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Mihal Ansik (J.D. ‘16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
New Way of Life Reentry Project
Los Angeles, CA

Working with A New Way of Life Reentry Project, with the support of the Public Service Venture Fund and the Berkeley Law Foundation, Mihal Ansik will provide legal assistance to families impacted by incarceration and criminalization who are navigating the dependency court process. Through direct legal advocacy, community education, and movement support, Mihal and ANWOL will develop a project focused on sustaining family connections, building access to reunification, and ending multi-generational cycles of incarceration. Mihal has spent the past ten years working with people in prison and their loved ones as an educator, organizer, and advocate. Prior to starting law school, Mihal spent five years working as a Court Advocate with the Center for Community Alternatives in Brooklyn, NY, where she advocated for incarcerated youth to be released into healing and supportive community-based alternatives to detention and developed workshops to equip youth and their families with tools for advocating for themselves as they navigated the delinquency process. At Harvard Law School, Mihal continued to advocate alongside clients entangled in punitive systems as a Student Attorney with Harvard Defenders, the Prison Legal Assistance Project, and the Criminal Justice Institute.

Daniel Carpenter-Gold (J.D. ’16)
Maria, Gabriella & Robert A. Skirnick Fellowship
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest
New York, NY

Daniel Carpenter-Gold is grateful for the support of the Skirnick Fellowship in upcoming position with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where he will provide rights training and legal support to help protect low-income tenants with asthma from the health risks of poorly maintained housing. At HLS, Daniel served as the Managing Editor for Submissions of the Harvard Environmental Law Review as well as supporting work in environmental justice for the Natural Resources Defense Council and through HLS’s Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic and the Semester in Washington program, and in environmental rights through the Human Rights Clinic and the Law and International Development Society. As an undergraduate at Columbia University, Daniel was also awarded the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship as well as the Freeman-ASIA Scholarship.

Ryan Cortazar (J.D. ’16)
Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service
Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
Chicago, IL

Ryan has been awarded a fellowship to work with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where he will work on impact litigation involving antidiscrimination and constitutional claims. Before law school, Ryan worked for the Chicago Inspector General developing and implementing procedures to monitor the city’s hiring practices for compliance with the Shakman Accord, a landmark civil settlement prohibiting patronage hiring in violation of employees’ First Amendment rights. While at HLS, Ryan was an articles editor for the Harvard Law Review and a legal intern in the Civil Rights Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. He also provided research assistance to Professors Laurence Tribe and Andrew Crespo and contributed to Professor Benjamin Sachs and Jack Goldsmith’s On Labor blog.

Mira Chernick (J.D. ’16)
Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service
Center for Justice and Accountability
San Francisco, CA

Mira Chernick graduated magna cum laude from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in International Human Rights and Social Justice. While in law school, Mira served on the board of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and as a project leader for the Law and International Development Society. As part of Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic, she worked on litigation before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights concerning mass incarceration and prison conditions in Brazil and assisted in drafting a petition for certiorari and reply brief to the Supreme Court in a case asserting corporate accountability for human rights abuses under apartheid in South Africa. While at HLS, Chernick also served as a Summer Legal Intern at Dejustica in Bogota, Columbia as well as a Law Clerk at the Department of Justice Criminal Division.

Mira will spend her fellowship year with the Center for Justice and Accountability in San Francisco, California, working with victims of torture and other human rights violations to bring claims in federal court under the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victim Protection Act. Following her fellowship, Mira will clerk for the Honorable Kathleen Cardone of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas.

Keaton Allen-Gessesse (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Socio-Economic Rights Institute
Johannesburg, South Africa

Keaton Allen-Gessesse has been awarded a PSVF fellowship to join the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Keaton’s work with SERI will focus on three main areas: the right to adequate housing, access to basic services, and the expansion and protection of political space for dissenters. While at HLS, Keaton was a student-attorney in the Immigration and Refugee Clinic and the International Human Rights Clinic. During law school, Keaton spent a semester in Paris at Sciences Po Ecole de Droit and completed summer internships in Paris at International Federation of Human Rights and in Cambodia at the ECCC. She helped to create the student organization Students for Inclusion, and was an active member of the Royall Must Fall and Reclaim Harvard Law student movements. Keaton was an editor for the Harvard Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice and a member of Harvard Human Rights Advocates. Prior to law school, Keaton was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Michigan in Political Science and African American Studies.

