Record $710,351 in PILA Grants Awarded to 168 Students Working in Public Interest This Summer

Students Collectively Volunteered More Than 9,500 Hours To Qualify
Taylor Fatherree, Austin Hetrick, Donna Faye Imadi and Sydney Phipps

Taylor Fatherree ’22, Austin Hetrick ’21, Donna Faye Imadi ’22 and Sydney Phipps ’22 are among 168 UVA Law students participating in summer public interest work this year.

May 13, 2020

The University of Virginia School of Law will fund a record number of students working in public service roles this summer. With jobs ranging from environmental policy to criminal justice reform to antitrust enforcement, 168 students will receive a historically high $710,351 in grants.

The student-administered Public Interest Law Association summer fellowship program provides grants to law students who accept low-paying or unpaid public service internships. Fellowships are funded by voluntary contributions and the Law School Foundation, and are disbursed by the Law School’s Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center.

“Our combined experiences make us stronger, and these grants provide ways for students to grow and experience unique career paths with the support of the UVA Law community behind them,” PILA President Sara Wendel ’21 said. “Spending my 1L summer interning in New York City for a juvenile public defender was one of the most memorable and influential experiences of my life.” 

The grants will benefit 133 first-year students, who will each receive $3,750 in funding, and 35 second-year students, who receive $6,500. With many employers’ operations affected by COVID-19 closures, most students will be working remotely. 

“This year, more than ever, I’m grateful that we’re able to provide guaranteed funding to all our students interested in both public service and judicial internships,” said Annie Kim ’99, assistant dean for public service and director of the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Center. “PILA grants have been an important tradition at UVA Law for decades. I still remember opening my grant check as a 1L intern at the Fairfax Public Defender’s Office, back when PILA was called ‘Student Funded Fellowships’ and grants weren’t guaranteed.” 

Student recipients are required to apply and qualify for the funding by volunteering their time for pro bono work — 40 hours for first-year students and 80 hours for second-year students. Grantees must also have secured a public service position and agree to donate hours back to PILA, which founded the grant program. 

PILA holds a series of fundraising events each year, including an auction and book sale, to help raise money for grants. 

This year, students volunteered about 9,528 hours, an average of 56 per student grantee. 

Public service stats

Here’s a look at what four of the fellows have planned. (See full list of jobs and locations

Taylor Fatherree

Taylor Fatherree ’22 

Hometown: Napa, California 

College/education: University of California at Berkeley, B.A. in peace and conflict; Santa Rosa Junior College 

Summer job: NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Washington, D.C. 

What she’ll be doing: I’ll be aiding LDF with their work for racial justice, through, as they say, litigation, advocacy and public education. I hope to work in their criminal justice practice, supporting ongoing litigation and policy campaigns with legal research and writing.  

Goals: I’m focused on criminal justice reform, so I’m looking forward to getting into the nitty gritty of how an organization can tackle systemic change through strategic litigation and policy advocacy. I hope to come away with a better sense of how local projects are conceived and organized to aid national reform. And of course, I’m looking to connect with and learn from people who are using their power and training to work toward a more just, more equitable society. 

Austin Hetrick

Austin Hetrick ’21 

Hometown: Fort Wayne, Indiana 

College/education: University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.A. in English; University of Virginia, Ph.D. in English 

Summer job: Natural Resources Defense Council, New York 

What he’ll be doing: I'll be supporting the staff at NRDC New York in one of several divisions: Energy & Transportation, Environmental Justice, Litigation, New York, Oceans, or Water. I'm hoping for Litigation, but wherever I end up, I'm looking forward to conducting legal research and writing in support of clean air, clean water and healthy communities. 

Goals: NRDC brings together a diverse set of experts, and I’m excited to learn from all of them. I’m especially looking forward to learning how NRDC’s skilled attorneys prepare for complex litigation, but I’m also hoping to learn more about how the organization leverages partnerships, community advocacy and scientific expertise to advance its mission.

Donna Imadi

Donna Faye Imadi ’22 

Hometown: Alexandria, Virginia 

College/education: George Mason University, B.A. in global affairs, B.A. in international conflict analysis and resolution 

Summer job: Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition, Technology Enforcement Division, Washington, D.C. 

What she’ll be doing: The Bureau of Competition is critical to the enforcement of U.S. antitrust laws that form the foundation of our nation’s free-market economy, prohibiting monopolistic conduct and conspiracies in restraint of trade. At the newly designated Technology Enforcement Division, I will be working with attorneys in examining technology in markets (such as Facebook, Google and Amazon), monitoring competition, examining industry practices and conducting investigations. The Technology Enforcement Division also conducts prospective merger reviews in the tech sector. Especially pertinent will be issues in big tech. 

Goals: In light of the shock to the global supply chain per COVID-19’s impact, I’ll pursue engaging on how our nation’s antitrust law enforcement will influence the economy’s ability to bounce back and provide sustenance for consumers in the marketplace. Further, I look forward to specifically contributing to cutting-edge work on technology enforcement (such as with Google, Amazon and Facebook) as it becomes increasingly significant in the lives of average Americans, reinvigorating a critical debate in the antitrust and policy realm about antitrust in the digital economy. My goals are to gain skills in analyzing how our regulatory laws will be molded in the new wave of 21st-century tech, in addition to working with attorneys on rapid development of how businesses can best coordinate in service to the American people amidst the global crisis. 

