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Samantha Hunt

  • Hosted by A Better Balance
  • Sponsored by Covington & Burling LLP, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Vanderbilt University Law School
  • Issue area Education/Special Education, Women's Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Through her work at A Better Balance in New York, Samantha (she/hers) will utilize direct legal services and public outreach and education initiatives to assist pregnant and parenting students in obtaining the accommodations they need to stay in school.

In New York, over 20,000 students become pregnant each year. Schools often fail to grant students necessary accommodations for their pregnancies or parental status, such as remote exams, adequate restroom breaks, adjusted course completion deadlines, and provided space and time for pumping. The result is that pregnant and parenting youth—particularly Black students and other students of color—are pushed out of school, making it difficult to obtain a quality and complete education. This gap in education creates a snowball effect with serious repercussions for their future educational and work opportunities and financial stability. Ensuring pregnant and parenting students have meaningful access to accommodations will help bridge the gap between pregnant students and their diplomas.

Samantha’s project coincides with the anticipated issuance of a new Title IX regulation that aims to to provide students with more robust pregnancy and lactation protections. In addition to utilizing and enforcing the existing federal, state, and local protections, Samantha will provide public education around these new protections. Expanded access to accommodations will protect pregnant and parenting students in New York by ensuring they do not have to choose between their education and their families.

Fellowship Plans

Samantha’s project has two primary goals: to provide direct legal services to students who need assistance obtaining accommodations; and to conduct outreach and education to inform students of their rights. During her Fellowship, she will establish a strong connection between students and the legal services offered by A Better Balance. She will also educate students about the rights they have at their educational institutions, including what accommodations should be available, and she will serve as their legal advocate, whether it be a simple accommodation request, an administrative complaint, or a lawsuit.

Pregnant and parenting students deserve the same educational access and quality as their non-pregnant peers. As someone who has worked with pregnant and parenting individuals in various capacities, I look forward to serving as a legal advocate for students in New York.

Samantha Hunt /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

Meet Other Fellows Like Samantha

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Emma Roth

Host: American Civil Liberties Union Women’s Rights Project

Sponsor: The Morrison & Foerster Foundation

Christina Beeler

Host: Juvenile and Children’s Advocacy Project

Sponsor: Latham & Watkins LLP

Lashawnda Woods-Roberts

Host: Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice

Sponsor: Anonymous

Annie Kanzow

Host: Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc.

Sponsor: The Florida Bar Foundation