Meet the Sparer Fellows

  • Washington University in St. Louis, B.A. Psychology, May 2007

    Elizabeth's commitment to protecting individuals' fundamental rights was cultivated while a volunteer escort at Planned Parenthood of St. Louis during her undergraduate years. She further confirmed her desire to protect human rights and advance public policy as a paralegal in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.  Working on cases involving hate crimes, human and sex trafficking, and official misconduct bolstered her aspiration to use the legal field to advocate for at-risk and indigent persons in domestic and international contexts. She learned strategic litigation skills and enjoyed coordinating between representatives from legal, law enforcement, and non-governmental organizations while an intern for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York in the summer after her first year of law school. She is currently participating in a criminal clinical externship with the Parole Revocation Defense Unit of the Legal Aid Society, where she advocates for clients in administrative hearings and conducts research in this relatively new and developing field. She looks forward to engaging in an internship this summer that involves direct advocacy and impact litigation for the disadvantaged. Elizabeth is eager to contribute to the Sparer Fellowship's mission, and to further build the foundation for a career serving the public interest.
  • McGill University, B.Sc. in Psychology, Minor in Biology, April 2006

    Rita Cant has a strong interest in the rights of detainees and prisoners and in criminal justice reform. In her first-year summer, Rita interned at the American Civil Liberties Union, where her Human Rights Program and National Security Project assignments converged on criminal and preventive detention issues in different legal systems. Prior to law school, Rita was a journalist and editor at local and national news organizations, where she helped bring stories of religious intolerance, police brutality, electoral corruption and injustice in the immigration detention system to light. As a street canvasser for Grassroots Campaigns, she recruited members and engaged supporters of public interest organizations including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union.
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A. in Community Studies, December 2007

    Placement: Humane Society, Animal Protection Litigation Department

    A graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Cody came to law school after several years working as a private investigator. Beginning his career at a prominent New York business intelligence firm, he left to pursue his passion for animal protection as a field investigator for the Humane Society of the United States. There, his findings led to precedent-setting litigation and legislation to protect the interests of animals raised for food and companionship. His undercover investigation of prominent dog breeders was the subject of an hour-long expose on Animal Planet, and his other work has been featured on ABC’s Nightline, the New York Times, and other major news outlets. Cody is committed to making our food system safer, more sustainable, and more humane through advancements in consumer protection, environmental and administrative law. This summer, he will be returning to the Humane Society as a summer associate in their Animal Protection Litigation department.
  • New York University, B.A. in Sociology, May 2010

    Jacqueline’s dedication to the public interest stems from a soft spot for the underdog and deep-seated desire to hold the system accountable. She cemented these loyalties during her undergraduate years at New York University’s College of Arts and Science, where she obtained her B.A. in Sociology. There, her main research focused on strategies for maintaining social networks during and after incarceration. She also advocated for limiting the availability of criminal records as a way to bolster reintegration and rehabilitation efforts. Her attraction to criminal law culminated in an internship with the Legal Aid Society’s criminal practice in Kew Gardens, New York where she worked with seasoned attorneys to extricate defendants from the strong grip of the criminal justice system. In the past, she has aided the National Center for Law and Economic Justice in protecting low income families’ access to governmental benefits. In 2011, she had the honor of working alongside a federal judge in the Southern District on issues such as a federal habeas petitioners’ claims of due process and double jeopardy violations. Most recently, she joined the Center for Appellate Litigation’s Criminal Appeals Defense Clinic at Brooklyn Law School. Under the clinic’s supervision, she will appeal her client’s felony conviction in the First Department of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division.
  • University of Delaware, B.Sc. in Human Service, Education, and Public Policy, May 2009

    Kira’s interest in child advocacy developed in 2008 as a social work intern at Lawyers for Children where she helped provide social work services to abused and neglected children and children in foster care in New York City. Today, Kira is still committed to advocating on behalf of children’s rights. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2009 with a B.S. in Human Service, Education and Public Policy. As an undergraduate, Kira interned at the Delaware Department of Justice assisting child victims of sex crimes. Kira’s passion for child advocacy continued to grow when she returned to Lawyers for Children as a legal intern. Currently, Kira is exploring other aspects of child advocacy as an intern at the Children’s Law Center where she represents children in custody, visitation and guardianship cases.
  • New York University, B.A. in History, May 2007

