Class of 2021

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.
Ambroise Decilap

Ambroise is a first-year law student from Chula Vista, California. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2015 with a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to law school, Ambroise worked as a substitute teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District and served as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate. He enjoys watching indie movies, playing soccer and listening to jazz. Interests: Criminal Justice, Civil Rights


Ashley Cordero

Ashley Cordero is a first-year law student from Roanoke, VA. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2013 with a B.S. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequality, a B.A. in Spanish, and a minor in Economics. Before law school, Ashley worked at the Washington, D.C. offices of Hunton & Williams LLP (now known as Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP) and Shearman & Sterling LLP where she provided administrative and legal support to the Antitrust and Litigation teams. At UVA, she has worked on pro bono projects with Democracy Forward and the Charlottesville Civilian Review Board. Interests: Prosecution, White Collar Crime, Criminal Justice Reform

Carly Wasserman

Carly Wasserman is a first year law student from Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2014 with a B.A. in Legal Studies and Social Welfare and a minor in Public Policy and from Johns Hopkins School of Education in 2016 with a M.S. in Secondary Education. Carly taught high school social studies in Baltimore City and worked as an Academic Assistant for a research course at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine before coming to UVA. While at UVA, Carly has been involved with the Virginia Innocence Project, the Child Advocacy Research and Education organization, the Public Interest Law Association, the Domestic Violence Project, and JustChildren. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Charlottesville, traveling internationally, and enjoying a good movie with friends. Carly looks forward to pursuing a career in child advocacy. Interests: Education law, child advocacy, juvenile justice

Caroline Bodie

Caroline is a first year law student from Hampton, Virginia. She graduated from William and Mary in 2017 with a degree in Government. Caroline hopes to pursue a career in public defense. Interests: Public Defense, Capital Punishment

Cody Fisher

Cody Fisher is a first-year law student from Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2015 with a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Religious Studies. Before law school, he worked as a business analyst in Richmond and in college ministry in Charlottesville. At UVA, Cody has been involved as a volunteer for the Virginia Innocence Project and for the Legal Aid Justice Center. This summer he is interning at Nashville Defenders. He enjoys backpacking, running, and reading fiction. Interests: Public Defense, Economic Justice

Dean Dixon

Dean Dixon is a first-year law student from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He majored in Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, graduating in December 2017. He intends to return to Nashville to practice. While in college, Dean found a passion for social justice through volunteering with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. Once he arrived at UVA, Dean quickly involved himself with both the newly-founded International Refugee Assistance Project and the Outreach Committee of the Virginia Innocence Project Pro Bono Clinic. His career goals include government, legal aid, and civil rights. In his spare time, Dean enjoys playing drums in the law school cover band Panic! at the District Court, watching hockey, and meeting new people. Interests: Government, Legal Aid, Civil Rights, Intellectual Property

Dominique Fenton

Dominique is a first-year law student from California who served as the Youth and Family Court judge in Oglala Sioux Tribal Court before law school. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Dominique worked as a legal advocate in Tribal Court and as a court-appointed defense investigator in federal criminal cases on Indian reservations throughout the region. Dominique first moved to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to teach high school English, after having spent several years as an investigator at The Bronx Defenders. He graduated from Yale in 2010 and will be spending his 1L summer as a Peggy Browning Fellow at the Equal Justice Center.  Interests: Indigent Defense, Juvenile Justice, Indigenous Justice, Civil Rights


Eliza Schultz

Eliza Schultz is a first-year law student from Brooklyn, NY. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2015. After college, Eliza worked as a research associate at the Center for American Progress, where she focused on low-wage labor, public benefits programs, and disability rights. She was a leader of the organization’s staff union and, outside of work, lobbied the D.C. government to adopt progressive employee benefits. In her spare time Eliza helps with advocacy efforts to keep schools free of gender-based violence. Interests: Workers’ Rights, Economic Justice, Disability, Civil Rights, Criminal Justice Reform

Gia Nyhuis

Gia is a first-year law student originally from Boulder, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 2017, where she studied Latin and Political Science. Before law school she served as a volunteer English teacher in Quito, Ecuador through the program WorldTeach. Interests: Public Defense, Immigration and Human Trafficking

Hayley Hahn

Hayley Hahn is a first-year law student from Fairfax, Virginia. She graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2017, where she majored in English with a minor in economics. Prior to law school, Hayley was a Fulbright student at McGill’s Centre for Research on Children and Families, where she researched legal and social service provisions for Indigenous children in Canada and the United States. While at UVA, Hayley has done pro bono work with the Legal Aid Justice Center’s JustChildren program, and taught high school students through the Street Law program. Interests: Child Advocacy; Juvenile Justice; Civil Rights; Racial Justice; Impact Litigation

Hayley Setear

Hayley Setear is a first year law student from Charlottesville, VA. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2016, and lived in New York for two years before starting law school. In New York, she interned for the Center for Court Innovation, a court reform nonprofit, and volunteered for the Fortune Society, a re-entry services organization. So far at UVA, Hayley has become involved with the Virginia Law & Prison Project and worked pro bono for the Albemarle-Charlottesville Public Defender’s Office. She plans to work in public defense for her 1L summer. Interests: Public Defense, Criminal Justice Reform, Incarcerated Individuals’ Rights

Jessica Feinberg

Jess is a first-year law student from Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from Smith College in 2018, where she majored in Sociology, and interned at NASA Ames. Jess is on the executive board of Lambda (the law school’s LGBTQ+ organization), and is working on a research project with Virginia Law Women. She is also involved in the Jewish Law Students Association, the Feminist Law Forum, and West Coast Wahoos. Jess is a lifelong Girl Scout and has toured internationally with three different choirs. This summer, Jess will be working at the Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section. Interests: Government, Civil Rights, Impact Litigation

