UCLA School of Law and its nationally renowned program in public interest law and policy solidified its position as the home of the country’s most promising public interest lawyers in 2023, as six graduating students in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy earned prestigious fellowships to serve communities across the United States.
The awards – from the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works and Justice Corps – represent some of the highest honors for law students and recent law school graduates in the public interest arena. At the core of UCLA Law’s mission as a public law school is a commitment to preparing students to make a difference as lawyers for underserved clients who need legal assistance, often far from Los Angeles.
“We are positively thrilled to announce the remarkable achievements of these six students, who represent the excellence and impact of all of the tremendous public interest lawyers and lawyers-to-be in the UCLA Law community,” says Karin Wang, executive director of the Epstein Program. “These fellowships recognize the outstanding skills, passion and dedication that our students exhibit in working toward achieving social justice and fighting for those who are underrepresented in the legal system.”
Isabel Flores-Ganley ’23 earned a fellowship from the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, and she was among only 28 recipients of the award, which is one of the premier honors for public interest law students in the nation. UCLA Law continues to rank among the top five law schools in the country for graduating students who garner the fellowship. Flores-Ganley will work with Raise the Floor Alliance in Chicago to support immigrant workers and ensure that they receive the same protection as others under applicable labor laws.
Andrew Feinberg ’23, Talia Kamran ’23, Jasmine Robinson ’23 and Jaden Zwick Ojeaburu ’23 earned Equal Justice Works Fellowships, which recognize law students who are dedicated to public interest work and whose projects reflect a commitment to advancing justice in underserved communities. Feinberg will work with Human Rights First in Los Angeles, expanding access to asylum in the United States for indigenous people of Central America. Kamran will work at the Brooklyn Defender Services in New York, where she will provide free legal assistance to people who are facing civil asset forfeiture and help to protect people from warrantless data mining by the New York Police Department. Robinson will work with the Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, protecting the fair-housing needs of low-income communities of color in rural and inland California. Zwick Ojeaburu will work with the Collective for Liberatory Lawyering in Los Angeles by partnering with community groups to realize community-led juvenile court alternatives.
Melissa Segarra ’23 received a Justice Corps Fellowship on the strength of her demonstrated commitment to immigrants’ rights. She will represent individuals in removal proceedings and provide clinical teaching support with the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago.
“We are proud of our students’ dedication to public interest work, and these fellowships are a testament to their skills, passion and commitment to social justice,” says Drew Whitcup, assistant director of UCLA Law’s Office of Public Interest Programs. “UCLA Law’s public interest community is extraordinary, and we are confident that their success represents the beginning of six remarkable careers. We look forward to seeing the impact they will make in their respective fields and in their communities.”