Alison’s commitment to public interest was sparked while studying abroad in Egypt as an undergraduate at Northwestern University. What began as an experience volunteering with a student group that served refugees developed into a strong commitment to refugee rights, and she eventually rose to co-president of the program. The experience exposed her to the field of refugee rights and advocacy and inspired in her the desire to “provide direct legal services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.”
She followed her time abroad by immersing herself even more deeply in public interest work, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at a Somali community-based organization in the Seattle area, then as an English teacher in Thailand on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant and, later, as a volunteer at an educational organization on the Thai-Burmese border. Finally, upon her return to the U.S., Alison worked as an intern for six months at the largest immigrant advocacy organization in Washington state.
Now at Penn Law, Alison is a co-director of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project, and participated in the organization’s 2012 Spring Break Service trip to Amman, Jordan. She has also served as a law student representative in the Transnational Legal Clinic, where she was engaged in direct representation of immigrant clients and in human rights advocacy, and in the Custody and Support Assistance Clinic and the Interdisciplinary Child Advocacy Clinic, where she has served as a legal advocate for individuals seeking assistance in family law matters. She spent her first summer at an immigration clinic in Boston, and during her second summer, completed two internships at immigration legal service providers in New York and Houston. Alison will pursue a career assisting immigrants, asylum-seekers and refugees navigate the American immigration system and find long-term and meaningful security in the United States.