2013 Class of Skadden Fellows Named

12.10.12  |  Filed in

Skadden has announced its 2013 Class of Skadden Fellows, a group of 29 graduating law students and judicial clerks who are devoting the next two years of their professional careers to public interest work.

The Fellows will work in 10 states and the District of Columbia, focusing on issues ranging from the harassment of LGBT students in rural, impoverished regions of New York State to the foreclosure of homes of working poor Los Angeles families.

The 2013 Class includes four additional fellowships funded in memory of Joe Flom and Peter Mullen. To date, the firm has funded nearly 680 Fellows since the program’s inception in 1988. Below is a list of this year’s Class, their law schools and the organizations for which they will work.

Elyssa Caplan
New York University School of Law
The Door 
New York

Direct representation to high-risk immigrant youth on issues of family stability, education and access to mental health services.

Joelle Emerson
Stanford Law School
Equal Rights Advocates (ERA)
San Francisco

Advocacy for low-income immigrant women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, by representing them in their employment claims and developing holistic clinics to comprehensively address their legal and nonlegal needs.

Semuteh Freeman 
New York University School of Law
Legal Services for Children
San Francisco

Direct representation and policy advocacy to ensure educational success and college readiness for homeless youth and transitional foster youth in the San Francisco area. The California legislature has recognized the need for extended benefits to foster youth ages 18-21 through the passage of a new bill that has just gone into effect. The bill creates an opportunity to use additional time in foster care to increase enrollment in higher education.

Haben Girma
Harvard Law School
Disability Rights Advocates
Berkeley, Calif.

Improving education for students with disabilities by litigating high-impact cases to compel schools to provide accessible instructional materials, and empowering students to become self-advocates through the creation and distribution of guides for blind and other print-disabled students.

Hilary Hammell
University of Washington School of Law
Public Advocates
San Francisco

Direct representation and impact litigation for low-income students excluded from charter schools to enforce and strengthen charter schools' civil rights obligations.

Evan Henley
Georgetown University Law Center 
Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.

Direct representation, impact litigation and advocacy to obtain meaningful relief for underserved low-income tenants toward a goal of reforming the D.C. Superior Court's Housing Conditions Calendar (HCC). Issues will include collapsing ceilings, inoperable heat and vermin infestation that threaten tenants' health and safety. Established two years ago, the HCC is a much-needed venue where tenants can quickly and inexpensively sue their landlords for repairs, but it has failed to order the swift and full relief to which tenants are entitled.

Robert Hodgson
Harvard Law School
New York Civil Liberties Union
New York

Impact litigation, community education and advocacy on behalf of LGBT students in rural, impoverished regions of New York State who are experiencing harassment in school, which often leads LGBT students to drop out at much higher rates than their peers. Will enforce the newly passed Dignity for All Students Act, which went into effect July 1, 2012, and establishes a student's right to be free from harassment based on sexual orientation/gender identity and a school's responsibility to train staff to prevent bullying.

Elizabeth Johnston
Vanderbilt Law School 
National Women's Law Center
Washington, D.C.

Will provide legal and policy advocacy for pregnant women and new mothers in female-dominated low-wage jobs in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Hunter Landerholm
Harvard Law School 
Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles 

Direct representation of working poor Los Angeles families facing foreclosure in an effort to save their homes, emphasizing enforcement of California's newly enacted Homeowner Bill of Rights.

Danielle Lang 
Yale Law School 
Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Los Angeles

Direct representation of low-wage workers to combat workplace violations uncovered by innovative local organizing efforts. Warehouse, hotel, carwash, port and sanitation workers have all expressed a need for representation.

Oscar Lopez
Columbia University School of Law
Advancement Project
Washington, D.C. 

By employing a multifaceted advocacy approach, will work with youth and parents to reform discipline policies and practices in charter and traditional public schools in Washington, D.C. to help eliminate the push out of students of color.

Adam Meyers 
Harvard Law School
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Direct representation of low-income, rent-regulated tenants in Williamsburg-Greenpoint facing illegal displacement through landlord abuse and city-imposed vacate orders.

