PILA Provides $378,000 to Fund Summer Public Service Work 2011 PILA Grantees

April 21, 2011

The Public Interest Law Association will distribute about $378,000 to students working in public service jobs this summer, according to PILA organizers.

PILA raised about $91,000 for the summer grants, according to organization president Peggy Nicholson.

The total is up from last year and reflects a growing interest in public service work, said PILA president Peggy Nicholson '11.

We've really got an abundance of people here who are interested in public service," Nicholson said. PILA's next big challenge will be to figure out how to accommodate that growing community, and that's a great problem to have."

The organization will distribute approximately 81 grants to first- and second-year students. First-year recipients will each get $3,500 and second-year recipients will get $6,000.

PILA raised about $91,000 through various events. The Law School Foundation and Dean's Office contributed more than $209,000 and the Program in Law and Public Service contributed about $63,000. The remainder came from PILA's reserves and donations directed to PILA through the Law School Foundation.

PILA was able to increase its fundraising total for the year despite continuing difficulties presented by the economic downturn, Nicholson said. Though some fundraising efforts that have traditionally been fruitful were less so this year, others were much more successful, she said.

The fundraisers that provide a service to students, like the book sales, exploded this year," Nicholson said. The fundraising team worked really hard on the book sales, and it's also something we can really promote to students by saying 'You're getting a discount on the book, and you're helping PILA.'"

Leily Faridzadeh

Second-year law student Leily Faridzadeh will use her PILA grant to help fund her summer work in Tanzania with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

It's something that I've always wanted to do, and now I have the opportunity," Faridzadeh said. I will be working with international judges on the cases of people who committed genocide throughout Rwanda."

The work will include helping judges with opinions, as well as attending trials and working on legal research and writing, Faridzadeh said.

I am very interested in the international law field, so I think this will give me some concrete practical experience," she said.

First-year student James Allred will use his PILA grant to work with the American Cancer Association's Cancer Action Network in Washington, D.C., splitting time between their legal and policy arms.

James Allred

He plans to help the legal office draft proposed legislation that would govern cancer treatments and nanotechnology, and to help the policy arm develop amicus briefs related to the assorted judicial challenges to the Affordable Care Act.

It wouldn't have been possible without the PILA grant," he said. It's so helpful to have a grant that can help support my housing needs while I'm there."

First-year law student Gloria Mak will work in the Boston office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where she plans to work on alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disability Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

I previously interned in the Massachusetts state agency for employment discrimination, and currently I'm taking Employment Discrimination with Professor Kim Forde-Mazrui," she said. It's definitely an interest of mine and it's exciting to see it from a different perspective on the federal side."

Gloria Mak

Mak will begin her 10-week position in May, shortly after the end of the semester, and said she looks forward to the experience.

Without the PILA grant, I don't know how I could have afforded to do it," she said.

Nicholson said organizers worked this year to make the process more transparent, developing a rubric for how to gauge applications and making applicants more aware of how the process works.

As always, Dean Mahoney, the faculty and the Public Service Center have been incredibly supportive of PILA's efforts," Nicholson said. As president, I wasn't really sure what to expect from this process, but it's actually been kind of a breeze because of the law school community's support of PILA."

