Meet our Summer 2016 Law Clerks!August 10, 2016
We’ve had the honor of working with a very impressive and committed group of law students this year as summer clerks. In our next post, we’ll look at some of the highlights of their work. But first, here are their bios:
Yvette Borja, who is heading into her second year at Stanford Law School, is currently working with our Immigration and National Origin program.
“I came to LAS-ELC because I had heard about the organization and the people here,” she says. “Chris Ho, who is my supervising attorney, came to my civil procedure class to talk about the Rivera case he litigated. I was very impressed by that work… I’m still exploring where I’m going to be in the long term, but this has been a great place for me to learn the landscape of workers’ rights.”
Yvette received her B.A. in American Studies in 2014 from Yale University. As an undergraduate, she researched bilingual education and served as a Mellon Mays Research Fellow. She also was a PPIA Law Fellow at the Goldman School of Public Policy of UC Berkeley and spent spring 2015 as a student intern at the U.S. Supreme Court. Before that, she was a research assistant at Harder+Company, which consults to nonprofits and government agencies on improving their effectiveness. Yvette is from Pacifica, Calif.
Also in the National Origin Program, Joseph Falcon-Freeman, now heading into his third year at Berkeley Law.
“I thought LAS-ELC would be a great place for me to train and get meaningful feedback and experience,” he says. “People are really focused and dedicated and it’s one of those rare offices where there’s a union of mission-driven work and technical expertise. I’m really proud to be part of this.”
Joseph clerked last summer at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and then worked as a certified clinical student at the East Bay Community Community Law Center, where he advised low-income workers on employment consequences of criminal convictions. He holds bachelor’s degrees from Louisiana State University in philosophy and in cultural anthropology. Born in Washington state, he grew up in Madisonville, La.
Rosemary Laflam is heading into her second year at Columbia Law School. She worked as a paralegal at the U.S. Department of Justice for almost four years before entering law school. For her, the biggest draw at LAS-ELC was the variety of legal tools the organization uses to achieve its mission.
“I didn’t have any employment law experience before I came here; now, I do,” she says. “I’ve attended a couple of hearings and written letters for clients. But the clinical work has been my favorite. It’s really helped me learn how to speak and think on my feet.”
Rosemary graduated from Bowdoin College in 2011. She is from Concord, N.H.
Felicita Moreno, who is entering her second year at UC Hastings, Felicita worked in human resources for four years before starting law school. Always active in her community, Felicita has seen LAS-ELC as a place to learn firsthand how to use the law to help people learn about their rights as workers.
“I was really impressed by all the programs and the work this organization does for communities throughout California,” she says. “This is the place I wanted to spend my summer, although employment law was not something I knew much about. So far, I’m really satisfied with the experience.”
Felicita looks forward to working in employment and labor law in the future. She graduated from UCLA in 2011 with a B.A. in sociology and a double minor in public policy and urban planning.
Juliana Morgan-Trostle is entering her third year at NYU School of Law, where she serves in the Advanced Immigrant Rights Clinic. She has been a Ford Foundation Law School Public Interest Fellow with the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Global Legal Program, and she researched same-sex marriage and abortion policy in Cordoba, Argentina, as a Fulbright Scholar.
“I initially came to law school to do reproductive rights work, working with immigrant women in particular,” says Juliana, who works with the Gender Equity and LGBT Rights and Work and Family programs at LAS-ELC. “It’s great to have a chance to advocate in a place like California where there are strong laws, due in part to the advocacy of people like the attorneys who work here.”
Juliana also has worked as a consumer housing paralegal with Pennsylvania Legal Assistance, and she contributed a chapter in Spanish(LINK HERE) to a book about democracy in Argentina about the strategies employed by social movements in that country. A native of Amherst, Mass., Juliana graduated from Haverford College in 2012 with a B.A. in political science, Spanish, and Latin American studies.
