APABA-PA is proud to announce our 2017 Marutani Fellows

 

 

Nick Kato

Temple University’s Beasley School of Law – Class of 2019

Nick is a rising 2L and Beasley Scholar at the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. Prior to law school, Nick worked as an investigator for the Defender Association in Seattle, where he investigated criminal cases on behalf of people who could not afford counsel. Nick moved to Philadelphia to work for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, where he investigated cases on behalf of wrongfully convicted prisoners. During his 1L summer, Nick interned for Judge Thomas Ambro on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. At law school, Nick is a staff editor for the Temple Law Review and the co-chair of the Expungement Project.

 

 

Diane J. Kim
Temple University’s Beasley School of Law – Class of 2019

Diane, a second year at Temple University Beasley School of Law, interned this summer at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the Hon. Jean K. FitzSimon. Diane is currently the President of Temple’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, a Law Clerk for Chubb Limited’s In-House Counsel, and a Board Member for Research for Action. Diane previously worked in education policy, through Philadelphia’s City Council and The School District of Philadelphia, and advocated for the needs of the English Language Learning, immigrant, and refugee student population. In addition, Diane worked for Asian Arts Initiative’s Chinatown North neighborhood redevelopment project through the visual and performance arts. Diane is committed to servicing Philadelphia’s AAPI community and hopes to provide legal resources and services to the limited English proficient AAPI adults and students.

 

 

Brandon Wong

University of Pennsylvania Law School  – Class of 2019

Brandon is a second-year law student at the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Penn, Brandon completed his Bachelors degree in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. While there, he received the University’s Matsui Local Government and Matsui Washington Fellowships for demonstrated interest in effective governance. He graduated with Highest Distinction in General Scholarship. After graduating, Brandon worked for the Association of California Cities—Orange County (ACC-OC), a non-profit organization dedicated to retaining local control of public policymaking, as a Policy Analyst on the issue of homelessness. While at Penn, Brandon has completed pro bono projects for the Military Assistance Project and the City of Philadelphia Law Department. During the summer between his first and second year of law school, Brandon served as a judicial intern with the Honorable Judge Joseph F. Leeson, Jr. in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Brandon hopes to pursue a legal career in the areas of campaign finance and election law in Washington, D.C.


2016 Marutani Fellows

 

Courtney Chlebina, Temple Law

Courtney, a third year at Temple Law, has a passion for criminal defense and completed a summer internship at the Defender Association of Philadelphia.  She first discovered her interest during her time as a paralegal at Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., a plaintiff-side law firm where she worked alongside former public defenders.  Courtney spent last summer as an intern in the capital habeas unit of the Federal Community Defender Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and she continued to work there during the school year.  Courtney is also active at Temple, serving as president of APALSA and outreach co-chair of the School Discipline Advocacy Service.  Courtney, a staff editor for the Temple Law Review, also wrote a student comment arguing for the abolition of the death penalty.  After law school, Courtney plans to build a career in criminal defense.

 

Angela Ruan, Drexel Law

Angela is a third year student at Drexel Law and spent her summer at the Mazzoni Center serving Philadelphia’s LGBT community on poverty law issues.  She confirmed her interest in legal aid work last summer in the Consumer Housing Unit at Philadelphia Legal Assistance.  There, Angela worked with clients on various issues including mortgage and tax foreclosures, bankruptcies, trusts and estates.  Last fall, Angela volunteered with the SeniorLAW Center by conducting telephonic intake and helping to identify legal issues for callers.  She was a co-op intern at the City of Philadelphia Law Department where she learned more about administrative and governmental work. In her last year, Angela is again working at Philadelphia Legal Assistance in conjunction with Drexel's Civil Litigation Field Clinic. As a certified legal intern, she will be representing low income Philadelphians in their custody and Protection from Abuse hearings in Family Court. Angela has also been an active member of Drexel’s fledgling APALSA, previously serving as secretary and now serving as president.  Angela hopes to continue her pursuit of public interest law with a fellowship after graduation. 

