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Posted April 29, 2010

Public Interest Law Association Provides Summer Grants to 85 Students

Where PILA Grantees Will Work

Edwards

The Public Interest Law Association will distribute more than $361,000 to a record 85 grant recipients this summer, according to PILA organizers.

The total is an increase from the 84 grants awarded last year, and students will use the funds to work in a variety of public service jobs across the country.   

“We have people doing all different types of work,” said third-year law student Susan Edwards, the 2009-10 PILA president. “We have people doing international human rights, we have people doing criminal defense work, prosecution work, policy work within the state and federal government, think tank work. It really runs the gamut.”

The grants will be distributed to 32 second-year and 53 first-year students. Second-year students will receive $6,000 and first-year students will get $3,500, Edwards said.

Grant recipient Mike Moskowitz will spend his first-year summer working for the American Cancer Society in Washington, D.C.

“The main thing I’ll be working on is advocating for more cancer research dollars from the National Institute of Health,” Moskowitz said. “I’ll also be working on getting more money for breast cancer and cervical screens for low-income women.”

Moskowitz

Mike Moskowitz

In addition, Moskowitz plans to help the organization on amicus briefs that will be filed in opposition to challenges to a new law that allows the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry. He said the PILA grant helped make working for the ACS a realistic summer option.

“If I hadn’t gotten the grant, I probably would have had to stay in Charlottesville this summer, because I wouldn’t have had the money to go to D.C.,” he said.

Moskowitz, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma four years ago, said the job represents a combination of his interests in health law and constitutional law, and that he is particularly excited to work on facilitating cancer research.

“My life was saved by cancer research funding similar to what the American Cancer Society does,” he said.

The $361,814 PILA awarded includes $237,000 provided by the Dean’s Office, the Law School Foundation and the Program in Law and Public Service. PILA raised the remainder through events such as the annual auction and book sale.

“Contributing $237,000 of the grant money is a tremendous amount,” Edwards said. “Without their support, students wouldn’t be able to follow the opportunities in public interest work that they had this summer.”

Edwards said there were 40 more PILA grant applications this year than last, for a total of 154. Much of the growth came from increased participation from second-year law students, she said.

Yared Getachew, the assistant dean for public service and director of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center, praised PILA for its response to the increase in applications.

“The PILA board really worked hard to accommodate the increased interest in public interest over the past year,” Getachew said.

McRaith

Calleigh McRaith

First-year law student Calleigh McRaith will use her PILA grant money to help fund a summer internship in Cape Town, South Africa with the International Center for Transitional Justice, an organization that assists countries that are rebuilding after conflict or war.

“They help countries that have recently been in conflict to transition from conflict mode to a peace mode,” McRaith said.

McRaith will research and work to support the organization’s many field offices in areas such as Liberia, Zimbabwe and Uganda. She did similar work last summer in Northern Ireland, and said she is interested in a career in the field.

“I really love community development. That’s a field that I thought about going into if I didn’t go into law, so I’m excited to get to learn more about that and see the role that law has in community development and reconciliation, and in helping people reestablish their lives after a conflict.”

The PILA grant funds are a huge help in undertaking her summer project, McRaith said.
“It’s just been great. PILA is basically going to help me pay for my flight and my housing and well as all that essential stuff that I wouldn’t have been able to cover otherwise. It’s great to not have to take out a loan to go do that kind of work.”