Civil Legal Services
ACLU of Georgia Atlanta Foster, Paige
ACLU of Georgia Atlanta Okuma, Ese
Blue Ridge Legal Services Harrisonburg, Va. Sirvaityte, Egle (Elle)
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Charlottesville, Va. Silverstein, Thomas
Community Legal Services Philadelphia Brown, Ashley
Community Legal Services Philadelphia Solomon, Alex
Legal Aid Justice Center - Civil Advocacy Program Charlottesville, Va. Rolla, Kimberly
Legal Aid Justice Center - Civil Advocacy Program Charlottesville, Va. Frank, Nicole
Legal Aid Justice Center - Civil Advocacy Program Charlottesville, Va. Saniuk, Madison
Legal Aid Justice Center, Immigrant Advocacy Program Charlottesville, Va. Singh, Anisha
Legal Aid Justice Center, JustChildren Charlottesville, Va. Murashige, Lance
Legal Aid Justice Center, JustChildren Charlottesville, Va. Ochu-Arthus, Priscilla
Legal Aid of North Carolina - Battered Immigrant Project Raleigh, N.C. Reynolds, Kate
Legal Aid Society of Roanoke Valley Ronaoke, Va. Burke, Salima
Legal Services of Northern Virginia Northern Virginia McFadden, Megan
National Prison Project of the ACLU Washington, D.C. McDermott, Thomas
UVA Law Immigration Clinic Charlottesville, Va. Changwesha, Mercy
Federal Government
Department of Defense Virginia Cole, Jared
Department of Homeland Security, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Washington, D.C. Sanderson, Joel
Department of State, Claims and Investment Disputes Washington, D.C. Stern, Amy
Department of Homeland Security Washington, D.C. Rish, Diane
Department of Justice - Baltimore Immigration Court Baltimore Jensen, Lara
Department of Justice - Environmental Enforcement Section Washington, D.C. Chang, Kelly
Department of Justice - Executive Office of Immigration Review Arlington, Va. Riggan, Jennifer
Department of Justice - National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section Washington, D.C. Humphrey, Thomas
Department of Justice - Tax Division, Civil Appellate Section Washington, D.C. Maximous, Cassandra
Department of Justice Civil Division Washington, D.C. Guarnera, Daniel
Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section Washington, D.C. Schwartz, Nina
Department of Justice - Office of Enforcement Operations Washington, D.C. Brooker, Lindsay
Department of Justice - Office of Professional Responsibility Washington, D.C. Balachandran, Manu
Environmental Protection Agency - Office of Enforcement and Compliance Washington, D.C. Jordan, Katherine
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Boston Mak, Gloria
Navy JAG Corps Chicago Rosinski, Daniel
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Brooklyn, N.Y. Radzinschi, Julian
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Brooklyn, N.Y. Radzinschi, Julian
U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia Washington, D.C. Achuko, Ogechi
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Distric of Columbia Washington, D.C. Harrison, Michelle
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Boston Dumais, Nicholas
U.S. Attorney's Office Los Angeles, Calif. Howes, Kendall
US Attorney's Office Washington, D.C. Schneider, Gregory
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Tanzania Greenstreet, Katie
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Tanzania Faridzadeh, Leily
Public Defenders
Alaska Public Defender Fairbanks, Alaska Russell, Laura
Albemarle County Public Defender Charlottesville, Va. Rabideau, Mark
Alexandria Public Defender Alexandria, Va. Fitzgerald, Aida
Bronx Defenders Bronx, N.Y. Tate, Laura
City of Alexandria Public Defender's Office Alexandria, Va. Nickerson, Vanessa
Fairfax County Public Defender's Office Fairfax, Va. Cohn, Rebecca
Fairfax County Public Defender's Office Fairfax, Va. Tuck, Monica
Federal Public Defender's Office Eastern District of Virginia Alexandria, Va. Lias, Jennifer
Lynchburg Public Defender's Office Lynchburg, Va. Jordan, Brannon Albert
Office of the Georgia Public Defender, Atlanta Judicial Circuit Atlanta Epps, Elisabeth
The Defender Association Seattle Goel, Aditi
Public Interest Organizations
American Cancer Society Washington, D.C. Allred, James
Children's Rights New York Tschiderer, Christine
Disability Rights Tallahassee, Fla. Linet, Ariel
Southern Center for Human Rights Atlanta Lee, Jessica
Southern Environmental Law Center Charlottesville, Va. Terr, Aaron
Southern Environmental Law Center Charlottesville, Va. Karras, Constance "Stacee"
Start Small Think Big Bronx, N.Y. Hippolyte, Gabriel
The Homeless Advocacy Project San Fransisco Sinkin, Ilana
Virginia Capital Representation Project Charlottesville, Va. Dew, John
state and local government
Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Charlottesville, Va. Gelbert, Wade
Charlottesville Commonwealth's Attorney Charlottesville, Va. Fennig, Kathryn
Colorado Attorney General, DNA Justice Review Project Denver Kelly, Anna
District Attorney's Office for the 3rd District of Tennessee Greenville, Tenn. Vradenburgh, Holly
Harris County District Attorney Houston Stott, Cory
Middlesex County District Attorney's Office Woburn, Mass. Cutshall, David
Radford City Commonwealth Attorney Virginia Siegle, Emerson
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office Boston Hopkins, Ariel
Suffolk County District Attorney's Office / Cook County State's Attorney's Office Boston / Chicago Chamberlain, David
Supreme Court of Virginia - Office of the Chief Staff Attorney Richmond, Va. Chen, Elisa


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

News Highlights