    A committed housing rights advocate, Steven Hasty came to law school after four years at a small landlord-tenant and companion animal firm representing tenants in housing court and agency proceedings. There he observed that, too often, powerful interests neglect buildings and abuse judicial proceedings to harass and evict low-income tenants, cumulatively undermining affordable housing when cities already face chronic shortages. Since arriving at BLS, Steven has continued to assist tenants struggling to retain or improve their housing, helping tenants seeking emergency stays of eviction with Housing Court Answers and guiding pro se tenants through hallway negotiations with the Resolution Assistance Program. He has also provided free legal assistance to consumer debtors with the Civil Legal Advice & Resource Office and has served as webmaster to Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest. As a Sparer fellow, Steven looks forward to meeting the challenges many face to their housing and economic security and advocating for positive policy reform.
  • Georgetown University, B.A. in Classics, 2006

    Michael developed a passion for educational equality and youth advocacy as a Teach for America corps member, teaching middle school English as a Second Language for two years in the Bronx, New York. Michael then relocated to Japan, where he taught for a year at a private school near Tokyo to gain experience of a foreign education system. During the summer of 2011, Michael interned at the New York City Administration for Children's Services, working on policy issues related to Child Care and Head Start. As a 2L clinical intern at the New York City Law Department, Michael is gaining valuable civil rights litigation experience in the Special Federal Litigation Division. Michael hopes to use his Sparer fellowship to advocate for the rights of young people, especially with regard to educational rights and opportunities.
  • University of Rhode Island, B. A. in Political Science, May 2002

    One month before beginning his first year of law school, Adam Horowitz had just returned from three years of service as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in West Africa. Adam spent his first two years as a health and community development volunteer in The Gambia, where he assisted health workers in promoting malaria prevention, child nutrition, and reproductive health in a rural village. In 2009, he extended his service for a third year in Senegal, where he coordinated trainings of other volunteers and radio station staff on radio production and audio editing skills, organized a conference of PCVs from five West African countries, and created a digital online archive for volunteers’ radio shows ( Prior to his Peace Corps service, Adam worked as a legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project in Washington, DC, where he lobbied state legislatures to pass medical marijuana laws, and as an instructor of civics and politics at the Close Up Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization. Adam is currently spending his fellowship summer working with African Services Committee, which provides legal services to African immigrants and people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City. As a first year student, he represented street vendors at Environmental Control Board hearings through the Street Vendor Project, a pro bono project at Brooklyn Law School. He speaks fluent Wolof and possesses varying levels of proficiency in French, Spanish, Mandinka, and Pulaar.
  • Cornell University, B.A. in Theater Arts, May 2003

    Placement: New York City Counsel, Legislative Committee on Women’s Issues

    Before coming to law school, Chloe worked as a staff writer for an LGBTQ publication. In that role, she researched and reported on Proposition 8, DADT and ENDA, which inspired her to become a civil rights litigator specializing in gender-related advocacy. As co-chair of BLS National Lawyers Guild and an active member of Outlaws, she has helped raise awareness of issues relating to reproductive choice, queer youth and transgender rights. Since the summer of 2011, Chloe has interned with an employment law firm, helping to represent plaintiffs in Title VII litigation and other claims of discrimination and sexual harassment. She looks forward to interning this summer at New York City Council for the Legislative Committee on Women’s Issues.
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in English, May 2005

    After graduating from college, Beile moved to New York City to work for Project Renewal as a counselor for homeless, chemically dependent, and mentally ill adults who were working towards various vocational goals and earning their GEDs. Beile then worked for four years as a paralegal for the New York City Legal Aid Society's Homeless Rights Project, advocating on behalf of homeless adults and families on issues including shelter eligibility, shelter conditions and access to public benefits. In addition, she worked on impact litigation that has secured the right to shelter for families and individuals in New York City, including McCain v. Koch, Boston v. City of New York, and enforcing the Callahan v. Carey consent decree. Beile has not settled on a particular area of the law as of yet, but is especially interested in parental rights, reproductive rights and immigration law.
  • University of Michigan, B.A. in Anthropology, April 2007

    Ali has been passionate about social justice from a young age. She is particularly interested in ensuring that all people, regardless of their status or case, have access to zealous representation and the services necessary to have their voice heard within the justice system. Ali spent her 1L summer at the Colorado Public Defender's Office. There she saw the impact that good lawyers can have when utilizing the sensitivity necessary to help clients understand the reality of their situations while still encouraging them to make decisions about their cases. In addition to criminal law, Ali has also developed an interest in immigration. In working on an asylum claim within Brooklyn Law School's Safe Harbor Clinic, she has experienced how earning a client's trust can lead to more effective collaboration. She has also been involved in various Pro Bono projects at BLS. As a Sparer fellow, she looks forward to exploring the intersection between criminal law and immigration, while continuing to develop as an advocate for social justice.
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. in History, September 2007

