FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Renée Schomp, Deputy Director
JUSTICE CATALYST ANNOUNCES 2023 – 2024 FELLOWS
Justice Catalyst is proud to announce its 2023 – 2024 fellowship projects. The projects will be hosted at public interest organizations, unions, plaintiffs’ firms, and state, local, and tribal government agencies around the United States, furthering Justice Catalyst’s mission of activating path-breaking approaches to lawyering for social and economic justice that have real-world impact and improve the lives of those denied access to justice.
Projects selected include proposals from:
- Natalie Cauley, who will work at the ACLU of Alaska to address the prison crisis happening in Alaska by creating and initiating an impact litigation campaign focused on the provision of medical and substance use treatment in state facilities.
- Abigail Cruz, who will work at Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) to offer legal representation and advocacy tools to local community-led organizing campaigns fighting to improve working conditions, redress wage theft and combat retaliation among farmworkers in California’s Central Coast region.
- Henna Kaur Kaushal, who will work at Centro de Los Derechos del Migrante to expose the exploitation of TN visa workers by US-based corporations and offer meaningful access to justice for TN workers who suffer labor rights abuses.
- Kat Kerwin, who will work at Local Progress to combat racial disparities in traffic enforcement by building a coalition of municipal elected leaders to pass and implement driving equity policies nationwide.
- Yulie Landan, who will work at National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild to conduct systemic litigation on behalf of immigrants detained in Louisiana and Virginia to shut down detention centers and provide direct representation to individuals that remain detained while decarceration efforts continue.
- Aaron Bryce Lee, who will work at the Action Lab, partnering with labor-oriented organizations and coalitions in the tri-state area to provide organizing and legal support, hold collective action trainings, and coordinate physical and virtual space for intra- and inter-workplace collaboration between essential workers who lack access to institutional power and representation by long-established unions.
- Nicola Morrow, who will work at National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in partnership with NACDL’s Fourth Amendment Center, to anticipate and respond to the use of electronic surveillance in the post-Dobbs criminalization of abortion—particularly as it affects poor, underrepresented people of color—by identifying how the state might weaponize electronic surveillance to prosecute abortion providers and seekers, developing litigation and legislative materials to limit and challenge those prosecutions, organizing trainings for defense counsel, and conducting outreach to NACDL members and other stakeholders.
- Karen Muñoz, who will work at LatinoJustice PRLDEF to support detained people, families, and advocates fighting the jail system in two Texas counties with advocate-led litigation and a policy strategy that will ultimately free people.
- Sarah Ortlip-Sommers, who will work at Public Justice to aid immigrants harmed in for-profit detention centers, and hold accountable the corporations that profit from detaining immigrants, by expanding tort and statutory remedies through strategic litigation and legislative advocacy.
- Sydney Speizman, who will work at EarthRights International to support community-led campaigns to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for climate-destructive activities through innovative legal strategies.
- Lee Tremblay, who will work at Legal Voice to strengthen resilience and resistance to anti-abortion organizing in Idaho by ensuring that people who can get pregnant—particularly those with disabilities—and caretakers of disabled people are less likely to be forced to engage with the legal system.
- Sydney Zazzaro, who will work at Emery Celli Brinkerhoff Abady Ward & Maazel to represent sexual assault survivors who sue their assailants and negligent institutions under New York’s Adult Survivor’s Act, and will create survivor-favorable litigation results that will broaden survivors’ access to justice and help future advocates succeed moving forward.
Justice Catalyst is also proud to announce the renewal of projects from the 2022-2023 fellowship class. These projects include:
- Marisol Dominguez-Ruiz, who will continue to enforce underused disability laws in carceral settings and increase transparency to end the solitary confinement of incarcerated people with disabilities at the ACLU’s National Prison Project.
- Mustafa Isaac Filat, who will continue working with Public Counsel to prevent ICE from gathering the sensitive personally identifiable information of California’s immigrant communities.
- Kathryn Koch, who will continue working on a replicable medical debt litigation program with Health Law Advocates.
- Yohannes Moore, who will continue working to free the many people impacted by racism in the California criminal court system by building statewide capacity for implementation of the California Racial Justice Act as an Assistant Professor and Supervising Staff Attorney with the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Racial Justice Clinic.
- Joseph Niver, who will continue working with Make the Road New Jersey to protect the rights of essential workers in the logistics sector through community education, organizing, and strategic enforcement of employment law.
- Andrew Ntim, who will pursue litigation and policy strategies to fight police terror against people experiencing homelessness and living in poverty in California with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the SF Bay Area.
- Chris Opila, who will continue working with the International Refugee Assistance Project to improve refugees’ access to resettlement to the United States through court challenges to unlawful U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services adjudication policies.
- Abbie Starker, who will continue working with the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University and community members to co-create a community-led restorative justice structure to resolve criminal matters, address community safety, and build community power, with attention to racial justice.
- Alessandra Stevens, who will continue empowering immigrant communities in the Deep South to challenge unjust immigration policies and abusive workplaces by providing education, tools and assistance for workers and organizers to file labor complaints and apply for immigration relief for victims of workplace abuse with Sur Legal Collaborative.
- Chris Vu, who will continue pursuing policy and litigation strategies to rectify the systemic failures that relegate individuals with serious mental illnesses to jail and/or homelessness at the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation and Loyola’s Anti-Racism Center at LMU Loyola Law School.
Justice Catalyst is also proud to partner with Public Rights Project on a joint fellowship program to promote innovative affirmative litigation and enforcement work in state, local, and tribal government offices. The 2023-2024 Justice Catalyst-Public Rights Project fellowship projects includes proposals from:
- Andrew Loewen, who will work at the DC Office of the Attorney General, empowering workers and small businesses with knowledge, resources, and legal actions through a campaign promoting antitrust enforcement privately and by the DC Office of the Attorney General, focusing on the unlawful non-compete agreements that restrict worker freedom and the bid-rigging that shuts out small businesses.
- Blake Welborn, who will work at the Harris County Attorney’s Office, using federal, state, and local law to pursue environmental justice and the equitable enforcement of pollution sources in Harris County.
A full list of fellows will be available at https://catalystfellowships.org/fellows/. If you are a law student or recent graduate interested in a 2024-2025 fellowship, or an organization interested in hosting a fellowship project, please visit https://catalystfellowships.org/fellowships/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Justice Catalyst prioritizes groundbreaking ideas, including early-stage projects that are boundary-pushing in the pursuit of systemic solutions to major injustices, whether at an established legal organization or an organization looking to hire its first lawyer. More information at https://catalystfellowships.org/fellowships/