Sofia Nelson 
Yale Law School
ACLU of Michigan
Detroit 

Advocacy to assist low-income persons in Michigan who have past criminal records, so they can successfully re-enter society. Will provide direct representation, impact litigation, community legal education and legislative advocacy.

Allison Newcombe
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
The Alliance for Children's Rights
Los Angeles

Direct services, community legal education and cooperative efforts at systemic reform to improve long-term outcomes for foster youth victims of sex trafficking in Los Angeles County.

Diana Newmark
New York University School of Law
The Legal Aid Society
New York

Direct representation, community education and systemic advocacy to enforce the education and due process rights of court-involved children with school-based behavior issues.

Samuel Petsonk
Washington and Lee University School of Law
Mountain State Justice
Charleston, W.V. 

Direct representation for West Virginia coal miners who have experienced unlawful retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions to their employers or to regulators. Would also assist miners in commenting on rules and permits and in participating at the public hearings of regulatory agencies.

Casey Potter
University of Chicago Law School 
Cabrini Green Legal Aid 
Chicago

Comprehensive legal services to remove barriers to familial and economic participation for noncustodial fathers with criminal records. Project will involve direct representation in family court, clearing/mitigation of criminal records and collaboration with social service partners to enhance long-term outcomes and educational outreach.

Trudy Rebert
Yale Law School 
New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
New Orleans 

Direct representation and advocacy for guest workers in the Gulf Coast seafood industry to achieve dignified work by combating forced labor, retaliation, minimum wage violations and unsafe working conditions.

Mara Sacks
Harvard Law School
The Bronx Defenders
Bronx, N.Y. 

Direct representation of fathers in neglect, abuse and termination of parental rights proceedings. Will also promote responsible parenting through "know your rights as fathers" trainings to prevent the unnecessary disruption of the father-child relationship and reduce dependence on foster care.

Daniel Saver
Harvard Law School 
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
East Palo Alto, Calif.

Direct representation of low-income, limited-English-proficient tenants facing eviction and illegal rents. Will collaborate with community organizations to educate renters about their rights and available administrative remedies under recently passed just-cause and rent stabilization ordinance.

Nicholas Sheehan 
Georgetown University Law Center
Advocates for Children of New York
New York 

Direct representation and policy advocacy to keep New York City students in school and out of court. Will provide workshops to train students, families and court personnel about educational rights. Will also advocate for policies that develop alternatives for suspensions and improve coordination between the education and juvenile justice systems.

Rachel Smit
Boston University School of Law
Greater Boston Legal Services

Boston Direct representation for temporary workers in Chelsea, Mass., including community legal education and administrative advocacy to enforce the newly enacted Temporary Worker Right to Know Act and other employment rights.

Andrea Smith
University of California, Irvine School of Law 
Disability Rights Legal Center
Los Angeles

Community education, direct representation and impact litigation for youth with disabilities in public schools who are also affected by homelessness.

Evan Smith 
University of Pennsylvania Law School
Appalachian Citizens' Law Center 
Whitesburg, Ky.

Direct representation of coal miners and their families in mine safety and black lung cases. Will also strengthen the network of attorneys who represent miners to identify cases for impact litigation.

Sarah Warpinski 
Michigan State University College of Law
Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.
Toledo, Ohio

Direct representation of victims of human trafficking, also will provide community education and training for social service providers.

Hannah Weinberger-Divack
University of Illinois College of Law
National Senior Citizens Law Center
Washington, D.C.

Advocacy to enable more low-income older adults to receive health and personal care in their homes, to avoid unnecessary institutionalization.

Scott Welfel
New York University School of Law
New Jersey Institute of Social Justice
Newark, N.J.

Direct representation to veterans and formerly incarcerated persons to help them re-enter civilian society and obtain employment. Will engage in law reform efforts to remove barriers to employment for these groups, which are historically and currently marginalized from the labor market.

Charles Wysong
Stanford Law School 
Equip for Equality
Chicago 

Direct representation of students with disabilities in special education and school discipline proceedings in Illinois charter schools.

Liliana Zaragoza
Columbia University School of Law
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York 

Direct representation and community education for domestic workers in New York City to vindicate their legal rights to be free of workplace exploitation and abuse on matters of fair employment and access to public benefits.