2010 PILA Grantees

Civil Legal Services
Battered Women's Legal Advocacy Project Minneapolis Jessica Vormwald
Community Legal Services Philadelphia Hallam Roth
Georgia Legal Services Savannah, Ga. Hannah Poole
JustChildren Charlottesville, Va. Aditi Goel
JustChildren Charlottesville, Va. Mark Rabideau
Juvenile Law Center Philadelphia Peggy Nicholson
Legal Aid Justice Center Charlottesville, Va. Cory Stott
Legal Aid Justice Center,
JustChildren Program
Charlottesville, Va. Mica Germain
Legal Aid Justice Center and
Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender
Charlottesville, Va. Sumner Givens
Legal Aid of North Carolina -
Advocates for Children's Services
Durham, N.C. Kristin Weissinger
New York Legal Assistance Group New York Melissa Samuels
South Brooklyn Legal Services Brooklyn, N.Y. Beth Zweig
clinic
UVA Law Immigration Law Clinic Charlottesville, Va. Marina Warner
Federal Government
Arlington Immigration Court,
Executive Office of Immigration Review
Arlington, Va. Sarah Johns
Department of Environmental Quality Richmond, Va. John White
Department of Justice Washington, D.C. Priya Roy
Department of Justice, Civil Division,
Constitutional Torts
Washington, D.C. Anna Johnson
Department of Justice, Civil Division,
Appellate Staff
Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Hinkley
Department of Justice, Criminal Washington, D.C. Rianna Barrett
Department of Justice Federal Programs Washington, D.C. April Russo
Department of Justice, Human Rights
and Special Prosecution
Washington, D.C. Amy Stern
Department of Justice, Tax Division Washington, D.C. Katie Delsandro 
Department of Justice, Tax Division Washington, D.C. Melanie Smith
EEOC - Law Clerk to ALJ Washington, D.C. Stephanie Hall
Federal Public Defender,
Western District of Virginia
Charlottesville, Va. Meredith Blaire Hawkins
Small Business Administration Washington, D.C. Rachel Brown
U.S. Attorney's Office, Charlottesville Charlottesville, Va. Brendan Staley
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Jessica Boluda
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Matthew Dinan 
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Colleen Depman
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland Baltimore Erin Earp
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey Newark, N.J. David Perez
U.S. Attorney's Office,
Eastern District of Virginia
Alexandria, Va. Lindsay Booker
U.S. Attorney's Office, Los Angeles Los Angeles Brian Yang
U.S. Attorney's Office for the
Southern District of California
San Diego Benjamin Mayer
U.S. Attorney's Office for the
Western District of Missouri
Kansas City, Mo. Anne Malinee
U.S. Attorney's Office for the
Western District of North Carolina
Charlotte, N.C. Manu Balachandran
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division,
National Courts Section
Washington, D.C. Janice Wang
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
Region 8, Legal Enforcement Program
Denver Travis Pietila
U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce Washington, D.C. Benjamin Chung Lee
U.S. Immigration Court - EOIR Falls Church, Va. Melanie Stuart
U.S. Senate (JudMoskowitziciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and Senator Casey's Personal Office) Washington, D.C. Jordan Lane
International
Asylum Access Quito, Ecuador Hernando Montoya
Center for Human Rights Legal Action Guatamala City Katherine Reynolds
Centre for Applied Legal Studies,
University of the Witwarersrand
Johannesburg,
South Africa
Salima Burke
Institute for International Law
and Human Rights
Washington, D.C. Micki Bloom
International Bridges to Justice New Delhi Anisha Singh
International Center for Transitional Justice Cape Town,
South Africa
Calleigh McRaith
International Justice Mission Guatamala City Kathryn Fennig
International Justice Mission Manila, Philippines Madison Saniuk
Minority Rights Group International London Clare Boronow
Secretariat of Pacific Communities Fiji Amelia Dungan
U.N. International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda
Arusha, Tanzania Ashley Brown
U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Arusha, Tanzania Roberto Castillo
U.N. International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda
Arusha, Tanzania Joel Sanderson
Public Defenders
Bronx Defenders  Bronx, N.Y. Jesse Stewart 
Fairfax Office of the Public Defender Fairfax, Va. Jennifer Lee
Fairfax Office of the Public Defender Fairfax, Va. Julia Snyder
Harlem Neighborhood Defender Services New York John Stephens
Legal Aid Society - Criminal Appeals New York Daniel Nazar
Miami Public Defender Miami Derrick Johnson
Office of the Maryland Public Defender Baltimore Ashley Ann Wilkinson

Public Defender Services for the
District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. Claire Blumenson
Public Interest Organizations
American Cancer Society Washington, D.C. Michael Moskowitz
American Civil Liberties Union,
LGBT/AIDS Project
New York Daniel Ross 
American Civil Liberties Union,
LGBT/AIDS Project
New York Susan Kruth
Catholic Charities Community Services, Dept. of Immigrant and Refugee Services New York Leily Faridzadeh
Institute for Justice Arlington, Va. Milad Emam
Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Office Chicago Kathryn Guilfoyle
National Partnership for Women & Families Washington, D.C. Christine Tschiderer
Natural Resources Defense Council New York Jacqueline Leonard
Public Knowledge Washington, D.C. Christopher Reilly
Rutherford Institute Charlottesville, Va. Allison Harnack
San Diego Coastkeeper San Diego Constance (Stacee) Karras
Southern Environmental Law Center Charlottesville, Va. Nicholas Dumais
Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center Charlottesville, Va. Jessica Lee
state and local government
Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney's Office Charlottesville, Va. Holly Naylor
California Attorney General's Office San Francisco Elizabeth Hereford
Department of Children and Families Miami Candace Stuart
Henrico County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office Richmond, Va. Brent Schultheis
Portsmouth Commonwealth Attorney's Office Portsmouth, Va. Brian Colas
Rockingham County
Commonwealth Attorney's Office
Harrisonburg, Va. Lindsey Chamness
Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit DeKalb County, Ga. Laura Tate
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office Boston Thomas Peyton Smith
Waynesboro Commonwealth Attorney Waynesboro, Va. Ashley Matthews