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.

IMG_2871Alex Boota

Alex Boota is a third-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. During his 1L summer, he worked at the Immigration Court in Charlotte, NC. This past summer, he worked for the Southeastern Immigrant Freedom Initiative representing immigrants in ICE detention. Interests: Immigration, Criminal Law, Government

fullsizeoutput_170a - Anna BobrowAnna Bobrow

Anna Bobrow is a third-year law student from Charlotte, NC. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014, where she was also a Morehead-Cain Scholar. Prior to attending UVA, Anna worked in Chicago as a higher education consultant for Huron Consulting Group. At UVA, Anna has served on the board of the Jewish Law Students Association, assists with Virginia Law Women’s gender equity study, and conducts research related to sexual violence and gender equity for Professors Anne Coughlin and Kim Forde-Mazrui. She was also a semifinalist in the annual Lile Moot Court competition. Anna was an intern in the Civil Rights Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in Summer 2018. During the Fall 2019 semester, she will be a part-time extern at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Washington, DC. Interests: Government, Civil Rights

Brooke Swann

Brooke is from Ecru, Mississippi, and went to The University of Southern Mississippi for undergrad where she was a cheerleader and graduated with degrees in International Studies, French, and Religion. In the summer after 1L, Brooke worked at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. At UVA Law, Brooke is a Peer Advisor, President of the JB Moore Society of International Law, Symposium Director for the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, and Fundraising Chair for the Virginia Innocence Project. Her favorite part of law school is playing lots and lots of softball. Interests: National Security, Prosecution, International Human Rights

Caroline Ramsey 

Caroline is a third-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

4s2a0841-corey-parker-e1566857741594.jpgCorey Parker

Corey is a third-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. During her 2L summer, Corey was a certified 2L extern with the Colorado State Public Defender in the Brighton Office. Interests: Public Defense, Criminal Law

Edward Wixler

Edward is a third-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

Ellie Riegel is a third-year law student from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Ellie graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016, where she majored in Political Science and English. After college, she interned for a criminal defense team throughout the course of a federal death penalty trial in Charleston, South Carolina. Shortly after that, she spent a semester as a teaching fellow for the College of Charleston Jewish Studies Department. During her 1L summer, she interned at the Office of the Public Defender in Alexandria, VA. This spring, she will join the Civil Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Justice Center. She will spend the summer after her 2L year at Crowell and Moring in Washington, DC. Interests: Civil Rights, Public Defense, Criminal Justice Reform, Death Penalty

_SMH8680 - Emily BrownEmily Brown

Emily Brown is a third-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. She spent her 2L summer interning at the ACLU of Massachusetts, and will be a full-time extern at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund this fall. Interests: Civil Liberties Law, First Amendment Law, Privacy Law, Legal Services

4s2a6197-erin-seagears.jpgErin Seagears

Erin Seagears is a third-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. During her 2L summer Erin worked in the juvenile division of the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore. At UVA Law, Erin is Co-President of the Program in Law and Public Service, a Peer Advisor, and a vocal director for the Libel Show. She enjoys going on long walks, cooking, and great conversation over strong coffee. Interests: Child Advocacy, Juvenile Justice, Public Defense

Grace Green

Grace Green is a third-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

FDD7CA09-9A41-4C50-B71C-F0DBE17651C4 - Jamie AlmallenJamie Almallan

Jamie is from Waynesboro, Virginia and graduated from Roanoke College with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2017. She spent her 1L summer as an intern with the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission’s Capital Defender’s Office in Richmond, VA. She spent her 2L summer interning at the Richmond Public Defender’s Office in Richmond, VA. During law school she has been involved in the Virginia Innocence Project Clinic, Virginia Prison Project, and the Public Interest Law Association. She is pursuing a career in public defense after law school. Interests: Public Defense, Capital Defense, Criminal Justice Reform

Jordin Dickerson

Jordin is a third-year law student from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a B.A. in History and Political Science with a concentration in International Relations. Jordin is involved in the Immigration Clinic and is also interning at the Federal Public Defenders Office in Charlottesville. She is also involved in SRMUN, a non-profit organization that holds collegiate Model United Nations Conferences, where she serves as Secretary-General for their Atlanta conference. Interests: Civil Rights Litigation, Immigration, Criminal Justice

Kritz, Julian - Headshot - Julian KritzJulian Kritz

Julian Yigal Kritz, a 3L 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 an Executive Editor for the Virginia Law Review, the Past President of the Jewish Law Student Association, and a past 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

kevin_jacksonEJA2019 - Kevin Jackson.jpgKevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson is a third-year law student who grew up in Argentina and Azerbaijan. He graduated in 2015 from Ouachita Baptist University, where he majored in history and minored in political science. Before law school, he spent two years teaching at international schools in China. He is preparing to become an immigration lawyer. He spent his 1L summer interning with Ayuda, a nonprofit organization that provides legal and social services to low-income immigrants. He spent his 2L summer at the Atlanta office of Kids in Need of Defense, providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children. He is married to Cho Lok Sze. Interests: Immigration