Rena Karefa Johnson (J.D. ’16)
Edith W. Fine Fellowship
Youth Represent
New York, NY

Rena has been awarded a 2016 PSVF Fellowship and the Edith Fine Fellowship to work as a staff attorney at Youth Represent, providing civil and criminal representation to New York youth ensnared by the criminal justice system to ensure that they reclaim lives of dignity, self-fulfillment, and civic engagement. During her time at law school, Rena was a member of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice, a student attorney for the Criminal Justice Institute and an active member of the Black Law Students Association and its ‘Street Law’ team, which gave Know Your Rights workshops to high school students. Rena also co-founded Students for Inclusion – an intersectional advocacy group fighting for meaningful inclusion of those communities and voices that have traditionally been marginalized in higher education and the legal field – and organized with student movements like the Harvard Ferguson Action Committee, Royall Must Fall and Reclaim HLS. During her first law school summer, Rena interned with the Civil Action and Criminal Defense practices of the Bronx Defenders. Prior to law school, Rena graduated from Yale University with a degree in African-American Studies.

Anna Joseph (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Dejusticia
Bogota, Colombia

Anna Joseph has been awarded a PSVF and Frederick Sheldon Fellowship to work at the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) in Bogotá, Colombia. At Dejusticia, Anna will focus on gender justice-related research and litigation concerning LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and reproductive rights. At Harvard Law School she served as Co-President of Lambda, Director of the Student Government’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and Co-Founder of the Harassment/Assault Law-Student Team (HALT). Anna was also a clinical student with the International Human Rights Clinic and a student attorney in the Prison Legal Assistance Project. During her law school summers, Anna served as a James Vorenberg Equal Justice Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of Puerto Rico; interned in the Special Litigation Unit of the Legal Aid Society; and practiced as a student attorney with the Federal Public Defender for the District of Puerto Rico. Prior to law school, Anna graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Claremont McKenna College with dual departmental honors in International Relations and Religious Studies, and received the award for best religious studies senior thesis.

Anna Jouravleva (J.D. ’16)
Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Boston, MA

Anna will work in the housing and homelessness unit of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. As a staff attorney, Anna will promote justice in housing law through litigation, policy advocacy, and other initiatives aimed at systemic change. At HLS, Anna represented public housing tenants and Section 8 recipients as a member of the Tenant Advocacy Project. In the Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic, Anna defended a victim of predatory debt collection practices. Anna was an intern and a summer Heyman Fellow in the Civil Division of the Washington, D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office, as well as a summer associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. She also worked on international corruption issues as a clinical intern in the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative and as a member of the Global Anticorruption Lab. Anna has a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics and Political Science from Brown University.

Joseph Michalakes (J.D. ’16)
David A. Grossman Fellowship for Social Justice
Greater Boston Legal Services
Boston, MA

Joey Michalakes will spend his fellowship term in the housing and employment units of Greater Boston Legal Services, where he will work in tandem with other staff attorneys as well as community organizations to develop strategies for combating displacement in gentrifying neighborhoods in Greater Boston, both through direct representation in eviction defense and affirmative employment litigation and community legal education.

At HLS, Joey served for two years as a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB), where he worked primarily in the Housing and Wage and Hour practice groups. Joey also served for a year on the HLAB Board as its Outreach Director. In that capacity he helped expand HLAB’s longtime partnership with the housing justice organization City Life/Vida Urbana (CLVU) to its emergent East Boston site, and developed community partnerships with area immigration legal services organizations so that HLAB’s Family Practice could begin working on cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) adjudications in Probate and Family Court.

