Meet the 2020 Immigration Summer Legal Corps Student Fellows

This summer, Equal Justice Works is launching the Immigration Summer Legal Corps (ISLC), a new program that supports 20 law students in providing legal services for low-income immigrants.

Program participants, called Student Fellows are hosted at legal services organizations, where they spend eight to ten weeks during the summer helping to expand high-quality comprehensive legal services and resources for low-income immigrants affected by the coronavirus pandemic. To best support the health and safety of the Student Fellows and the immigrant communities they will serve, their host organizations have adjusted their projects to support remote work.

Here’s what our 2020 ISLC Student Fellows will accomplish this summer:

Molly Albano, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Hosted by Ayuda, Molly will join the organization’s Domestic Violence/Family Law Program, where she will assist staff attorneys in providing culturally competent, trauma-informed legal services to immigrant crime victims. Molly will also be part of the Immigration Legal team, working alongside staff attorneys to help clients prepare detailed declarations in support of their applications for T-visas as well as asylum relief in Immigration Court. To learn more about Molly’s project, click here.

Kelechi Alfred-Igbokwe, St. John’s University Law School

Hosted by the New York Civil Liberties Union, Kelechi will help the organization shine a light on egregious immigration enforcement and detention in New York State. To learn more about Kelechi’s project, click here.

Samantha Arreguri, Florida International College of Law

Hosted by Americans for Immigrant Justice, Samantha will serve in the organization’s Family Defense Program, which focuses on educating immigrant across South Florida about their rights and changes in immigration policies, as well as providing legal screenings, connection to pro-bono attorneys for representation, and direct representation in more complex immigration matters. To learn more about Samantha’s project, click here.

Efeoghene Ayanruoh, The University of Iowa College of Law

Hosted by Legal Assistance of Western New York, Efeoghene will expand the organization’s capacity to meet the needs of low-income refugee families in Monroe County. Efeoghene will help provide legal services related to employment, public benefits, housing, and health law. To learn more about Efeoghene’s project, click here.

Micah Burns, Mississippi College School of Law

Hosted by the Mississippi Center for Justice, Micah will respond to the state’s largest removal raid through public records requests, litigation, and community partnerships. To learn more about Micah’s project, click here.

Diana Cabrera-Vega, University of California, Davis School of Law

Hosted by Bay Area Legal Aid, Diana will provide direct legal services by identifying forms of relief available to immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. To learn more about Diana’s project, click here.

Victoria Comesañas, Stanford Law School

Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Victoria will work with the organization’s direct service team to advocate on behalf of unaccompanied minors in Harris and Montgomery counties of Texas. To learn more about Victoria’s project, click here.

Yohannes Ejigu, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Hosted by HIAS Pennsylvania, Yohannes will assist staff attorneys in providing services to low-income immigrants regarding the adjustment of status, removal defense, family unification, citizenship, and asylum. To learn more about Yohannes’ project, click here.

Patrick Guiliani, University of Notre Dame Law School

Hosted by Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project, Patrick will focus on writing, research, and advocacy relating to Habeus Corpus proceedings in relation to COVID-19 and prolonged wrongful detention. He will play a crucial role in setting up resources and materials for pro bono attorneys to assist in cases. To learn more about Patrick’s project, click here.

Maggie LaPoint, Harvard Law School

Hosted by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Maggie will support the organization’s Family Detention Project, which serves women and children detained at the South Texas Family Residential Center. At the Center, Maggie will provide legal services in the form of asylum-related immigration work to the women and children detained there. To learn more about Maggie’s project, click here.

Jana Moss, American University Washington College of Law

Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Jana will provide legal services to unaccompanied children residing in Washington, D.C., Alexandria City, and the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William. To learn more about Jana’s project, click here.

Chelsea Muir, UC Berkeley Law

Hosted by the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, Chelsea will join the organization’s Border Action Team to help identify and serve members of at-risk immigrant populations. To learn more about Chelsea’s project, click here.

Fernanda Palacios Herrera, St. Marys University Law School

Hosted by the Human Rights Initiative of North Texas, Fernanda will support the organization’s efforts to meet the legal needs of people seeking asylum, immigrant crime victims, and children eligible for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. To learn more about Fernanda’s project, click here.

Tania Parra, Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University

Hosted by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Tania will prepare merits filings and state court filings for unaccompanied minors in the Union, Hudson, Essex, and Bergen counties of New Jersey. To learn more about Tania’s project, click here.

Veronica Philipsborn, California Western School of Law

Hosted by the Immigration Justice Project, Veronica will expand the organization’s capacity to meet the legal needs of detained clients at the Otay Mesa Detention and Center and its non-detained clients in the greater San Diego area. To learn more about Veronica’s project, click here.

Gabriela Reyes Ventura, City University of New York School of Law

Hosted by Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Gabriela will provide legal services to undocumented youth throughout the Greater Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire, San Diego County, and cities throughout Northern California and the Central Coast. To learn more about Gabriela’s project, click here.

Will Sheehan, Roger Williams University School of Law

Hosted by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), Will will be responsible for a variety of matters related to the organization’s Health Justice Program, including completing comprehensive immigration and health screenings. He will also work closely with NYLPI’s immigration attorney on several representation matters, including asylum and U-visas cases for individuals with serious health conditions. To learn more about Will’s project, click here.

Jeffrey Simon, University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Hosted by Tahirih Justice Center, Jeffrey will support Tahirih-Atlanta’s representation of survivors at the Immigration Court level and assisting with the development of the organization’s Atlanta Appellate Project. To learn more about Jeffrey’s work, click here.

