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Nonprofit/Advocacy Panel (2014)


Thousands of nonprofit organizations provide comprehensive legal advice, representation, and education to low-income or marginalized communities. Others use lawsuits or legislative advocacy to protect or create rights, improve services, or raise public consciousness about an issue. Learn how to figure out which kind of nonprofit may suit you best by listening to attorneys provide descriptions of their practices, work environments and career paths.

Panelists include select Wasserstein Fellows:

  • Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (formerly worked with the Office of the Federal Public Defender – Western District of Texas and ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project)
  • Daniel P. Lindsey ’90, Supervising Attorney, LAF (formerly worked with the National Center on Poverty Law, Edelman & Combs, and Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago)
  • Gilbert Rogers ’02, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Haeyoung Yoon, Deputy Program Director, National Employment Law Project (formerly worked with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities, New York University School of Law – Immigrant Rights Clinic, Urban Justice Center – Community Development Project, and MFY Legal Services)

Moderated by Nima Eshghi, Attorney Advisor, OPIA

Ahilan T. Arulanantham is Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU of Southern California and Senior Staff Attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. He has successfully litigated a number of cases involving immigrants’ rights and national security. In 2007 and 2013, he was named one of California Lawyer Magazine’s Lawyers of the Year for immigrants’ rights, and in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013 was named one of the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers in California. He has served as a Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School, where he taught on Preventive Detention. In 2010 he received the Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award from the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, and in 2014 received the Jack Wasserman Memorial Award for litigation to protect the rights of vulnerable immigrants. Mr. Arulanantham has testified before the United States Congress on three occasions, including before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in 2013, when he testified about due process issues in the immigration detention and deportation system. Prior to joining the ACLU’s Southern California office, Mr. Arulanantham was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in El Paso, Texas for two years. Before that he was a fellow at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project in New York and a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Arulanantham is a graduate of Yale Law School and a graduate of Oxford University, which he attended as a Marshall Scholar.

Daniel P. Lindsey is a Supervisory Attorney at LAF (formerly known as the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago), which provides free civil legal services to low-income residents of Cook County, Illinois (Chicago and its close suburbs). Mr. Lindsey has practiced in the areas of housing and consumer law for over 20 years. His work has focused on predatory lending, foreclosure defense, bankruptcy, and broader issues of homeownership preservation and other areas of consumer law. Mr. Lindsey has litigated in state and federal court at the trial and appellate levels and has advocated for local, state, and federal laws and policies promoting fair lending and due process for homeowners. Mr. Lindsey has written articles, lectured, participated in task forces, panels, and workshops, consulted with private attorneys, policymakers, journalists, and academics, and testified before local, state, and federal administrative and legislative bodies. Mr. Lindsey is a magna cum laude graduate of Davidson College (’85) and a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School (’90). After graduating from law school, Mr. Lindsey clerked for two years in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, for the Honorable James T. Giles. In addition to his tenure at LAF, Mr. Lindsey has worked at a plaintiff’s side consumer fraud class action law firm, at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and at the National Consumer Law Center. Mr. Lindsey has also taught courses on housing law, predatory lending, and consumer protection law at the DePaul University College of Law. In 2010, he was appointed to the Residential Mortgage Board of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Lindsey served on a special Illinois Supreme Court Rules Committee, which drafted state court foreclosure rules effective as of May 2013.

Gil Rogers
 is a Senior Attorney in the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Atlanta office. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Gil received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, with a Certificate in Environmental Studies. Gil joined SELC in 2002 upon graduation from Harvard Law School and now leads SELC’s Clean Water Program. SELC is a nonprofit legal and policy advocacy organization whose mission is to protect the natural resources and special places in the Southeastern United States. Gil’s work at SELC has focused primarily on water quality and water management, looking at issues such as water pollution reduction, water supply challenges, riparian rights, hydropower, and interstate water conflicts. He has litigated cases in both state and federal court, and his work focuses on Georgia and Alabama. In 2005, he was named Water Conservationist of the Year by the Georgia Wildlife Federation. In 2011, Gil was part of a delegation of eight U.S. environmental attorneys who visited China as part of an environmental law program organized by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. The delegation met with Chinese government officials, advocates, academics, and private practitioners to learn firsthand about the country’s environmental challenges and the legal framework for addressing them, and to provide insight based on U.S. laws regarding citizen suits, standing, and environmental protection. In 2012-2013, Gil co-taught a sustainability certification course at Emory University’s Continuing Education program. Apart from his legal work, Gil has helped launch a mentoring program for new lawyers within SELC, and has participated in the State Bar of Georgia’s Transition into Law Practice Program as a mentor.

Haeyoung Yoon is a Deputy Program Director at the National Employment Law Project (NELP) in New York City. She co-directs NELP’s Good Jobs, a program area that develops strategic policies to create good jobs, enforce and strengthen workplace rights, and build ladders and upward mobility for low-wage and immigrant workers in the U.S. labor market. Over the course of her career, Ms. Young worked on low-wage and immigrant rights issues in the non-profit and academic sectors. At NELP, she works closely with national worker center alliances, unions, and community groups at the national, state, and local levels to develop innovative polices to address the changing nature of work, strengthen labor standards in the low-wage labor markets, and improve material conditions of workers’ lives. She works closely with all the major worker center alliances, networks, and national campaigns to support their campaigns. Ms. Young provided critical legal and other campaign support for the successful passage of the New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, the first-of-its kind to win expanded and industry-specific rights for domestic workers. At the Urban Justice Center, she represented low-wage and immigrant workers working in service industries, including domestic work, restaurant, and construction in wage and hour litigation. She was one of the lead counsel in Iqbal v. Ashcroft, a civil rights case on behalf of two South Asian and Arab immigrant men who were wrongfully detained and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment and discrimination in a detention center in the aftermath of 9/11. Prior to joining NELP, she was Executive Director of CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities. Ms. Yoon has taught at the New York University School of Law, co-directing its’ Immigrant Rights Clinic and the Brooklyn Law School. She was awarded a Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist by Public Justice in 2006 for Iqbal v. Ashcroft.