During law school, Joey also served as a student attorney and Immigration Services director with the Harvard Immigration Project (HIP), where he worked on green card and derivative asylee applications on behalf of immigrants recently granted asylum in the United States. He also worked at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic (HIRC) his 1L summer as the Cleary Gottlieb Fellow, and at the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) as an intern during his 2L summer. Joey holds an A.B. in Social Studies from Harvard College and an M.A. in Teaching from Cardinal Strich University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Between college and law school, Joey worked as a bilingual third grade teacher in Milwaukee through Teach for America. At his HLS graduation Joey was given the Andrew Kaufman Pro Bono award for completing the most pro bono hours of any graduating law student.

Fabiana Pardi Otamendi (L.L.M. ’16)
Irving R. Kaufman Fellowship
International Service for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland

Fabiana Pardi Otamendi is a Venezuelan lawyer committed to the protection and promotion of human rights. Fabiana’s motivation to become a human rights lawyer has been driven by the human rights crisis in her home country. In Venezuela, Fabiana worked on landmark cases related to freedom of expression as well as the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. At HLS, Fabiana completed coursework with great emphasis on human rights and joined different initiatives related to the field. Through her work, she witnessed the acts of violence to which human rights defenders are constantly exposed, such as murders, threats, criminalization and surveillance. As a result, is why she decided to join the International Service for Human Rights, an NGO that has been supporting the work of human rights defenders for more than 30 years. At the International Service for Human Rights, Fabiana will contribute to the adoption and effective implementation of norms that enable the creation of spaces where human rights defenders are heard, recognized and protected from reprisals and acts of intimidation. She will also be able to provide legal advice to human rights defenders on applying international law within the international human rights system.

Brittany Reid (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Reprieve
London, United Kingdom

Brittany Reid has been awarded a PSVF fellowship to work with Reprieve in London where she will work on death penalty cases both in the United States and elsewhere. While at HLS, Brittany was a member of Harvard Defenders, served as a committee member with the Harvard Black Law Students Association, served as an Executive Editor of the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Justice, and was involved with Harvard Law and International Development Society. Brittany also participated in the International Human Rights Clinic and the Criminal Justice Institute. During law school, Brittany completed summer clerkships at Sanford Heisler, LLP and The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Prior to law school, Brittany graduated from the University of Virginia and worked as a preschool teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Elizabeth Anne Reese,Yunpoví (J.D. ’16)
Sumner M. Redstone Fellowship in Public Service
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Washington, D.C.

Liz will join the litigation team of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in their Washington, D.C. office. At LDF, Liz will be fighting for racial justice by litigating a variety of cases across the country in each of LDF’s core practice areas: Criminal Justice, Economic Justice, Education, and Political Participation. At Harvard Law School, Liz served as co-President of the Native American Law Students Association, and organizes HLS’s annual Freedom Seder. As part of the Native Amicus Briefing project, Liz helped author a federal district court brief arguing for tribal fishing rights. Liz spent her summers at the Appellate Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and on the Judiciary Committee Staff for Senator Richard Blumenthal, where she worked on bills concerning immigration, gun regulation, domestic violence, and human trafficking. Prior to law school, Liz worked on Indian policy for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman and received her MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge where she studied the relationship between American Indian political empowerment and Christian theology. Liz is a proud Nambe Pueblo tribal member. At Nambe, Liz is an active member of the Pueblo’s traditional religious community, volunteers for the tribe’s education department, and served on a non-profit exploratory committee.

Renuka Rege (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Public Justice Center
Baltimore, MD

Before law school, Renuka worked at an underperforming public school as a tutor for sixth grade students in reading skills. During law school, she worked at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund on litigation challenging state education systems. She also interned at the Education Law Center, where she worked on a range of education matters. As part of the Child Advocacy Clinic, Renuka worked at Massachusetts Advocates for Children on school-to-prison pipeline issues. She also represented the family of a student experiencing trauma in special education matters as part of the Education Law Clinic. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Anthropology from Rice University.

