2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply

Headshot of Clayton Pierce

Clay Pierce

  • Hosted by American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project
  • Sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Proskauer Rose LLP
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Columbia Law School
  • Issue area Disability Rights, Voting Rights/Electoral Participation
  • Fellowship class year 2024
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Clay (he/him) advances voting rights for people with disabilities by challenging state laws that limit and criminalize voter assistance.

Millions of adults across the United States live with a disability. People with disabilities routinely rely on neighbors, friends, or institutional staff to help them request and return their absentee ballot. Some state laws disenfranchise voters with disabilities by prohibiting—and even criminalizing—that necessary assistance. These laws violate Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act, which protects the right to assistance by a “person of the voter’s choice,” with narrow exceptions.

Fellowship Plans

During his Fellowship, Clay will work directly with voters impacted by restrictive assistance laws to bring claims under Section 208 of the Voting Rights Act, among other civil rights laws. Clay will meet with voters and grassroots disability advocacy groups to meet voters’ needs and develop public education materials. He will also work with ACLU state affiliates and other advocates to prevent passage of additional harmful laws.

The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with voters with disabilities to help advance their full access to the franchise.

Clay Pierce /
2024 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Clay

View All

Photo of Ihaab Syed

Ihaab Syed

Host: American Civil Liberties Union Voting Rights Project

Sponsor: Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company, The Ottinger Family Foundation

Photo of Kaitlyn Hartmann

Kaitlyn Hartmann

Host: The Bronx Defenders

Sponsor: KPMG LLP, The Sidley Austin Foundation

Amanda Glass

Host: Arizona Center For Disability Law

Sponsor: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Jen Samantha Rasay

Host: National Center for Law and Economic Justice

Sponsor: Faber Daeufer & Itrato