Jolena Zabel

Jolena Zabel is a first-year law student from Hastings, MN. She graduated from Macalester College in 2016 with a triple major in Political Science, International Studies, and English. Prior to law school, she spent two years as the communications and advocacy manager at Kakenya’s Dream, an international non-profit organization committed to empowering girls in rural East Africa. During her 1L year, she was a pro bono volunteer with The Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis, MN, focusing on gender-based violence asylum claims. Interests: Human Rights, Gender Equality, Government

Katharine Janes

Katharine Janes is a first-year law student from Mount Pleasant, Michigan. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2018, where she majored in Political Science. Katharine has completed pro bono work for the Legal Aid Justice Center of Charlottesville and the National Immigrant Justice Center in Chicago. While at Notre Dame, she interned with the South Bend Public Defender’s Office and taught classes at the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center. She is an Executive Board Member of the Michigan Community Service Commission and a Senior Fellow for the Joyce Ivy Foundation. Interests: Juvenile Justice; Social Policy; Government

Kimberly Curtis

Kimberly Curtis is a 1L from Philadelphia. She graduated from Boston College in 2013 with an Economics major and Theology minor. She then served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps as a housing advocate for people experiencing homelessness in San Antonio. She also spent time interning at the White House, working in impact investing, and as the development director for an education nonprofit. In addition to law school, Kim is pursuing a Master of Public Policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at UVA. Interests: Affordable housing, land use, Government

Kristen James

Kristen James is a first-year law student from New York. She double majored in environmental studies and economics at Binghamton University. She previously worked at Citizens Campaign for the Environment and interned at Southern Tier Solar Works. Kristen is hoping to enter the field of environmental law and will be interning this summer with the environmental division of New York City Law Department. Interests: Non-profit, government

Kyle McGoey

Kyle is a first-year law student from New Orleans. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a major in Government and a minor in Art History. Before law school, he spent two years as a marketing strategist at a tech company in New York. During his 1L year, he has conducted legal research for a DoD-funded study on international legal tribunals and for Charlottesville’s Police Civilian Review Board. Kyle loves cooking, squash (the sport), live music, politics and road trips. Interests: Government, National Security, Human Rights

Meg McKinley

Meg McKinley is a first-year law student from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She attended Oklahoma Christian University, where she swam competitively, and graduated in 2018 with degrees in Political Science and English. Before law school, Meg taught an English class in Laos and later worked as an intern for Senator Cory Gardner. She enjoys running, poetry, and spending time with her cats. Interests: Public Defense, Human Trafficking

Nathan Eagan

Nathan is a first-year law student from Fort Collins, Colorado. He graduated from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where he played soccer and majored in Marketing. Before law school, he spent two and a half years with a large e-commerce company called Webstaurant Store, managing their advertising department. During his 1L summer, he will be interning with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and basketball, mountain biking, hiking, and playing with other people’s dogs (and wishing he had his own). Interests: Criminal Law, Criminal Justice Policy and Reform, Public Defense, Mass Incarceration, Capital Defense

Nooreen Reza

Nooreen is a first-year law student from Wise, Virginia. She graduated from Yale University in 2015. After graduation, she spent a year in the United Kingdom on a fellowship to the University of Cambridge, where she completed an MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies; her MPhil research focused on anti-imperialist movements in the Northwest Frontier of British India and their visions of law after decolonization. For the next two years, she was a paralegal at the Legal Aid Society of New York’s Housing Help Program, where she advocated for low-income tenants facing eviction proceedings in Brooklyn Housing Court. At UVA, she is involved in the International Refugee Assistance Project, the Domestic Violence Project, and PILA. Interests: Housing Law, Poverty Law, Racial Justice, Equitable Community Development

Olivia Roat

Olivia Roat is a first-year law student from Buffalo, NY. She graduated from Canisius College, where she majored in English and History. She received her Master of Public Policy from the University of Virginia in 2018. Olivia plans to pursue a career in gender equity and reproductive justice. Interests: Gender equity

Perrin Tourangeau

Perrin was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) in 2016, where she studied economics and environmental studies. After college, she spent a summer as part of a team of four people who ran a 115-year-old backcountry hotel in Glacier National Park, and then moved back to Colorado where she worked at a small law firm in South Denver before interning at WilmerHale. Perrin loves skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, and hiking in her free time, and feels very lucky to have been able to spend a summer traveling with her sister before coming to Charlottesville for law school. She will be interning with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Colorado this summer. Interests: Public Defense, Civil Rights, Environmental Justice

Sara Wendel

I graduated from The Ohio State University in May 2018 with a degree in Public Policy. I am excited to work for New York’s Legal Aid Society with their criminal division’s adolescent intervention team. Interests: Juvenile Justice, Public Defense, Government, Women’s Rights, Civil Rights

Sawyer Hicks

Sawyer is a first-year law student originally from Longmeadow, MA. He graduated from Davidson College in 2014 with a degree in Religion and a minor in Arab Studies. Prior to law school, he interned with Congressman Richard Neal, worked in Operations Management at McMaster-Carr in Atlanta, and assisted Maryland prison inmates with expungement and family law matters at Alternative Directions, Inc., a Baltimore-based non-profit. He is an avid runner and can often be found around the law school with his dog, Jeb. Interests: Criminal Justice Reform, Public Defense