickly build my brief writing and oral advocacy skills. More importantly, I hope the work I contribute to has tangible, positive impacts on the lives of our clients.”

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Sarah Ortlip-Sommers ’21

Name of Fellowship: Justice Catalyst Fellowship
Organization: Public Justice’s Access to Justice Project
Hometown: West Tisbury, Massachusetts

Sarah Ortlip-Sommers ’21 graduated with a B.A. in political science from Stanford University. After graduating from Columbia Law in 2021, she clerked for Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. At the Law School, she was editor in chief of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, a teaching fellow for Professor Kellen R. Funk, a participant in the Sanctuary for Families, Courtroom Advocates Project, vice president of If/When/How—Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, and public interest chair of the Columbia Law Women’s Association. She was a participant in and teaching fellow for the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and a research assistant to ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project Deputy Director Lee Gelernt. 

Why Public Justice’s Access to Justice Project? “Public Justice’s Access to Justice Project focuses on creating and safeguarding avenues for redress in the civil justice system, tackling doctrinal procedural barriers, and fighting abusive corporate power—exactly the kind of work I became a lawyer to do. Recently, Public Justice secured a groundbreaking victory for the family of a man beaten to death by guards at a for-profit prison and successfully expanded the availability of tort remedies and classwide relief in the consumer and workers’ rights context. My fellowship project aims to build upon these successes and apply similar theories to the immigration detention context, an area where Public Justice’s work is just beginning.”

Fellowship goals: “As a student in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, pro bono research assistant on a Supreme Court case that ultimately gutted immigrants’ due process rights, and intern for an attorney serving asylum seekers in my hometown, I witnessed the ways our legal systems prevent immigrants from accessing justice. With this in mind, I plan to use impact litigation and legislative advocacy to expand and protect critical legal paths for immigrants harmed in for-profit detention centers. I hope that I am able to help even one person during my fellowship and that my work with Public Justice can set an example for other advocates to follow and build upon.”

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Beatriz Pais Alderete ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: LL.M. Pathways Public Interest and Government Fellowship
Organization: Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division of Environment and Ocean Affairs
Hometown: Viña del Mar, Chile

Beatriz Pais Alderete ’23 LL.M. holds an LL.B. from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. She was a legal adviser in the Chilean Delegation to the International Court of Justice and a lawyer in the National Department of Borders and Boundaries of the State in the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Law School, Pais Alderete was a member of the Columbia Society of International Law and an extern with the Permanent Mission of Vanuatu to the United Nations. She was also a graduate student consultant to the Mexican Institute of Petroleum, Secretariat of Energy, through a School of International and Public Affairs Capstone Workshop.

Why the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Division of Environment and Ocean Affairs? “At Columbia Law School, I learned that I am passionate about environmental issues, especially the impact of climate change on human rights and biodiversity. Working for the Division of Environment and Ocean Affairs is the perfect opportunity for me to transition to international environmental law, to give back to my home country, and to work at the intersection of my two greatest interests: the environment and international law.”

Fellowship goals: “I want to get valuable experience as both a government and environmental lawyer on local and regional issues. My main goal is to find a path that will let me contribute to the development of Chilean foreign policy and integration in the Latin American region in the context of the climate crisis. Also, I am hoping to stay engaged with the advisory proceedings before the International Court of Justice through the Chilean Foreign Ministry.”

Laura Quijano Ortiz portrait

Laura Quijano Ortiz ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: Global Public Service Fellowship 
Organization: UN Women—Peace, Security, and Resilience section
Hometown: Bucaramanga, Colombia

Laura Quijano Ortiz ’23 LL.M. holds an LL.B. and graduate degree in international law from Universidad del Rosario. She was a law clerk and judicial assistant for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, a consultant to the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, and an adjunct professor in the law school at the Universidad del Rosario. At Columbia Law, she was an LL.M. Human Rights Fellow and a member of the Columbia Society for International Law and the Columbia Law Women’s Association. Quijano Ortiz was also a research assistant to Lecturer in Law Richard Dicker. 

Why UN Women—Peace, Security, and Resilience section? “I am convinced that the intersection of gender justice and transitional justice holds immense potential for combating patriarchal hierarchies and that it is an essential element of any effort to build sustainable peace. While working at the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, I witnessed the impactful support that UN Women provides to countries that are grappling with these issues. And, after getting to know more about the work that the Peace, Security, and Resilience section does in this area, I knew this would be the best fit for my career goals.”

Fellowship goals: “I look forward to engaging with transitional justice processes in Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Kosovo, Mali, Tunisia, South Sudan, and Sudan. I will be working on promoting women’s and LGBTQI+ rights, supporting the meaningful participation of women and girls affected by human rights violations, and advocating for accountability for sexual and gender-based violence. This will be an unparalleled opportunity to get exposure to a wide range of good practices and lessons learned on gender-sensitive transitional justice and to acquire the skills that I need to conduct policy-related work on human rights issues.”