Arianne Thomas, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Hosted by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., Arianne will assist attorneys and paralegals in representing immigrants and Spanish-speaking agricultural workers through the organization’s Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights Practice Group. To learn more about Arianne’s project, click here.

Jacqueline Zurmuhlen, City University of New York School of Law

Hosted by Public Law Center, Jacqueline will expand access to justice for low-income residents by providing direct legal services, conducting legal research, and writing in support of removal defense cases. To learn more about Jacqueline’s project, click here.

We are excited to see what our Immigration Summer Legal Corps Student Fellows will accomplish this summer. Learn more about the program here.

Twenty law students will spend their summer responding to the critical legal needs of underserved and low-income immigrant communities affected by COVID-19 public health crisis.

 WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 6, 2020—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, today announced the selection of 20 law students for its Immigration Summer Legal Corps (ISLC).

“The coronavirus pandemic is creating significant challenges for immigrant communities across our country,” said Aoife Delargy Lowe, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works. “We are proud to launch this law student program aimed at increasing access to justice for immigrant communities in these difficult times.”

Selected from 375 applications, these 20 law students will spend eight to ten weeks hosted at legal services organizations across 13 states, helping to expand high-quality comprehensive legal services and resources for low-income immigrants affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, Student Fellows will work remotely to support the efforts of their host organizations, assisting with both immediate relief needs and long-term recovery efforts from this public health crisis. Student Fellows will help clients virtually through video conferencing, online intakes, and over phone and email; and engage in community outreach through virtual clinics and presentations.

Because immigration is a multi-disciplinary area of law, Student Fellows in the program will work on a range of projects such as assisting farmworkers, educating immigrants about their rights and changes in immigration policies, and providing services to unaccompanied minors. Some of this year’s projects include:

  • Diana Cabrera-Vega, a law student at the University of California, Davis School of Law, will spend the summer serving immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. Diana will be hosted by Bay Area Legal Aid.
  • Will Sheehan will support his host organization, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, on their Health Justice Program by completing comprehensive immigration and health screenings. Will is a law student at Roger Williams University School of Law.
  • Arianne Thomas will assist attorneys and paralegals at her host organization, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc., in representing immigrants and Spanish-speaking agricultural workers. Arianne is a law student at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Click here to learn about the 2020 ISLC Student Fellows and their projects.

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About Equal Justice Works

Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. As the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, nonprofit legal aid organizations, and supporters to promote public service and inspire a lifelong commitment to equal justice.

Contact:

Heena Patel
Communications Manager
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 202-466-3686
www.equaljusticeworks.org

The coronavirus pandemic is creating significant challenges for immigrant communities across our country. We are proud to launch this law student program aimed at increasing access to justice for immigrant communities in these difficult times.

Aoife Delargy Lowe /
Director of Law School Engagement and Advocacy
Equal Justice Works

By Brooke Meckler, program manager at Equal Justice Works

The Immigration Summer Legal Corps (ISLC) will support 20 dedicated law students in serving immigrant communities this summer. Participants, called Student Fellows, have a unique opportunity to explore their passion for equal justice while gaining hands-on experience—all while receiving a $5,000 stipend.

Are you interested in joining this enthusiastic group of Student Fellows? Here’s what you need to know about applying to the program.

Who is eligible?

ISLC is open to current law students who have completed their first year of law school by the start of the program (summer 2020). For many placements, applicants must speak Spanish or a language other than English.

How do I submit a strong ISLC application?

A standout application will highlight the law student’s passion for helping immigrant communities, and the student’s eagerness to develop skills in the area of immigration law upon which the chosen projects focus. Applicants who have a personal connection to any aspect of a project or issue area should showcase that connection in their applications as well.

What types of projects can I work on this summer?

Host organizations have designed meaningful projects for Student Fellows to participate in during their summers. Since immigration is a multi-disciplinary area of law, the projects will vary. Some of these projects will include a focus on family defense, assisting clients facing removal proceedings, helping asylum-seekers with their cases, representing agricultural workers, and working with victims of crimes. You can find a full list of host organizations and their position descriptions here.

What type of work can I expect to complete during my Student Fellowship?

Student Fellows will take on a wide range of responsibilities regardless of the specific project focus area. These assignments might include direct client services, client intake consultations/interviewing with supervising attorneys, legal writing opportunities, and court appearances. Projects can also include non-legal assignments such as community outreach, education, pro bono coordination, and addressing systemic issues.

Are you ready to apply?

Applicants will be asked to provide a résumé, a summary of professional qualifications and interest in the program, and their top three host organization choices. For more information about program eligibility and requirements, click here or email us at [email protected]

Be sure to submit your application before the deadline on February 18, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST!

Put your legal education and passion for public service to work this summer while gaining experience in immigration law.

Are you interested in making a difference in immigrant communities, but aren’t sure where to start? Apply for the Equal Justice Works Immigration Summer Legal Corps (ISLC), our newest law student program, and gain exposure to the immigration field through hands-on experience.

ISLC, an eight-to ten-week summer internship program, places law students at legal services organizations to respond to the critical needs of underserved and low-income immigrant communities. ISLC is open to first- and second-year law students and provides a $5,000 stipend for completing 300 hours of service in the program.

Through ISLC, students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills outside of the classroom, such as providing direct legal services, engaging in community outreach and education, and building capacity at the organizations where they serve. Additionally, law students receive training in immigration law prior to the start of the program.

Applications for the program are due at 11:59 p.m. EST on February 18, 2020. For more information about ISLC eligibility and requirements and to apply, please visit here.