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ACLU of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Ali Szemanski will serve as a PSVF Redstone Fellow at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, in the organization’s Pittsburgh office, where she was lucky to intern between her second and third years of law school. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, she is excited at the opportunity to work in her home community on pressing issues of civil rights and to challenge the unjust actions of local public officials. She will work as a junior staff attorney on the organization’s ongoing litigation, as well as help to investigate and develop potential new cases. She plans to return to civil rights litigation after completing a clerkship in the Southern District of Ohio for the 2020–21 term, and is specifically interested in the intersection of racial justice and disability justice.

Ali was involved with Harvard’s Criminal Justice Appellate Clinic, where she engaged with unsettled questions of criminal procedure and prisoners’ rights. She also completed clinical placements with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (now Lawyers for Civil Rights), as part of Harvard’s Employment Law Clinic, and with Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, CA, as an independent clinical placement. She spent her 1L summer at the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. During her time at Harvard Law School, she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, was co-president of Harvard’s beer appreciation club, and was an active member of the HLS ACLU and the Mississippi Delta Project. Prior to law school, she graduated with honors from Northwestern University, double majoring in Social Policy and History; she spent two years before law school working as a paralegal for Cohen Milstein’s Antitrust Practice Group in Washington, DC. She is a first-generation college and law graduate who enjoys running, rock climbing, and dogs of all shapes and sizes.