Below are some of the current Public Interest Law Scholars:
Darla Bardine is committed to human rights advocacy and is interested in the areas of human trafficking, violence, inequality, abuse and the criminal justice system. Darla created the Fight Child Exploitation in Tourism initiative in South Africa during the summer of 2010 while working with Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa. This initiative raises awareness of trafficking in persons, mobilizes South Africa’s travel and tourism businesses to protect children and advocates for the passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking in persons law. As part of this initiative, Darla had several articles published in national newspapers in South Africa and spoke at a regional Southern Africa conference. At the Arlington County Public Defenders Office she advocated for alternatives to incarceration and appropriate services for people suffering from addiction and mental illness. Additionally, while working at the Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center Darla helped create a legal handbook for foster parents in the District of Columbia.
Before entering Georgetown University Law Center Darla was the Associate Director of Policy and Family Treatment Coordinator for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights. Her work included building coalitions to advocate for policy changes for vulnerable family in the US and training poor communities in policy advocacy. Darla led the initiative to end the shackling of incarcerated pregnant mothers in US prisons during pregnancy, labor and post-delivery. Darla earned her M.A. in International Human Rights and Non-Profit Management from the University of Surrey-Roehampton in London, UK and received her B.S. in Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies from Pennsylvania State University.
Sandra Fluke’s professional background in domestic violence and human trafficking began with Sanctuary for Families in New York City. There, she launched the agency’s pilot Program Evaluation Initiative. While at Sanctuary, she co-founded the New York Statewide Coalition for Fair Access to Family Court, which after a twenty-year stalemate, successfully advocated for legislation granting access to civil orders of protection for unmarried victims of domestic violence, including LGBTQ victims and teens. Sandra was also a member of the Manhattan Borough President’s Taskforce on Domestic Violence and numerous other New York City and New York State coalitions that successfully advocated for policy improvements impacting victims of domestic violence.
At Georgetown Law, Sandra is a member of the Journal of Gender and the Law, as well as the Co-President of Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and the Vice President of the Women’s Legal Alliance. In her first year, she also co-founded a campus committee addressing human trafficking. Cornell University awarded her a B.S. in Policy Analysis & Management, as well as Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies in 2003.
Sandra is currently a Senior Legal and Policy Fellow at Polaris Project. As the 2010 recipient of the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Fran Kandel Public Interest Grant, she researched, wrote, and produced an instructional film on how to apply for a domestic violence restraining order in pro per. She has also interned with Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County; Break the Cycle; the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project; NOW Legal Defense and Education Found; Crime Victim and Sexual Assault Services; and the Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County.
Prior to law school, Alice Hsieh volunteered with migrant workers in Shanghai, which exposed her to the realities of forced labor and labor trafficking. When she returned to the U.S., she volunteered at Human Rights in China researching domestic surveillance practices in China leading up to the Beijing Olympics. While in undergrad, she interned for two summers in the chambers of the Honorable Chief Justice Hassell of the Supreme Court of Virginia researching the development of the Virginia judiciary and judicial independence. In addition, she worked at the Brennan Center for Justice as an undergraduate intern, where she did preliminary research and writing on topics including detention and habeas corpus violations, racial profiling, community-oriented defense, and domestic counterterrorism. Alice graduated magna cum laude from New York University in 2009 with a major in International Relations and minors in East Asian Studies and Law and Society. There, she co-founded the Journal of Politics & International Affairs at NYU and the Undergraduate Microfinance Initiative at NYU. Her thesis on whether World Bank Involvement Causes Political Unrest was published with honors.
Alice is particularly interested in pursuing litigation against entities or individuals that engage in illicit labor trafficking and sex trafficking pursuant to the Alien Torts Statute and the Torture Victims Protection Act. She is currently working at the International Rights Advocates at Conrad & Scherer, LLP in a case against the China Construction Bank. This past summer, she interned in the chambers of the Hon. Roslynn R. Mauskopf, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of New York. At Georgetown, Alice is a Law Fellow to Professor Tiscione, the Legislative & Advocacy Chair of the Women’s Legal Alliance, and will be participating in the CALS Clinic in the spring, where she will represent a client throughout the entirety of his or her asylum case.
Sara Kane is a member of the class of 2012 (and proud Section 3-er!) who is interested in criminal justice and human rights throughout the Americas. She is a member of the 2010-2011 Human Rights Institute's fact-finding mission and class, which is investigating the repatriation of persons with mental disabilities in Jamaica. She is also a staff member of the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law & Policy, and a Board Director for Georgetown Human Rights Action. Sara really enjoyed her summer 2010 internship at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center, a non-profit law office that provides pre-trial, trial, and some post-conviction representation for indigent defendants facing the death penalty in Louisiana, and hopes to do something similarly inspiring in 2011.
