2025 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

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Headshot of Renee Coe

Renée Coe

  • Hosted by Bay Area Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by Intel Corporation, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP
  • Service location Oakland, California
  • Law school University of California, Berkeley School of Law
  • Issue area Consumer Rights, Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Renee will advocate for immigrants and people with limited English proficiency in the Bay Area who are targeted by fraud and scams.

Scams skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but they did not affect all communities equally. Scammers intentionally target immigrants and people with limited English proficiency (LEP) with threats and false promises of assistance. Immigrant and LEP victims of scams face barriers to attaining help because many institutions’ reporting procedures are accessible only in English and contacting law enforcement may put them or their family members at risk of immigration consequences.

Without consumer protection legal services focused on the unique needs of immigrants and LEP individuals, scammers will go unchecked and financial institutions will continue to look the other way, with devastating consequences for immigrant communities.

Renée believes that consumer rights are immigrants’ rights. She has a background in immigration law and consumer law, and she sees the potential of working at the intersection of these two fields to strengthen protections for immigrants in the Bay Area.

Fellowship Plans

During her Fellowship, Renée will represent low-income immigrants and LEP individuals who have experienced scams, focusing on liability for financial institutions that fail to prevent or adequately investigate fraudulent activity. Working with a network of community partners throughout Alameda County, Renée will conduct outreach to targeted communities and share information about how people can spot, avoid, and recover from scams. Renée will operate community-based legal clinics to help victims of scams safely pursue consumer law remedies and will work closely with immigration attorneys to provide wraparound support to her clients.

Media

Welcoming Equal Justice Works Fellow Renée Coe

Working at Bay Area Legal Aid’s Consumer Rights Clinic, I saw firsthand the devastating impact that scams have on immigrants and their families. This Fellowship will give me the opportunity to provide consumer law services tailored to the specific needs of immigrant communities.

Renée Coe /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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Timothy Sanders

Host: Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Sponsor: 3M Company, Faegre Baker Daniels