Skip to main content

Advancing Impactful Careers

August 10, 2022

Penn Carey Law graduates and alums have secured several highly competitive public interest fellowships, empowering them to launch dynamic careers advocating for justice across the country.

This year, 12 graduates and 2 alums make up the cohort of University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School JDs who have secured fellowships to pursue essential public interest work. Building on Penn Carey Law’s strong history of commitment to public service, their projects will impact many of the most vulnerable populations across the country and largely fall at the intersection of multiple critically important areas of social injustices.

This year’s fellowship recipients include:

Catalyst Fellowships

Cal Barnett-Mayotte L’22 will work in the Supreme Court & Appellate Program of the MacArthur Justice Center. Barnet-Mayotte will advocate for civil rights and criminal justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals, and state supreme courts nationwide.

Wesley Newton L’22 will work at the Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender, providing crucial representation to clients in criminal defense proceedings in Arizona. 

Rebecca Orton L’22 will work at the Colorado Poverty Law Project to provide critical legal services to clients who are fighting evictions and other housing injustice issues in Colorado.

Erica Rodarte L’22 will advocate for the preservation of civil rights and civil liberties at the ACLU of Idaho. The ACLU of Idaho works both locally and in concert with the network of ACLU offices across the country to use litigation, legislation, and policy to fight for the organization’s ultimate goal of justice for all.

Lucas Slevin L’22 will launch his career in the Appellate Section of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, engaging in essential work representing low-income defendants in the state’s criminal justice system.

Catherine Kearney C’12, L’22 is one of six Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Project Fellows. The Law School Partnership Project provides law students with the opportunity to launch their career as a public defender and criminal justice reformer on the front lines of the effort to realize equal justice in America, and fellows are placed in offices where mass incarceration plagues marginalized and under-resourced communities. Kearney will be joining the Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Project-Based Fellowships

William Fairhurst L’22 will work to enforce New Jersey’s state constitutional right to economic fair housing at the Fair Share Housing Center through impact litigation against municipalities that attempt to use exclusionary zoning to block affordable housing. Fairhurst, who will receive the Toll Public Interest Fellowship, will also explore policy and advocacy opportunities to support and enforce inclusionary zoning ordinances in some of the state’s most rapidly gentrifying areas.

Sarah Perlman L’22 will work with Greater Boston Legal Services to serve low-income Boston seniors at the intersection of consumer law and elder justice through direct legal services and educational outreach. The goal of Perlman’s Fellowship, which is sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, is to work with the community to ensure that the most vulnerable seniors are not unjustly separated from the financial security and legal services necessary to maintain their economic independence.

Maya Reddy L’22 will work within the Harvard Law School LGBTQ+ Advocacy Clinic to protect the rights of, and promote the inclusion and well-being of, LGBTQ+ student athletes through litigation, legislative advocacy, and policy advocacy/public education. Reddy will also receive the Toll Public Interest Fellowship.

Sadye Stern L’22 will provide comprehensive legal support for incarcerated Pennsylvanians seeking parole, develop a statewide training program for lawyers on how to represent incarcerated people in parole proceedings, and conduct research and produce a report to advocate for changes to the parole process in order to improve the Pennsylvania Parole Board’s transparency and accountability to public safety. Stern’s Fellowship at the Amistad Law Project is sponsored by the Langer, Grogan, and Diver Foundation in Social Justice.

National Fellowships

Madison Gray L’21 will increase access to housing and healthcare for disabled Philadelphians with a focus on the intersections of race, disability, and poverty. As an Independence Fellow hosted by the Public Interest Law Center, Gray will use a multi-pronged approach of litigation, advocacy, education, and collaboration in her work.

Maggie Kopel L’19 will represent clients in the universal representation program in federal court cases, helping them both to avoid detention and to improve their detention conditions with habeas cases. As an Independence Fellow hosted by the Nationalities Services Center, Kopel will file motions for stays of deportation during the critical few days before a client is about to be deported.

Marissa Schwartz L’22 will work to bridge the gap in legal services for parents navigating the custody court system after involvement in the child welfare court system as an Equal Justice Works Fellow. At Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Schwartz will provide trauma and systems-informed legal representation to survivors in custody court and strengthen relationships with parent defense organizations to facilitate referrals for parents involved in child welfare court; she will also collaborate with community organizations to educate and empower parents to navigate custody court against their abusers.

Corina Scott L’22 will bring ineffective assistance of counsel claims on behalf of survivors of domestic violence as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Center for Appellate Litigation. She will also advocate for amendments to the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act to eliminate the needless procedural barriers that bar clients from obtaining the relief the legislature intended to provide. Additionally, Scott will develop a comprehensive body of post-conviction advocacy materials to educate attorneys and judges on the evolving legal and legislative landscape.

Explore the Law School’s commitment to supporting public interest careers.

Learn more about public service opportunities at the Law School.