Before law school, Sara was a Fulbright fellow in Bogota, Colombia, where she studied Colombian constitutional law and researched land protection policies for Colombia's over 4 million internally displaced citizens. Before moving to Bogota, Sara was a paralegal and investigator at the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation's Capital, where much of her work involved researching alleged violations of fourth amendment law, federal employees' due process rights, and prisoners' rights. Sara graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Maryland in 2006.
Danielle Jefferis is pursuing a joint degree specializing in legal issues related to the Arab world and its diasporas. In her first year of law school, she volunteered with the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, working on issues of employment and travel discrimination in the Arab American community, as well as the Institute for International Law and Human Rights, researching and writing on issues of legislative drafting for the Iraqi parliament to ensure that domestic laws incorporate sufficient human rights protections. A recipient of a Clifford Chance International Public Interest Fellowship, she worked with a Palestinian NGO in the West Bank in the summer following her first year on issues of detention and prisoners rights.
At Georgetown, Danielle is a member of the Barristers’ Council Appellate Advocacy Division, a Human Rights Institute Associate, and a Law Fellow for Professor Sirota in Section Three. Moreover, she will participate in the Center for Applied Legal Studies clinic in the spring, representing an asylum applicant throughout his or her entire case.
Prior to law school, Danielle worked with the Arab American Family Support Center in Brooklyn to open the Khalil Gibran International Academy – the first dual language Arabic-English public school in the country – where she managed a wide range of programs serving the Arabic-speaking community. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and was the 2007 recipient of the Ibn Khaldun Prize for Excellence and Achievement in the Arabic Language.
Cathy Malina is a third-year Public Interest Law Scholar focusing on environmental law. While at Georgetown, Cathy has worked at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, assisting with civil litigation to enforce the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. She has also gained legal experience working at the White House Office of Science and Technology and Policy, the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
Before law school, Cathy spent two years at Environmental Defense Fund, focusing on climate change and public health issues. She also spent a year as an environmental policy fellow in the Office of the Illinois Lieutenant Governor, helping state agencies improve the sustainability of their operations and policies.
Cathy is executive editor of the Georgetown International Environmental Law Review, and she will participate in Georgetown's environmental law clinic through the Institute for Public Representation in Spring 2011. Cathy graduated from Princeton University in 2005 with a degree in History and American Studies.
Prior to attending Georgetown, Alex Marlin joined Teach For America and spent the following three years teaching second grade at P.S. 70 in the Bronx. In 2006, he joined the United States Peace Corps, and was placed in South Africa as an Education and Community Development Advisor. In the village of Nkampani, he coordinated large-scale HIV awareness and testing campaigns, which made testing and information available to thousands of rural South Africans. These efforts were bolstered by grassroots involvement by community members who participated in the development and enactment of AIDS prevention strategies. Additional projects included establishing a library for village youth and leading a community effort to install speed bumps at a high-traffic crossing, which has prevented the unnecessary deaths of many since its installation.
At Georgetown, Alex is a member of the Georgetown Law Journal and is involved in the CALS clinic, where he is representing a client seeking political asylum in the United States. This past summer, he worked on civil rights litigation at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. Alex is planning a career in indigent defense. Alex graduated Northwestern University in 2003, where he studied Education and Social Policy.
Brendan McTaggart '2011 has a lasting commitment to public interest law. Before law school, Brendan was Communications Director for the National Health Law Program, an advocacy organization which works for justice in health care for low-income people. Brendan also worked as an editor for the National Senior Citizens Law Center.
Brendan is particularly interested in access to affordable housing and health care. At Georgetown Law, Brendan has participated in the Harrison Housing and Community Development Clinic and the Institute for Public Representation (civil rights/general public interest section). Brendan has interned with the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (housing unit) and AARP Foundation Litigation (health and long-term care team).
Brendan earned a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College and an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. He lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife and son, two dogs, and one cat.
Prior to coming to Georgetown Law, Lucy worked as the sole paralegal in the Equal Employment Opportunity Project at the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights & Urban Affairs. While at the Lawyers' Committee, Lucy assisted employment discrimination plaintiffs with their administrative and court claims, and she was fortunate enough to be mentored by two fantastic female federal litigators who instilled in her the importance of supporting strong women lawyers. Lucy's love of politics and her enthusiasm for women's rights led her to become heavily involved in pro-choice advocacy during law school. She currently serves as the Co-President of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and she has interned at the National Partnership for Women & Families, Ayuda Inc. (Domestic Violence and Family Law Division), and the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. She has also worked with the Judiciary Committee staff of Senator Benjamin Cardin and is currently interning with the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee staff of Senator Barbara Mikulski. She hopes to work in reproductive justice advocacy after law school and to return to Capitol Hill on a more permanent basis. Finally, Lucy holds an editorial board position on the Georgetown Journal of Law and Modern Critical Race Perspectives.
