2012 Summer Law Clerks and Interns
Jade Bradfish has just finished her second year at the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to law school, she was an elementary school teacher with Teach for America, where she developed a passion for helping children in need. Last summer, she worked with Columbia Legal Services in Seattle doing child advocacy. Jade will be working with Senior Attorney Leecia Welch on child welfare issues, focusing on the educational and mental health needs of children in foster care.
Elena Dillard is a second-year law student at the University of Virginia School of Law. She first became interested in pursuing a legal career after studying the famous anti-miscegenation case, Loving v.Virginia, in an African American studies class. Herself the product of an interracial marriage, Elena was motivated to pursue greater understanding of the ways in which the law impacts the social implications of one’s racial identity. After her first semester at law school, Elena spent her January term with NCYL, where she learned about racial disproportionality in the juvenile justice system. Returning to NCYL this summer, Elena will be working with Senior Attorneys Patrick Gardner and Michael Harris on juvenile justice and mental health issues. In her free time, Elena plans to explore as much of the Bay Area foodie scene as possible.
Marita Grant is a 2L at Howard University School of Law. Before starting law school, she completed her undergraduate studies at UC Davis with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. After college and before law school Marita worked as a social worker at Cherrydale Health and Rehab Center where she counseled residents and families to obtain the best health care choice. Marita was born in Sierra Leone, and immigrated to the U.S. at age 11. She spent time in foster care and her experiences motivated her to help foster youth and reform the system. At NCYL, she’ll be working on child welfare and education issues concerning foster youth, under the supervision of Erin Liotta.
Anna Johnson was raised in the Midwest and attended undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is interning with NCYL between her first and second year of Policy School at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Anna worked as a teacher in the Oakland and Philadelphia public school systems for six years prior to attending the Goldman School, initially as a Teach for America corps member. Her goals as an educator were to understand how best to serve youth in underfunded areas and to learn which resources are most necessary to ensure equal educational opportunity. Her political areas of interest are health care reform, education reform, and green politics. She hopes to impact changes in health care and education funding and access. Anna aspires to change the ways schools are funded on a local, state, and national level in order to achieve equity in communities across the country. She also hopes to integrate holistic healing into the mainstream medical realm. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading, playing soccer, cooking, yoga, hiking, and the company of good people.
Ji Won Kim is entering her second year at the University of Michigan Law School, where she is a member of the Pro Bono Board and a student attorney for the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. Prior to law school, Ji Won worked in the field of asset building at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Political Science. At NCYL, she is working with Senior Attorney Patrick Gardner on improving children’s access to mental health services, and with Equal Justice Works Fellow and attorney Kate Walker on reducing commercial sexual exploitation of children.
Jefferson Lin is entering his third year at the University of Washington School of Law. He is an Executive Articles Editor for the Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal and is an active member of the Student Health Law Organization and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. During his second year, Jefferson interned with Judge Deborah Batts of the Southern District of New York, and, last summer, he clerked at the law firm Karr Tuttle Campbell in Seattle. Prior to law school, Jefferson spent two years as a HealthCorps Coordinator in the Bronx, educating and mentoring high school students, parents, and teachers about healthy living. Jefferson graduated from Williams College with a major in Political Economy. At NCYL, Jefferson is working with Senior Attorney Rebecca Gudeman on adolescent health issues. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, golfing, and Bikram yoga.
Neha Mehta just completed her first year at Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, Neha taught 6th grade Math and Science in East Oakland, CA as a Teach for America Corps member. She had an amazing experience as a teacher and is thrilled to be back in Oakland at NCYL working on behalf of youth. When she returns to law school, Neha will serve as Membership Chair of Advocates for Education. She is on the Social Committee of the Women’s Law Association, an Article Editor for the Harvard Law and Policy Review, and will be joining the Trial Advocacy Workshop and International Human Rights Clinic. Last year, she participated in the Prison Legal Assistance Project and joined a reading group on the “school-to-prison pipeline” issue. The reading group inspired her to help plan a multidisciplinary conference on the issue, which sparked her interest in juvenile justice. At NCYL, Neha will be working primarily on juvenile justice and mental health issues under the supervision of Staff Attorney Fiza Quraishi.
Ta Lynn Mitchell is entering her sophomore year at American University, where she is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Justice. Ta Lynn is an active participant in the School of Public Policy’s Leadership Program. Through this program, Ta Lynn has orchestrated community projects benefiting the homeless population of greater Washington, D.C. Ta Lynn has interned with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and at the Law Offices of John L. Burris, in Oakland, CA, which sparked her interest in civil rights law and advocacy. She has a passion for helping others and a love for children and hopes to apply both passions to her work at NCYL. Ta Lynn is excited to work with NCYL Communications Director Tracy Schroth this summer. She enjoys all genres of music and looks forward to attending local concerts. She also loves to go on adventures and explore different cultures through travel and dance.
Thera Naiman is entering her junior year at Swarthmore College, where she is majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. During the school year, she works at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia as an intake volunteer. Thera also participates in the Fetter Chamber Music Program, and she looks forward to volunteering in the Chester youth court system in the fall. Last summer, Thera interned at Global Kids, a non-profit organization in New York that uses leadership development programs to educate urban youth about foreign affairs. At NCYL, Thera is working with Communications Director Tracy Schroth. She enjoys playing the violin and running with her very energetic border collie.
Christopher Patalano is entering his second year at Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he has worked with the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, the Harvard Immigration Project, and Church and State, which works on issues related to the Establishment Clause. Prior to law school, he worked for two years as a seventh- and eighth-grade English and Social Studies teacher in Hartford, Connecticut through Teach for America. Chris graduated from Wesleyan University with a major in the College of Letters, an interdisciplinary program focused on the study of literature, history, and philosophy. At NCYL, Chris is working with Attorneys Jesse Hahnel and Rachel Velcoff Hults to improve educational outcomes for foster children. In his free time, he enjoys playing the guitar and banjo, reading, lemonade, New York Times crossword puzzles, and living on the West Coast for the first time.
Whitney Richey Rubenstein is entering her second year at Berkeley Law. Upon graduating from Bates College in 2005, Whitney taught in the New York City public school system and later obtained her Masters of Social Work from Columbia University in 2008. She has spent several years working within the field of child welfare. Most recently, she worked as a social worker at the Center for Family Representation, Inc. in New York City, working with attorneys to represent parents in abuse and neglect proceedings in Family Court. Since beginning law school, Whitney has served as a volunteer for the Community Legal Outreach Clinic associated with the East Bay Community Law Center, where she advises clients on public benefit matters and provides them with legal and social service referrals. Whitney is also a Submissions Editor for the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law. At NCYL, Whitney is working with Senior Attorney Bill Grimm on child welfare issues. Whitney is looking forward to spending her first California summer with family and friends enjoying the beautiful weather and taking advantage of outdoor activities.
Andria Seo is a third-year student at NYU School of Law. Throughout law school, she has focused on developing experience in the field of children’s rights. Last summer, she interned at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, where she assisted domestic violence victims in the family law unit. During her second year, she participated in NYU’s Children’s Rights Clinic, working on special education issues. Andria has also interned at The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice, representing children in the child welfare system. Andria is working with Senior Attorney Michael Harris on juvenile justice issues.