Lena Welch is a third-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

_SMH8395[27490]1 (2) - Manal CheemaManal Cheema

Manal Cheema is a third-year law student from Sharon, Massachusetts. She graduated from Tufts University in 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science. For her 1L summer, Manal did prosecutorial work within the Department of Defense. For her 2L summer, Manal split between the Counterterrorism Section of the Department of Justice and the Office of the Legal Adviser at the Department of State. She was a Membership Co-Chair for LPS in her 2L year. Manal is the President of Virginia Law Women and on Virginia Law Review and Virginia Journal of International Law. She is involved with the Prosecution Clinic. After graduation, Manal will be clerking and then serving as a Navy JAG. Interests: National Security, Military, Government

professional-headshot2_2019-mariette-peltier.jpgMariette Peltier

Mariette Peltier is a third-year law student from Houston, Texas. She 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 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 the Law School, Mariette assists on a pro bono project concerning Virginia’s sexual assault laws and serves as an Executive Editor on the Virginia Law Review. She has also served on the boards of several public service organizations. Mariette spent her 1L summer at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas and her 2L summer at the Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division in Washington, DC. After graduation, she will clerk for Judge Richardson on the Fourth Circuit, after which she plans to pursue a career in prosecution. Interests: Prosecution, Government, Criminal Law

fullsizerender-mary-maerz.jpegMary Maerz 

Mary Maerz is a third-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. She plans on pursuing a career in animal rights law, and currently serves as the president of Virginia Animal Law Society. During her 1L summer, Maerz worked as a clerk for the Legislative Affairs Program of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. As a 2L, she spent her summer working for the People for the Ethical Treatment (PETA) Foundation legal department in Los Angeles, California. Immediately after graduation, she will clerk for the Honorable M. Douglas Harpool of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. Interests: Animal Rights

4s2a7948-1-molly-cain.jpgMolly Cain

Molly Cain is a third-year student from Seaford, Delaware. She attended Stanford University, where she studied Economics and Public Policy. Before coming to UVA Law, she worked as a senior researcher at the Center for American Progress, focusing on economic policy, and was a proud member of CAP’s bargaining unit, part of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union. She spent her 1L summer at the ACLU of Virginia in Richmond and her 2L summer at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in NYC, where she focused on policing discrimination and death penalty litigation. At UVA, Molly was a member of the Civil Rights Clinic, is Co-Director of UVA’s National Lawyers Guild Chapter, and one of the two heads of the Peer Advisor program. After graduation, Molly will clerk for the Honorable Carlton Reeves in the Southern District of Mississippi. Molly hopes to be a civil rights attorney, particularly focusing on prison conditions and criminal justice reform. Interests: Civil Rights, Criminal Justice Reform, Prison Conditions, Eighth Amendment & Death Penalty Litigation

_SMH8399 - Nellie BlackNellie Black 

Nellie Black is a third-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. For her 2L summer, Nellie interned at the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for the City of Richmond. At UVA, she is on the UVA Law Trial Advocacy Team, the 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

IMG_5497 - Nicole GilsonNicole Gilson

Nicole Gilson is a third-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

R.D. Raycraft_Headshot - Rachel Davidson RaycraftRachel Davidson Raycraft

Rachel Davidson Raycraft is a 3L at UVA where she is concurrently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy. Before coming to UVA, she worked in microfinance, human rights advocacy, and labor policy in Latin America and Washington, DC. Rachel spent her 1L summer with the Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section and her 2L summer in private practice, where she focused on global anti-corruption. Rachel co-directs the Human Rights Program, serves as the president of the Public Interest Law Association, and regularly volunteers with the Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville. Rachel plans to pursue a career in business and human rights. Interests: International Human Rights, Anti-Corruption, Corporate Accountability, Immigration

Ray Gans

Ray is a third-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 third 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. During her second summer she used her 3L practice certificate to represent clients at the public defender’s office in Worcester, MA. At UVA, Sam is a Peer Advisor, a co-director of the Virginia Law in Prison Project, and is co-President of the LPS Student Board. Sam hopes to become a Public Defender and continue to serve men and women who are involved the criminal justice system. Interests: Public Defense, Criminal Justice Reform, Mass Incarceration

houston-formal-photo-sarah-houston.jpgSarah Houston

Sarah came to UVA after working with refugees and migrants in Turkey and Europe for the past few years, focusing on displaced LGBTQ+ individuals and the specific legal issues they face. At UVA, she is founder of UVA’s International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) chapter, Managing Editor of UVA’s Journal of International Law Online, founder of the Women’s Committee on SBA, part of the Migrant Farmworkers Project, and currently studying abroad at the University of Tel Aviv. 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 and with Al Otro Lado on the border in Tijuana during 2L. Sarah is specifically interested in how the law and emerging technology can intersect to solve issues of displacement, especially for transgender individuals. Interests: Immigration Law, Trans Rights, Employment Law

Suzy Picture - Suzanne Deuster.jpgSuzy Deuster

Suzy Deuster is a third-year law student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to law school, she worked as an investigation assistant with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and as a paralegal in the Wisconsin Office of the Solicitor General. Suzy spent her 1L summer with Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts and her 2L summer with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Office of Special Advisor to the Commissioner, where she focused on developing and implementing evidence-based solutions to policy problems. At the law school, Suzy participates in pro bono projects that touch on the intersection of scientific research and law enforcement policy. She also serves as a research assistant, examining risk assessment and evidence-based reforms in the criminal justice system. Interests: Criminal Justice System Policy, Government, Impact Evaluation, Behavioral Science