Kelsey M. Phipps
In addition to being a Public Interest Law Scholar, Kelsey Phipps is a Point Scholar at Georgetown. At Georgetown, Kelsey has provided direct legal services to survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA, advocated for women’s human rights in Namibia in southern Africa, and worked on landmark LGBT civil rights cases at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, MA.
Prior to attending law school, Kelsey served as Policy Advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, then Chairman of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. In that role, Kelsey was deeply involved in legislation to increase access to services for individuals with disabilities, HIV/AIDS, traumatic brain injuries, and improving services for our nation’s veterans. On Capitol Hill, Kelsey worked on the CLASS Act, a long-term care provision of the recent health reform legislation signed into law by President Obama, as well as the Mental Health Parity Act and the Traumatic Brain Injury Act, both signed into law by President Bush. She was also elected the first female Co-Chair of the Senate's LGBT staff caucus. Kelsey has an M.A. in Women’s Studies from the University College Dublin, where she spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow, and a B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, California.
Charity Ryerson graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BA in political science. As an undergraduate student, she helped to create and implement Loyola's Socially Responsible Investment Policy, and was active in the student anti-sweatshop movement. Between college and law school, she worked in the international labor rights movement, supporting worker organizing on Latin American plantations and in factories that produced for the US market. She also investigated ongoing impunity for anti-union violence in Colombia and the progress made by the International Labor Organization courts, from which she produced reports used by Congress in the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement debates.
Since 2006, Charity has represented School of the Americas Watch on the Ethics Commission, a body created by the Colombian victims' movement to lay the groundwork for a Truth Commission. In this capacity, she visits displaced communities in rural Colombia, works closely with the Colombian victims' movement to support their work for Truth, Justice, and Integral Reparation, and engages in the ongoing debate about the conditions that would be necessary for a Truth Commission to be effective in Colombia. For most of 2009 and the summer of 2010, she worked for International Rights Advocates on several lawsuits against US companies for human rights violations overseas. In 2002, Charity was arrested for civil disobedience at the School of the Americas, and served 6 months in federal prison. While in prison, she organized underground educational programs for prisoners, focused on communicating with the press about the inadequate provision of heath care to inmates.
Agatha Schmaedick Tan
A dual citizen, raised in a bilingual and bicultural family, Agatha’s professional interests cross boundaries—whether they be national, social, or economic. For eight years prior to law school, Agatha worked on issues of immigrant community integration, labor rights, international development, and the linkage between trade and global warming.
After college—in her home state of Oregon—Agatha worked with migrant farmworker and urban immigrant communities as the Program Director for the Network for Immigrant Justice. In this position, she strove to combat anti-immigrant hate crimes, challenge raids by immigration officials, and advocate for the passage of State legislation that improved the working and living conditions of farmworkers. Agatha later spent several years working in Asia as the Assitant Director/Field Operations for the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC). The WRC was created in 2000 as a result of a national student movement to end sweatshop labor conditions—of which Agatha was a founding member. As a staff member, Agatha helped to establish the WRC as an internationally respected, independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. Agatha led several investigations of factories in Southeast Asia.
At Georgetown, Agatha has clerked for the D.C. Employment Justice Center, International Organization for Migration, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Service Employees International Union. She also frequently serves as an Indonesian interpreter and translator for legal aid organizations in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Agatha graduated cum laude from the Univeristy of Oregon, Robert D. Clark Honors College with a B.A. in International Studies. Agatha’s interests include labor, employment, immigration, trade and international law. In her free time, Agatha enjoys dancing, sewing, and hiking.
Kelly Whitener is currently a 1L at Georgetown and works for the Senate Committee on Finance, managing the Medicaid, CHIP, and prevention and wellness portfolios. As an undergraduate, Kelly studied psychology and Spanish at the University of Michigan and worked with children with special needs. In 2002, Kelly joined the Peace Corps, serving for three years in Ecuador as an urban youth development volunteer. Her time in the Peace Corps sparked an interest in policy. Upon her return to the US, Kelly studied public health policy at UCLA while working as a case manager in community mental health clinics. After completing her graduate work, Kelly was selected as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow which brought her to Washington, DC. Since moving to Washington, Kelly has continued to focus her work on improving the health of low-income children and families.