Three Columbia Law School Graduates Awarded Prestigious Fellowships to Pursue Public Service Careers

Dinah Manning '14 and Sarah Mechlovitz Saadoun '14 Receive Lowenstein Fellowships While Kinara Flagg '11 Is Named a Berger Fellow

New York, July 24, 2014—Three Columbia Law School students who have combined academic excellence with a passion for public service have been awarded the prestigious Lowenstein and Berger fellowships, allowing them to pursue careers that serve the public good.

Two members of the Class of 2014, Dinah Manning and Sarah Mechlovitz Saadoun, received Lowenstein Fellowships, which recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and potential for making a substantial contribution to public interest law. In addition, Kinara Flagg ’11 was chosen for the 2014 Dale and Max Berger Public Interest Law Fellowship. The award provides enhanced loan forgiveness to a graduate who is working to fight racial, gender, or other discrimination.
“These remarkable graduates will use their Columbia Law School education, considerable talent, and commitment to social change to improve the lives of people and communities in need,” said Ellen P. Chapnick, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives. “I look forward to assisting them as they become leaders in their fields like previous recipients of these fellowships.”
Dinah Manning '14 will start work in the fall at The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia.
Manning, who will start work in the fall as a staff attorney in the Trial Division of The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, was active in many of Columbia Law School’s public-interest offerings. She was a mediator in the Mediation Clinic, externed at The Bronx Defenders, and took Trial Practice with Rick Jones, executive director of Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. As a Human Rights Internship Program participant, Manning spent a summer in Guatemala City working with local human rights attorneys to develop a strategic plan for achieving legal, social, and political protection of women's rights as they related to maternal health. She also worked with Center for Institutional and Social Change, under the supervision of Professor Susan Sturm, conducting field research on the best practices for retaining formerly incarcerated young adults in programs geared toward reversing the school-to-prison pipeline.  
Manning’s classmate, Saadoun also took advantage of numerous opportunities to demonstrate her interest in public service. She spent summers interning at Human Rights Watch and the International Federation for Human Rights, and participated in the United Nations Externship and the Human Rights Clinic. This fall, she will begin her career as an international human rights lawyer at Human Rights Watch as a Sandler Fellow.
Kinara Flagg '11 will work in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.
Before enrolling at Columbia Law School, Berger Fellow Flagg worked as a development associate for Homes for the Homeless, where she saw firsthand the pervasive socioeconomic and racial inequality in New York City.  At the Law School, she worked with inmates at Rikers as part of the Alternatives to Incarceration Project and with immigrant victims of domestic violence through Sanctuary Families. She also participated in the Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic. Currently clerking for Judge Rosemary S. Pooler of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, she will return to the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division as an Honors Program Trial Attorney in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section where she previously interned.
The Lowenstein Fellowship was established in 1998 by the late Professor Louis Lowenstein ’53 LL.B. and his wife Helen. Fellows are selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and graduates who are committed to helping students build careers in public interest law. The Berger Fellowship was established in 2008 by famed plaintiffs’ attorney Max Berger ’71 and his wife Dale. Berger, co-founder of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, sat ex-officio on the selection committee.

The late Professor Louis Lowenstein ’53 LL.B, left, and famed plaintiffs’ attorney Max Berger ’71 established public interest fellowships at Columbia Law School.

By supplementing Columbia Law School’s already substantial Loan Repayment Assistance Program benefits, which are guaranteed to qualifying graduates, these fellowships allow recipients to develop their careers on a firm financial footing.