Two Columbians Named Skadden Fellows for 2009

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, January 27, 2009 — Two of this year’s prestigious Skadden Fellows hail from Columbia Law School. Law School student Carrie Acus Love ’09 (below, left) and recent graduate Tanaz Moghadam ’08 (right) will pursue two-year public service projects in the area of immigrants’ rights with the support of the highly coveted fellowship.

“Carrie and Tanaz are wonderful additions to the more than 30 Columbia Law School graduates who have been Skadden Fellows,” said Ellen Chapnick, dean for the Social Justice Program at Columbia Law School. “Their projects address serious needs by immigrants for personal safety and economic security. I am proud that Columbia continues to prepare students for social justice advocacy and that our graduates consistently receive these important fellowships.”

Love will work for Western Massachusetts Legal Services in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, providing comprehensive legal services and developing legal outreach programs for immigrant victims of domestic violence in Berkshire, Franklin, and Hampshire counties. 

“Immigrant victims of domestic violence in rural areas often confront distinct obstacles to getting help,” Love said. “Geographic isolation, scarcity of public transportation, lack of anonymity, and cultural and linguistic barriers can make it difficult to escape abusive situations and to access much needed legal services. This fellowship represents an incredible opportunity to begin expanding outreach and legal representation to this underserved population.”
At Columbia Law School, Love served as a staff editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, assisted victims of domestic violence through the Courtroom Advocates Project, and participated in the Immigration Defense Externship. She also spent a summer at the Immigrant and Refugee Legal Services division of Catholic Charities with the support of Columbia’s Human Rights Internship Program fellowship.
Moghadam, who will work for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project, will provide direct representation and community education for low-wage workers who are denied their right to work by a federal verification program.
“I am thrilled for the opportunity to advocate for low-wage workers who are authorized and have a right to work in the U.S. and yet are precluded from exercising this right,” Moghadam said. “Funding for this project couldn't have come at a better time. Employees are increasingly vulnerable to abuse, discrimination and red tape as this flawed verification program expands in an unprecedented way.”
Moghadam is currently a clerk for Judge Jan E. DuBois of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. While a Law School student, she served as articles editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, interned at the ACLU and at Human Rights Watch and headed the Law School’s Amnesty International chapter. Also the recipient of a Columbia Human Rights Internship Program fellowship, she spent one summer on the Ivory Coast working with the International Rescue Committee.
The Skadden Fellowship Program, called “a legal Peace Corps” by the Los Angeles Times, supports graduating law students and judicial clerks who choose to devote their professional careers to providing legal services to underserved members of society, including the poor, working poor, the elderly, disabled and those deprived of their civil or human rights. The program was established in 1988.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, and environmental law.