    Anna's dedication to advocating for marginalized communities formed as she grew up in diverse Los Angeles. In particular, seeing many people in her immigrant community struggle to find advocates for their voice in the bigger Los Angeles community led to her seeking out ways to assist her community through social work. Fueled by exploration of Feminism in college and interested in women's issues, Anna became a hotline counselor and advocate at the Center for Pacific Asian Families helping immigrant women survivors of domestic violence find emergency shelter as well as medical, legal, and social assistance. Upon entering law school, Anna continued her work with survivors of domestic violence by participating in the Courtroom Advocates Project, through which she assisted women in obtaining orders of protections in family court. As a Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest (LSPIN) fellow, Anna worked at New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) in the Summer and Fall of 2011 assisting domestic violence survivors in custody, visitation, divorce, and immigration cases. The NYLAG experience has only increased Anna's enthusiasm for public interest work with marginalized communities. Anna is looking forward to interning at the Brooklyn Family Defense Project in the Summer of 2012. Anna is an active member of Brooklyn Law Students for the Public Interest and serves on the Executive Board as the 2012 BLSPI Auction Co-Chair.
  • Wellesley College, B.A. in English and Women’s Studies, June 2007

    Jess is committed to ending violence in communities through a preventative approach inspired by public health.  Her interests are inspired by her concentration in Women’s Health at Wellesley College, where she researched the need for, and success of, multi-disciplinary approaches to justice for victims of violence. She has worked as a Medical and Legal Advocacy Intern at Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, where she learned both response and preventative methods to assisting survivors of sexual violence. She also worked with Girls’ LEAP Self-Defense, an organization committed to preventing violence by educating and empowering girls in Greater Boston. Jess spent her summer working for the Domestic Violence Clinical Center at the New York Legal Assistance Group, where she secured orders of protection, custody of children, divorces, and immigration status for survivors of domestic violence.
  • Brown University, B.A. in English, May 2005

    Placement: Mental Hygiene Legal Service, First Judicial Department

    Diana Rosenthal’s pursuit of public interest law was inspired by her experience growing up in Brooklyn, immersed in an urban environment and exposed to its related legal landscape. Since beginning law school, Diana has become increasingly focused on working with underserved populations, particularly the elderly and the mentally ill. Diana pursued her interest in elder law by founding the Elder Law Pro Bono Project during her first year of law school. She spent last summer working in the LegalHealth unit of New York Legal Assistance Group, where she worked at intake sites in public hospitals around New York City, dealing with issues ranging from housing to immigration. Diana has also been a Civil Rights Litigation intern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and a Judicial Clerk at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Diana looks forward to working at the Mental Hygiene Legal Service for the First Judicial Department as a Sparer Fellow this summer.
  • Prior to enrolling at Brooklyn Law School, Ari worked for six years at the New York Civil Liberties Union, concluding his time there as the Senior Advocacy Coordinator. While at the NYCLU, Ari worked on local, state, and federal civil rights and liberties legislative and policy campaigns focusing on drug policy reform, immigrants’ rights, police accountability, post-9/11 civil liberties, military recruitment in schools, privacy, and LGBT rights.

    For his Sparer Fellowship summer, Ari worked as a legal intern for Release: Drugs, the Law & Human Rights, in London, U.K. Release is the U.K.’s center of expertise on drugs law and policy. While there, Ari assisted Release solicitors as they worked with problematic and former drug users at legal clinics throughout London. He also co-wrote A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalisation Policies in Practice Across the Globe. While in law school, he also completed externships at the Office of the New York State Assembly Speaker, the Federal Defenders of New York (E.D.N.Y.), and the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Practice Special Litigation Unit.

    Ari originally hails from Santa Monica, California and graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in 2006.

  • The College of New Jersey, B.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies, May 2010

    Having been raised in a low-income neighborhood with vibrant cultural and racial diversity, Natalie grew up observing and pondering interactions and conflicts between people of different genders, races, and economic statuses. Natalie credits these early experiences with her immersion into feminism and her declaration of a Women’s and Gender Studies major at The College of New Jersey, joining her sister as the first members of their family to attend and graduate college. From that point on, Natalie decided to dedicate her career to advocacy for equality and the empowerment of marginalized communities. During her undergraduate career, Natalie organized on-campus rallies for student survivors of sexual assault, traveled to Nicaragua to meet with and interview feminist leaders and organizers, and worked at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of New Jersey in order to promote communication between the public and pro-choice legislators. At Brooklyn Law School, she advocated for survivors of same-sex domestic violence during her internship at Sanctuary for Families and serves as one of the Co-Chairs of the Courtroom Advocates Project. Participating in the Safe Harbor Project this semester, Natalie will be representing an asylum applicant who fled her native country in Latin America after being persecuted for her sexual orientation and gender identity. As a public interest attorney one day, Natalie is particularly interested in serving low-income communities of color, women, and LGBTQ individuals.
  • Touro College, B.A. in Psychology, August 2008