 

Renu Sagreiya, Drexel Law

Renu, now a third year student at the Drexel Law, interned this summer at the Mazzoni Center where she worked on issues spanning different types of poverty law.  Renu has a strong background in working with trauma survivors, which forms the basis of her interest in public interest law.  At Drexel, for example, Renu is president of the Domestic Violence Law Society and has logged over 1000 hours in pro bono work.  Renu was a co-op intern at HIAS Pennsylvania where she advocated for non-citizens seeking humanitarian forms of relief.  Her 2015 summer experience was with the Homeless Advocacy Project where, among other things, she worked with homeless veterans to obtain service-connected benefits.  Renu spent the previous summer with Philadelphia Legal Assistance managing her own caseload of family law cases dealing with issues of child custody, divorce, and protection from abuse matters.  Before starting law school, Renu was a City Year Americorps member where she worked with at-risk teenagers in educational settings, planned community service programs, and launched an after-school nutrition education curriculum.  After law school, Renu plans to be a judicial clerk and a public interest fellow.

 

Carrie Xu, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Carrie, now a second year student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, was a judicial intern this summer with the Honorable Cathy Bissoon of the Western District of Pennsylvania.  Prior to law school, Carrie worked in the finance industry and in web development, but she decided to change career paths to better advocate for those in need.  Most notably, in her first year of law school, Carrie helped to launch the Pittsburgh Youth Police Advisory Committee in partnership with the Pittsburgh Police Department, which hosts community councils and outreach programs.  She has conducted community meetings to encourage discussion on preventative policing and she hopes to help implement new policies informed by these discussions.  She has worked with police and youths to establish meaningful partnerships and, though the program is still young, Carrie is hopeful that it will spark change in the community.

 


2015 Marutani Fellows

 

Qiwei Chen, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

 

Qiwei Chen is a rising 3L at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, as well as current Vice President of Pitt Law’s Asian Pacific Law Student Association. As a current legal intern of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Immigration Clinic, she represents vulnerable low-income immigrants with their deportation defenses and asylum cases. In addition, as a student volunteer at Christian Legal Aid of Pittsburgh, she serves the underprivileged populations regarding family law matters. Qiwei received her BA from Shanghai Normal University and an LLM from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. This summer, with the assistance of the Marutani fellowship, Qiwei will work at Jewish Family & Children Service in Pittsburgh, PA. There, she will be able to help resettle immigrants and refugees that fled their homes due to fear of persecution, imprisonment or death and help them rebuild their new lives in our community.

 

Anannya Tripathy, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law

 

Anannya Tripathy is a rising 2L and Conwell Scholar at the Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law and the 2015-2016 Co-President of the North American South Asian Law Students Association (NASALSA).  Prior to law school, Anannya worked as a paralegal at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and as a freelance writer and travelled through Europe. Additionally, Anannya has been volunteering for over six years at ActionAIDS, a Philadelphia nonprofit dedicated to empowering  those living with HIV/AIDS. Anannya earned her B.A. in Psychology from Temple University in 2012. In college, she was a Dean’s Scholar and a two-time recipient of the Community Service & Civic Engagement Initiative Award, which is awarded annually to one student who made outstanding efforts in the area of community service.  This summer she will be interning at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



2014 Marutani Fellows:
 
Kimberly Bennett, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Kimberly Bennett is a fourth year joint-degree student pursuing her Juris Doctrate and Master in International Development, with a focus on Management of Non-Governmental Organizations and a Graduate Certificate in Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She hopes to use her degrees to obtain work assisting traditionally underserved populations in immigration proceedings, development and community work. With the assistance of the Mauritani Fellowship, Kimberly worked at Community Justice Project in Pittsburgh, PA. There, she was able to help plaintiffs litigate claims against their employers, many of whom had committed wage theft, peonage, debt bondage, and more. Because of Kimberly’s language abilities, she was able to work with mostly Spanish-speaking clients.

 

Chi-Ser Tran, Temple University Beasley School of Law

Chi-Ser Tran is a 2L at the Temple University Beasley School of Law. Chi-Ser is currently Co-Vice President of Temple’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, as well as Co-Chair of the Immigration & Human Rights Committee of Temple’s National Lawyers Guild chapter. Prior to law school, Chi-Ser was the Voting Rights Organizer at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), where she coordinated AALDEF’s multilingual Election Protection project - AALDEF’s and the nation’s biggest project of its kind to-date. In addition, she worked with a wide variety of community leaders and organizations around the country to enforce and implement language access for limited English proficient Asian American voters. In 2012, she also helped revive the NYC chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. Prior to AALDEF, Chi-Ser was the National Programs Fellow at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy in Washington, DC. Chi-Ser earned her B.A. in Asian/Pacific/American Studies from New York University. This summer, with the support of the Marutani Fellowship, Chi-Ser worked at the Philadelphia Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor.

 
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