Emma Shumway

Emma C. Shumway ’23

Name of Fellowship: Sabin Center Climate Justice Fellowship 
Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Hometown: Arlington, Virginia

Emma C. Shumway ’23 holds a B.A. in environmental studies from Middlebury College and was an Environment America National Fellow prior to coming to Columbia Law School. At the Law School, she was a Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellow, editor in chief of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, and a participant in the Just Transition Clinic. Shumway was a summer legal intern for the Environmental Defense Fund and an extern with EPA Region 2 Criminal Enforcement and the New York City Law Department. She was also a summer law clerk at Earthjustice’s Northeast office. 

Why the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law? “Working for the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law will allow me to dedicate all of my time and energy to the issue that ultimately inspired my decision to attend law school: climate change. As a climate justice fellow specifically, I will be able to approach climate change law from a perspective that centers equity and environmental justice, which is critical to both addressing the disproportionate impact of climate change and to ensuring a just transition to a clean energy economy.”

Fellowship goals: “Next year, I hope to take advantage of this unique opportunity to push the boundaries of climate law and identify innovative and novel techniques. I also hope to directly serve local New York communities whenever possible and to gain exposure, knowledge, and tools that will allow me to more effectively advocate for climate justice throughout the course of my career.”

Jules Stuart Pierre portrait

Jules Stuart Pierre ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: LL.M. Pathways Public Interest and Government Fellowship 
Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF)
Hometown: Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Jules Stuart Pierre ’23 LL.M. has an LL.B. and B.A. in agronomy from the State University of Haiti. He also holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Fordham University. Pierre was deputy director of the financial market division of the Bank of Haiti. He has been a risk management consultant for the World Bank, Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. At the Law School, he was a member of the Black Law Students Association. 

Why Small Enterprise Assistance Fund? “As a holder of a Chartered Financial Analyst designation, I have a strong interest in asset management. While at Columbia, I took a deals course that strengthened my interest in the legal aspects of private funds management. Working at SEAF, an impact fund, will allow me to put into practice my financial and legal skills.”

Fellowship goals: “My goal for the fellowship year is to help SEAF provide services to small and medium-size enterprises in developing countries through its various local partner funds. Moreover, I hope to gain experience that will help me find a position as a counsel or an adviser at an institution like the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, IDB Invest, or International Finance Corporation.”

Camille Wrightson portrait

Camille Wrightson ’23 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: LL.M. Pathways Public Interest and Government Fellowship
Organization: APPEAL
Hometown: Wellington, New Zealand

Camille Wrightson graduated from the University of Otago with a B.A. in politics and an LL.B. Prior to coming to Columbia Law, she was a judges’ clerk at the New Zealand High Court at Christchurch and a constitutional and human rights assistant crown counsel at the Crown Law Office in Wellington, New Zealand. At the Law School, Wrightson was an LL.M. representative for RightsLink and the Domestic Violence Project. Through the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, she consulted for the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on media freedom and human rights.

Why APPEAL? “APPEAL does critical work fighting miscarriages of justice in the United Kingdom through criminal appeals, impact litigation, and public campaigns. Their Women’s Justice Initiative, where I will focus my work, advocates for criminalized women with experience of domestic violence, mental health issues, and poverty connected to their offending. The Women’s Justice Initiative works toward a gender-responsive criminal legal system through holistic defense. I am deeply inspired by their work as well as their operating model as a charitable law firm.”

Fellowship goals: “Joining APPEAL is an exciting opportunity to apply what I’ve learned at Columbia and my professional experience to secure justice for criminalized and incarcerated women. I came to Columbia to deepen my understanding of civil liberties, human rights, and gender justice, and I can’t wait to put that knowledge to good use.”

Manny Zhang

Manny Zhang ’22 LL.M.

Name of Fellowship: Global Public Service Fellowship
Organization: EarthRights International
Hometown: Sydney, Australia

Manny Zhang ’22 LL.M. attended the Australian National University, where she earned a B.A. in Spanish and an LL.B. She was a lawyer for Legal Aid NSW and Redfern Legal Centre before joining Columbia Law School. At the Law School, she was a research assistant for the Human Rights Institute, a board member for RightsLink, an articles editor for the Columbia Journal of Race & Law, and a research assistant for A. Kayum Ahmed, assistant professor of Population and Family Health at CUMC. Zhang was also an intern for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and she was an intern, fellow, and consultant at the Center for Economic and Social Rights. 

Why EarthRights International? “I am eager to continue furthering my experience at the nexus of human rights and climate justice and developing the skills needed to work collaboratively with activists operating at national and grassroots levels. As an organization supporting local-to-global advocacy that seeks to shift power from corporate elites to frontline communities, EarthRights International will provide an ideal setting for me to build and strengthen those skills.”

Fellowship goals: “I will work with EarthRights International’s Myanmar and Mekong programs to further corporate accountability for environmental and human rights violations and to support environmental defenders and grassroots organizations in their opposition to destructive fossil fuel and agribusiness projects. Working with EarthRights International will allow me to learn from the expertise and experiences of community-based environmental defenders, to better understand the human rights impacts and root causes of climate change and environmental destruction, and to bring a broader set of analytical and advocacy tools to bear in addressing these issues.”