Alexandra Santa Ana (J.D. 16’)
Dennis ’83, Susan, William ’08 and Thomas ’12 Langer Public Service Fellowship
National Center for Youth Law
Oakland, CA

Alexandra Santa Ana has been awarded a Langer Fellowship to work with the National Center for Youth Law in Oakland, California, where she will help to ensure access to education for low-income children and children of color. During her time at HLS, Alexandra served as Social Committee Co-Chair and Conference Chair on La Alianza’s executive board, and she organized HLS’s first Latino Law Conference. Alexandra was a technical editor for the Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice and the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. She was also a co-founder of Students for Inclusion. Alexandra also participated in the Child Advocacy Clinic and the Education Clinic, and in a pro bono spring break trip to MALDEF in San Antonio. During her summers, Alexandra interned at Bay Area Legal Aid in the Housing Preservation unit, and was a 2015 Ford Fellow at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, where she assisted clients with re-entry issues in the Second Chance Legal Clinic. Alexandra holds a B.A. in Sociology from UC Berkeley and an A.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from De Anza College.

Angel Gabriel Cabrera Silva (L.L.M. ’16)
Irving R. Kaufman Fellowship
Centro de Estudios Legales
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Before coming to HLS, Angel specialized in the Inter-American Human Rights System and has represented victims of severe human rights violations as part of the CMDPDH (Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de Derechos Humanos). Passionate about promoting democracy in Latin-America, Angel focused academically on the impact of human rights litigation within the region. At HLS, Angel worked on transnational advocacy projects through the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic and as member of HLS Advocates for Human Rights. He was also part of the Harvard International Law Journal and was selected as a Harvard Salzuburg-Cutler Fellow 2016. He holds a first degree in law from the University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Zachary Shapiro (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Hastings Center
Garrison, NY

Zachary Shapiro has been awarded a fellowship to serve at The Hastings Center for Bioethics in Garrison, New York. Zach will contribute a legal orientation to ongoing projects at the intersection of law, bioethics, and the public good. Zach will also be a Visiting Fellow in Law and Neuroscience at the Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior, at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital. A native New Yorker, Zachary received his BA in Human Health and Medical Ethics from Brown University in 2009 and an MSc in Biomedicine, Bioscience, and Society in 2012 from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Jitka Vrtelova (L.L.M. ’16)
Irving R. Kaufman Fellowship
Legal Action Worldwide
London, United Kingdom

Jitka is a Czech national with a degree in Law and International Politics from Aberystwyth University, UK. She has been awarded a Kaufman Fellowship to work at Legal Action Worldwide. At Harvard Law School, she volunteered as a Board member of the HLS Advocates for Human Rights and as a Student Attorney at the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project, and worked as a Research Assistant to Naz Modirzadeh at the HLS Program on International Law and Armed Conflict. Prior to matriculating to Harvard, Jitka worked as an intern at the Aberystwyth University David Davies Memorial Institute where she researched issues pertaining to nuclear proliferation and state trust-building in the nuclear age. She was also involved in the Aberystwyth Innocence Project where she and other students, under faculty supervision, worked to help exonerate prisoners who believed to have been wrongly convicted. And finally, Jitka spent a gap year between her second and third year at Aberystwyth as a Civil Servant at the Welsh Government in Cardiff, UK where she mostly worked on administrative and constitutional law/policy issues.

Jillian Wagman (J.D. ’16)
Public Service Venture Fund Fellow
Institute for Migrant Women
Mexico City, Mexico

Jillian will work in the legal clinic of the Instituto para las Mujeres en la Migración (Institute for Migrant Women), an organization that works to protect the rights of migrant women and children in Mexico City. She will focus on transnational family reunification, detention conditions, and trafficking cases. As a law student, Jillian worked on asylum cases at the Harvard Immigration Clinic and on prison condition litigation with the International Human Rights Clinic. She interned at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, the Office of the Co-Prosecutors of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and Justice Trust. Before law school, Jillian worked at the Federal Trade Commission and holds a B.A. with high honors from the University of California at Berkeley.