    Placement: Placement: Urban Justice Center’s Peter Cicchino Youth Project

    Sary Udashkin has been a feminist since she was seven years old. Prior to law school, and throughout her first year in law school, Sary volunteered at Bluestockings Bookstore and Café, a feminist, activist center on the Lower East Side, which helps provide a community space to women and queer activists and promotes the work of women, minority, and queer artists and writers. Since starting law school, Sary has become thoroughly active in the pro bono community at Brooklyn Law School. She has volunteered with the Courtroom Advocates Project, helping victims of domestic violence obtain orders of protection against their abusers, as well as with the Fair Hearings Representation and Assistance Project, where she helped women maintain their public assistance benefits. Sary is a co-chair of the National Lawyers Guild BLS chapter, where she helps oversee the Street Law pro bono project. Finally, Sarylaunched a new pro bono project, the Immigrant Visa Assistance Project, which helps women who have been the victims of violence obtain immigration relief. Sary interned at the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Domestic Violence Clinic, where she provided legal services to victims of domestic violence in need of advocacy in Family Court. Sary is currently interning at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, where she provides legal services to low-income and minority transgender and gender non-conforming people. Sary is pleased and privileged to be spending her summer working at the Urban Justice Center’s Peter Cicchino Youth Project, where she will provide a wide-range of legal services to homeless LGBTQ youth.
  • Hunter College, B.A. in Psychology, June 2000; John Jay College of Criminal Justice, M.A. in Forensic Psychology, May 2008.

    Before starting law school, Olga worked in the field of crisis intervention. Her first job was with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services, where she investigated reports of child abuse and neglect. Upon receiving her Master’s degree in forensic psychology, Olga became a social worker, coordinating a family violence prevention program first at Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst and then at Shorefront YM-YWHA, both non-profit organizations located in Brooklyn. As a social worker, Olga helped victims of domestic violence achieve safe environment and begin new lives free of abuse. Olga’s clients faced numerous challenges on their way to this new life, such as finding safe and affordable housing or securing a job or other source of income required in order to break off the financial dependence on the abusers. A large proportion of these clients were immigrants, who did not know their legal rights in America and were afraid to report the abuse to the authorities. Olga advocated on behalf of these clients, working in close collaboration with the New York Legal Assistance Group, a non-profit law office that represented her clients in family, housing, and immigration courts. Olga’s passion for helping victims of domestic violence and her interest in legal advocacy brought her to law school, where she is planning to specialize in family law, domestic violence, and women’s rights issues.
  • NYU Stern School of Business, B.S. in Economics

    Leslie M. Wellington's enduring interest in urban economic development began as a student at New York University, and was solidified during her three years spent at the NYC Mayor's Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses. As a NYC Urban Fellow, Leslie was part of a small team within the Mayor's Office that ratified the Industrial Business Zones, which provide an additional layer of zoning protection in 16 manufacturing-zoned neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs. As Director of the NYC Empire Zones Program, Leslie worked to better target the benefits of the program to local manufacturers, and leverage the program to connect residents and neighborhood groups to the small business community. Leslie was involved in the drafting and passage a several pieces of local legislation, which led her to Brooklyn Law School, where she is pursuing a joint-degree in Law and Urban and Regional Planning at the Pratt Institute. Leslie has also worked as a Program Manager at the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, where she drafted testimony for the New York City Council on a variety of waterfront plans, and helped to organize a large-scale waterfront festival on Governors Island as part of a campaign to encourage government agencies, and community groups to make better use of New York's waterfront and waterways. This summer, Leslie will be working at the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center where she will be providing direct legal services to vendors navigating government regulations. Leslie is also part of a group of students spearheading a pro-bono project here at Brooklyn Law School to provide greater representation for street vendors before the Environmental Control Board. Ultimately, Leslie plans to use her legal education to empower small business and play an active role in neighborhood-based planning.
  • Cornell University, B.A. Government, May 2008

    Linda Yu’s passion for advocacy developed roots as an undergrad at Cornell University. She founded a mental health advocacy group and led a successful grassroots movement to create an Asian and Asian-American community center as a resource hub and safe haven for students of all cultures. After graduation, she spent two years as a Teach For America Corp member in Los Angeles. Even as an early childhood educator, Linda was stunned at the correlation between faltering student performance and the incarceration of their family members. Linda plans to pursue a career in criminal law as an advocate for disadvantaged populations. This summer as a Sparer Fellow she hopes to do direct client services at a non-profit organization to defend death row inmates in post-conviction habeas petitions.
Brooklyn Law School - Sparer Celebration

View photos from the Sparer Celebration.

Have questions? We have answers.

Sparer Fellowship Program
Marva Skeene
Brooklyn Law School
250 Joralemon Street, Room 800A
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Telephone: (718) 780-0351