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Meet the Student Fellows in the 2022 Disaster Resilience Program

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Equal Justice Works is proud to introduce the 2022 class of Disaster Resilience Program Student Fellows. These eight law students will spend their summer working alongside Disaster Resilience Program Fellows in California, Louisiana, and New Mexico as they help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters.

“Disasters can have a devastating impact on individuals and communities, and the legal needs that emerge following a disaster are complex and difficult to navigate alone,” said Linda Anderson Stanley, senior program manager at Equal Justice Works and director of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Program. “We are proud to support these Student Fellows in their work to expand critical legal resources for families affected by disasters and their efforts to build more resilient communities.”

Through the Disaster Resilience Program, Student Fellows will gain exposure to disaster preparedness, response, and recovery legal work. They will help to provide civil legal services, engage in community education and advocacy efforts, and build capacity at their host organization.

Meet our Disaster Resilience Program Student Fellows and learn more about how they will be supporting a wide range of disaster-related legal issues, including housing, employment, immigration, accessibility, and health care needs.

Photo of Megan Brua
Photo of Megan Brua

Megan Brua (she/her/hers), University of Wisconsin Law School

At Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Megan will work alongside 2021 Fellow Chris Kerrigan to help achieve justice for low-income individuals facing eviction or housing instability. This includes providing legal assistance, advocacy, community education, and resources to those who have experienced housing issues due to disasters or landlord neglect.

 

Photo of Emily Bruell
Photo of Emily Bruell

Emily Bruell, Stanford Law School

At New Mexico Immigrant Law Center, Emily will work with 2022 Fellows Taylor Noya, Sophia Genovese, and Anna Trillo on the Asylum and Detention team to provide legal aid to noncitizens in immigration detention and non-detained asylum seekers. Emily will also assist Fellows with asylum cases and conduct outreach at New Mexico’s detention centers.

 

Photo of Nora Hendricks
Photo of Nora Hendricks

Nora Hendricks (she/her/hers), Seattle University School of Law

Hosted by Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, Nora will work with 2022 Fellow Patrick Doell to provide on-site direct legal services at the Baton Rouge City Court via an eviction help desk. A city court eviction help desk will act as insulation for individuals against future increases in evictions due to disasters or other causes. They will also aid defendants who need legal representation in eviction cases. Together, Nora and Patrick will aid those who are experiencing issues with housing security due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Photo of Abigail Meibaum
Photo of Abigail Meibaum

Abigail Meibaum (she/her/hers), Washington University in Saint Louis School of Law

Abigail will focus on disaster-related advocacy and litigation with 2022 Fellow Skyler Williams at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. There, Abigail will help provide access to sustainable housing and prevent evictions in Louisiana, which is currently facing an eviction crisis due to COVID-19. The region’s vulnerability to hurricanes requires a focus on overarching housing issues and providing know your rights training for community members, which Abigail will help provide.

 

Photo of Alondra Granados
Photo of Alondra Granados-Diaz

Alondra Granados-Diaz, University of New Mexico School of Law

Hosted by New Mexico Immigrant Law Center, Alondra will work alongside 2022 Fellow Sophia Genovese on the Asylum and Detention team to provide legal assistance to noncitizens in immigration detention and non-detained asylum seekers. Together, they hope to aid those affected by COVID-19’s effects on the immigration system, such as medical issues raised by the pandemic in immigration detention centers.

 

Photo of Desiree Robedeaux
Photo of Desiree Robedeaux

Desiree Robedeaux (she/her/hers), University of California, Hastings College of Law

At Disability Rights California, Desiree will work alongside 2021 Fellow Jordan Davis to address the legal needs of Californians with disabilities affected by wildfire disasters. Together, they will work to address Public Safety Power Shutoff events, housing displacement and accessibility issues, emergency transportation, and the negative health impacts of poor air quality, which all disproportionately affect people with access and functional needs.

 

Photo of Jonathan Thomas
Photo of Jonathan Thomas

Jonathan Thomas (he/him/his), Washington and Lee University School of Law

Hosted by Disability Rights Louisiana, Jonathan will work with 2021 Fellow Kate Thorstad to serve Louisianans with disabilities who were impacted by disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida. Together, they will work to mitigate barriers to critical programs, services, and housing.

 

Photo of Ernesto Villasenor
Photo of Ernesto Villaseñor

Ernesto Villaseñor, University of Baltimore School of Law

Ernesto will work with 2021 Fellow Jacob Zarefsky at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles to provide legal aid and assistance to wildfire survivors throughout California. Together, they will work to conduct client outreach to disaster survivors, represent wildfire survivors, and engage with their peers in learning exercises.

Visit here for more information about Disaster Resilience Program.

The Disaster Resilience Program is funded by Equal Justice Works and supplemented by funds from private donors including the Bigglesworth Family Foundation, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and Carnegie Corporation of New York.

We are proud to support these Student Fellows in their work to expand critical legal resources for families affected by disasters and their efforts to build more resilient communities.

Linda Anderson Stanley /
Equal Justice Works Senior Program Manager

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow