Class of 2020

Program Fellows share a passion for public service in the interests of justice, but are focused on a wide range of subject matter areas and have a diverse range of interests and experiences. Feel free to reach out to individual Fellows with questions about their paths and their experience in the Program.

Alex Boota

Alex Boota is a second-year law student from Greenville, SC. He graduated from Harvard in 2015 with a degree in Statistics. Alex spent the next two years working as a consultant and data scientist for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C. This past summer, he worked at the Immigration Court in Charlotte, NC. Alex enjoys playing tennis and running. Interests: Immigration, Criminal Law, Government

Anna Bobrow

Anna Bobrow is a second-year law student from Charlotte, NC. Anna graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Anna worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston during summer 2018 in their civil rights unit. Interests: Government, Civil Rights

Caroline Ramsey 

Caroline is a second-year student from upstate New York. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2014. Prior to law school, she served as an AmeriCorps member with a college access non-profit, worked at a middle school, and worked at an immigration law firm. During her 1L summer, Caroline interned at Community Legal Services in the Aging and Disabilities unit. Interests: Civil legal services, juvenile justice, child advocacy.

Christopher Palermo-Re

Chris is a 2015 graduate from the University of Virginia, where he studied Government and History. Upon graduation, Chris worked for the Office of the General Counsel of the FBI in D.C. He hopes to return to government employment when he is finished with law school. Chris grew up in Northern Virginia and enjoys watching soccer when he should be studying. Interests: Prosecution, Government

Corey Parker

Corey is a second-year law student pursuing a career in public defense. Corey is originally from Houston, Texas and graduated from Illinois State University, where she played softball and graduated with a degree in chemistry. Prior to law school, she worked for Caterpillar, Inc., first in sales and then in mergers and acquisitions. During her time with Caterpillar, she lived in Singapore, Germany, South Carolina, Illinois and Virginia. In her free time, Corey enjoys running, traveling and spending time with her husband and two dogs. During her 1L summer, Corey interned with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Office of the Public Defender. Interests: Public Defense, Criminal Law

Edward Wixler

Edward is a second year law student from Greenville, South Carolina. He graduated from Furman University in 2012 with degrees in philosophy and political science. After college, he worked for two years as a paralegal at Children’s Rights in New York and for three years as a legal assistant at the ACLU of Washington in Seattle. Last summer he worked for the Nashville Defenders and hopes to be a public defender when he graduates from law school. Interests: Public Defense, Criminal Justice Reform

Emily Brown

Emily Brown is a second-year law student from Essex, Connecticut. She graduated from Haverford College in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Music. Before attending UVa, Emily was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho. In the Peace Corps, Emily worked with youth groups on projects that promoted sexual and reproductive health, positive decision-making, and business literacy. Emily spent her 1L summer interning in the Eastern District of New York in the chambers of the Honorable Lois Bloom, USMJ. Interests: Civil Liberties Law; First Amendment Law; Privacy Law; Legal Services.

Erin Seagers

Erin Seagears is a second-year law student from Gainesville, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016, where she majored in Political and Social Thought. Before starting at UVA Law, she interned with Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at the University of Virginia. For her 1L summer she worked in the JustChildren Department of the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. At UVA Law, Erin is a Peer Advisor, an Outreach Chair with the Program in Law and Public Service, and a law school representative to UVA Student Council. She enjoys singing, cooking, and great conversation over strong coffee. Interests: Child Advocacy; Juvenile Justice

Grace Green

Grace Green is a second-year student from Little Rock, Arkansas. She attended the University of Oklahoma, where she studied Letters and Spanish. Before coming to UVA Law, she served as an Americorps member with City Year Little Rock, working with middle school students. For her 1L summer, she interned at the Maryland Office of the Public Defender Youthful Defendant Unit in Baltimore. She plans to pursue a career in juvenile defense and juvenile justice reform. Interests: Juvenile Justice

Grace Powell

Grace Powell is originally from Washington, D.C. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2014 with a degree in International Relations, and spent the three years between college and law school handling community intake for the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. She hopes to pursue a career as a state level public defender after graduation, and spent her 1L summer at the Federal Defenders of the Southern District of New York. Interests: Public Defense, Impact Litigation

Jamie Almallan

Jamie is a second-year law student who graduated in 2017 from Roanoke College with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Spanish. Prior to law school she interned for a summer with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center in Charlottesville, VA. During my 1L summer she interned in Richmond, VA with the Virginia Capital Defender’s Office. She is a member of the Virginia Law Innocence Project Clinic, the PILA Executive Board, and the Virginia Law Prison Project Executive Board. She is pursuing a career in public defense and criminal justice policy reform. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, reading, and hiking. Interests: Public Defense, Capital Litigation, Criminal Justice Policy

Julian Kritz

Julian Yigal Kritz, a 2L from Raleigh, North Carolina graduated from Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Before coming to UVA, he worked for a boutique business law firm and served on the board of directors for multiple Jewish nonprofit agencies. Julian is President of the Jewish Law Student Assoiation and a member of the Jessup Moot Court Team. He spent his 1L summer at the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law and plans to pursue a career in Jewish communal advocacy. Interests: Civil Rights, Nonprofit Law, International Law

Lena Welch

Lena Welch is a second-year law student from McLean, VA. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015 with degrees in economics and journalism and mass communication. Lena spent two years working in athletic communications at University of Denver and Johns Hopkins University before entering UVa Law. She spent her 1L summer at the disAbility Law Center of Virginia and hopes to continue working in the P&A system. Lena is a member of the LPS Board as the co-organizer of the 2019 Shaping Justice Conference. She is also involved in PILA, VELLA and writes for the Law Weekly. In her free time, she enjoys baking, yoga, watching sports, and hanging out with her cat. Interests: Disability, Health, Child Advocacy

Manal Cheema

Manal Cheema is a second-year law student from Sharon, Massachusetts. She graduated from Tufts University in 2017 with a B.A in Political Science, a minor in Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and a certificate in Ethics, Law and Society. Before coming to UVA, she interned for her U.S. Senator, state Attorney General, and her county’s District Attorney. She also was a Congressional Fellow for Acquisitions at the Department of Defense. For her 1L summer, Manal interned for the Chief Prosecutor in the Office of Military Commissions, assisting in investigating war crimes committed by alien unprivileged enemy belligerents. At UVA, she serves on the boards for LPS, Virigina Law Women, Minority Rights Coalition, and the Virginia Journal for International Law. She is also a Peer Advisor and on the Trial Advocacy Team. Interests: National Security; Military; Government.

Mariette Peltier

Mariette Peltier is a second-year law student from Houston, Texas. Mariette graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017 with a B.B.A. in Business Honors and Supply Chain Management and a B.A. in Psychology. During her time at UT, she discovered her passion for anti-human trafficking work, spent a summer studying business law in Edinburgh, Scotland, and interned for the Criminal Justice Division in the Texas Governor’s Office and the Human Trafficking & Transnational/Organized Crime Section in the Texas Attorney General’s Office. At UVA Law, Mariette serves on the boards of the Law & Public Service Program, the Public Interest Law Association, and the Domestic Violence Project. She is also a member of the Virginia Law Review’s Editorial Board. Mariette spent her 1L summer at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas. After graduation, she will clerk for Judge Richardson on the Fourth Circuit in Columbia, South Carolina, after which she plans to pursue a career in prosecution. Interests: Prosecution; government; human trafficking

Mary Maerz 

Mary Maerz is a second-year law student from Springfield, Missouri. Maerz graduated from Drury University in 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and minors in Philosophy and Animal Studies. Before law school, she interned with Springfield’s City Attorney Department as well as the Legal Services of Southern Missouri. Maerz plans on pursuing a career in animal rights law, and currently serves as the president of Virginia Animal Law Society and the vice-president and co-founder of Food Law at Virginia Association. During her 1L summer, Maerz worked as a clerk for the Legislative Affairs Program of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. Interests: Animal Rights

Molly Cain

Molly Cain is a second-year student from Seaford, Delaware. She attended Stanford University, where she studied Economics and Public Policy and played trombone in the Stanford Band. Before coming to UVA Law, she worked as a senior researcher at the Center for American Progress, focusing on economic policy, elections, and progressive messaging. Molly’s work has been featured in USA Today, Washington Post, Politico, Buzzfeed News and elsewhere. She spent this past summer at the ACLU of Virginia in Richmond. Molly plans to pursue a career as a civil rights lawyer. Interests: Civil rights litigation, economic justice, criminal justice reform, consumer rights

Nellie Black 

Nellie Black is a second-year law student from Rochester, NY. She graduated from the State University of New York at Geneseo in 2017 with a B.S. in Biology, and minors in Sociology and Legal Studies. During her 1L year, Nellie did pro bono with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, VA through the Civil Rights Litigation Pro Bono Clinic. For her 1L summer, she interned in Richmond, VA with the Office of General Counsel for the Richmond Police Department. At UVA, she is on the executive board of the UVA Law Trial Advocacy Team, an Assistant Articles Development Editor for the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, and a Legal Writing Fellow for the first-year legal writing program. Nellie plans to pursue a career in prosecution. Interests: Prosecution, Criminal Law

Nicole Gilson

Nicole Gilson is a second-year law student from Carlsbad, California. She graduated from the University of Washington with a major in Scandinavian Area Studies (Baltic Studies Concentration) and a minor in Linguistics. Prior to law school, Nicole studied herbal medicine, toured with her band, and worked as a paralegal for a small civil rights firm. During her 1L summer, Nicole worked in Berkeley, California at the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, a nonprofit providing legal representation and assistance to asylum seekers, where she represented clients at their affirmative asylum interviews at the USCIS Asylum Office. She is a member of the LPS Student Executive Board and the Virginia Law Review Editorial Board. Nicole plans to return to the West Coast after graduation to work as a legal aid attorney in the areas of immigration, employment, and civil rights. Interests: Legal aid, immigration, employment, housing, civil rights.

Rachel Davidson Raycraft

Rachel Davidson Raycraft is a dual degree candidate at the UVA School of Law and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. She is pursuing a career in international human development and human rights. Prior to law school Rachel held various positions within the fields of microfinance, human rights and humanitarian assistance in Peru and Central America. She spent her 1L summer with the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section supporting Foreign Corrupt Practices Act litigation. At UVA she is involved with the Human Rights Program, Domestic Violence Project, Migrant Farmworkers Program, Public Interest Law Association and the Virginia Journal of International Law. Interests: International Human Rights; Corporate Accountability; Immigration; Employment

Ray Gans

Ray is a second-year law student from Columbus, Ohio. He is a 2016 graduate of The Ohio State University, where he studied Political Science and Public Affairs. He spent his 1L summer at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. Interests: Criminal Justice; Civil Rights

Samantha Thoma 

Samantha Thoma is a second-year law student from Franklin Lakes, NJ. She graduated from Villanova University in 2014 where she initially began tutoring at the largest, all-male, maximum-security prison as a sophomore. After living and teaching in Turkey for a year, she began working at The Petey Greene Program which recruits and trains university students to tutor in prisons. All of her work with men and women in prison inspired her to pursue a law degree. During her 1L summer she worked at the Office of the Public Defender in Alexandria, VA. At UVA, Sam is a Peer Advisor, is one of the directors of the Virginia Law in Prison Project, and sits on the LPS Board. Sam hopes to become a Public Defender and continue to serve men and women in the criminal justice system. Interests: Public Defense, criminal justice reform, mass incarceration.

Sarah E. Houston

Sarah came to UVA after working with refugees and migrants in Turkey and Europe for the past few years, focusing on displaced women and the specific legal issues they face. At UVA, she is a Peer Advisor, a PILA and ACS Board Member, part of the Migrant Farmworkers Project, and founder of the Women’s Committee on SBA. She is a strong proponent of pro bono opportunities at UVA, and worked at both Bronx Defenders and Tahirih Justice Center during breaks during 1L. Sarah is specifically interested in how the law and emerging technology can intersect to solve issues of displacement. Interests: Immigration and civil rights law, gender equality work.

Suzy Deuster

Suzy Deuster is a second-year law student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 with degrees in Legal Studies and Criminal Justice. Prior to law school, Suzy worked as an investigation assistant with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and as a paralegal in the Wisconsin Office of the Solicitor General, where she researched state criminal law issues and wrote federal habeas briefs. Interests: Criminal Law; Artificial Intelligence; Forensic Science; Criminal Defense; Criminal Justice System Policy.