Alynia Phillips, entering her third year at Berkeley Law, also arrived at LAS-ELC with a range of experience. She has helped clients at the East Bay Community Law Center tackle consumer debt and served as a clerk at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and at the Equal Justice Society. Earlier, as a legal assistant in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, she produced a monthly podcast addressing human trafficking issues and helped analyze patterns of risk for youth.
“I really like the blend of all the different things we do here,” says Alynia, who joined LAS-ELC’s wage protection program. “At my previous jobs, it’s either been all impact litigation or all clients, all the time. Here, it’s a perfect combination. You have a period where you’re just focusing on clients, and then you have time for research and another period for advocacy.”
Alynia, who received her B.A. in history in 2014 from UC Berkeley, grew up in Carlsbad, Calif. As an undergraduate, Alynia worked as a legal assistant and interned for the ACLU, and she worked as assistant in the UC Berkeley Division of Equity and Inclusion.
Before starting law school at Stanford, Shane Seppinni worked for two years as a competitive intelligence analyst at Google. He did research and grassroots advocacy for the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement in India, where he interviewed rural farm workers to determine the impact of pieces of employment legislation. Those experiences together led him to LAS-ELC.
“At Google, I was working on creating a good workplace for employees, while the research I did in India was focused on how governments could potentially make workers’ lives better,” he says. “I wanted to see how that might be done from a nonprofit perspective.”
Shane helped staff the Workers’ Rights Clinic, which he says gave him good practical experience and helped him remember that, “whatever I end up doing, there are low-wage workers and people struggling who need advocacy.”
Originally from Sacramento, Shane graduated from Cornell University in 2009 with a B.S. in industrial and labor relations.
Amy Tannenbaum, soon to enter her third year at Stanford Law School, served most recently as a clerk with the National Employment Law Project, where she advocated for equal opportunity hiring for individuals with criminal records.
“I came to law school knowing I wanted to come and clerk at LAS-ELC,” says Amy, who joined our Gender Equity and LGBT Rights Program. “What’s most exciting is seeing the diversity of strategies the organization employs; getting to think about policy, mediation, direct services, and impact litigation; and seeing how all of those fit together. I’m excited to keep learning from this great community.”
Prior to coming to LAS-ELC, Amy led the Women’s Information Network (WIN) in D.C., an organization working to empower young, pro-choice, Democratic women. She has also worked with the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs as a paralegal and with the National Women’s Law Center. Amy, who grew up in Missouri and New York, received her B.A. in comparative literature from Hamilton College in 2010.
Ken Wang, a 2L at UC Davis School of Law, joined the disability rights program at LAS-ELC as a Peggy Browning Fellow. He came to us with years of experience as an organizer advocating for safety and fair treatment of restaurant workers in San Francisco. A highlight was working on the Yank Sing restaurant case, to which LAS-ELC also contributed. It led to a $4 million settlement including back pay and important workplace reforms. (More information available at: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-restaurant-wage-theft-20141119-story.html).
“After working for years as a community organizer, I believe having legal tools at my disposal will be a great supplement in the fight for change,” Ken says. “This is what drove me to go to law school in the first place.”
Ken also served for three years on the board of the San Francisco Community Land Trust. He graduated in 2010 from Queens College in Ontario, Canada, with a B.A. in economics.
Jackie Zaneri is entering her third year at Berkeley Law, where she is involved with Students for Environmental Justice, the Student Workers Union, and the National Lawyers Guild. At LAS-ELC, she joined the Disability Rights Program.
“I’m interested in racial and economic justice broadly, and workers’ rights are an integral part of that, and knowledge of disability rights law is applicable in a number of ways,” she says. “The mixture of impact litigation and direct services at LAS-ELC is really unique.”
Jackie is excited to help clients calling our disability helpline and represent clients in administrative hearings. “I think it’s amazing training,” she says. “It’s one of the best summer places to work.”
Jackie grew up in Mahopac, N.Y., and received her B.A. in political science from Amherst College.