Sydney Phipps

Sydney Phipps ’22 

Hometown: Dallas 

College/education: Penn State University, B.S. in marketing 

Summer job: Dallas County District Attorney’s Office 

What she'll be doing: As an intern, I will assist the prosecutors and investigators with legal research and briefing, investigation of cases, preparation for trial, taking notes in the courtroom and helping wherever else is needed during trial. I will also be responsible for aiding in pretrial tasks like discovery, redactions, filing motions and subpoenaing records. 

Goals: My primary goal for the summer is to gain exposure to the multiple trial courts and divisions in the office, as I am still deciding what areas of law I am most interested in. I am also hoping to improve my research and writing skills. 

Federal Government

Administrative Conference of the United States Washington, D.C.
Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Telecommunications Access Policy Division Washington, D.C.
Federal Labor Relations Authority, Solicitor’s Office (2) Washington, D.C.
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Washington, D.C.
Federal Public Defender, District of Oregon Portland, Ore.
Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Virginia Norfolk, Va.
Federal Public Defender, Western District of Missouri Kansas City, Mo.
Federal Public Defender, Western District of Virginia Charlottesville
Federal Trade Commission Washington, D.C.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Central District of California Los Angeles
U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland (2) Baltimore
U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland (2) Greenbelt, Md.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia Richmond, Va.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Virginia Alexandria, Va.
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of New York New York
U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission Washington, D.C.
U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission New York
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel Juneau, Alaska
U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of General Counsel Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Military Commissions Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Chief Prosecutor Arlington, Va.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of General Counsel (2) Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Human Rights Violators Law Division Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice (2) Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, National Courts Section (2) Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Fraud Division Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Appellate Staff Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Office of Enforcement Operations Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section (2) Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Tort Claims Act Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division, Counterterrorism Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Policy Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Justice, Public Integrity Section Washington, D.C.
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges San Francisco
U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Office of General Counsel Washington, D.C.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 New York
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (3) Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senate, Judiciary Committee, Office of Sen. Dick Durbin Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senate, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (2) Washington, D.C.

Judicial

Albemarle County Circuit Court Charlottesville
California Court of Appeals San Francisco
Colorado Supreme Court, Justice Hood Denver
District of Columbia District Court Washington, D.C.
District of Columbia Superior Court Washington, D.C.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Fairfax, Va.
Florida Supreme Court Tallahassee, Fla.
Prince William County General District Court Manassas, Va.
Supreme Court of Georgia Atlanta
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California (2) Los Angeles
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Texas McAllen, Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Chicago
U.S. Court of Federal Claims (2) Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court, Central District of California Orange County, Calif.
U.S. District Court, Central District of California Los Angeles
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (4) Washington, D.C.
U.S. District Court, District of Maryland Greenbelt, Md.
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (2) Boston
U.S. District Court, District of Vermont Rutland, Vt.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana New Orleans
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania Philadelphia
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia Alexandria, Va.
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia Norfolk, Va.
U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida Tampa, Fla.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama Birmingham, Ala.
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas (2) Lubbock, Texas
U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida West Palm Beach, Fla.
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (2) New York
U.S. District Court, Western District of New York Buffalo, N.Y.
U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina Charlotte, N.C.
U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas Austin, Texas
Virginia 16th Judicial Circuit Court Orange, Va.
Virginia Supreme Court Richmond, Va.

Nonprofit

American Civil Liberties Union New York
Animal Legal Defense Fund Cotati, Calif.
Becket Fund for Religious Liberty Washington, D.C.
Californian’s for Homeownership Los Angeles
Center for American Liberty Leesburg, Va.
Center for Children’s Advocacy Hartford, Conn.
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society (2) Charlottesville
Community Legal Services Philadelphia
Equality Now New York
Human Trafficking Institute Fairfax, Va.
Juvenile Law Center Philadelphia
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (2) Washington, D.C.
Legal Aid Justice Center Richmond, Va.
Legal Aid Justice Center (4) Charlottesville
Legal Aid Justice Center, Immigrant Advocacy Program Charlottesville
Legal Aid Justice Center, JustChildren Program Charlottesville
Legal Aid of North Carolina Sylva, N.C.
Muslim Advocates Washington, D.C.
NAACP LDF Washington, D.C.
National Center for Youth Law Oakland, Calif.
National Lawyers Guild, National Immigration Project Washington, D.C.
Natural Resources Defense Council (2) New York
Our Children’s Trust Eugene, Ore.
Partnership for Working Families Oakland, Calif.
Sierra Club, Environmental Law Program Washington, D.C.
Southern Center for Human Rights Atlanta
The Legal Aid Society of New York New York

Prosecution

Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Arlington, Va.
Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Charlottesville
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Dallas
Harris County District Attorney’s Office Houston
King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office Seattle
Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office Madison, Va.
Orange County District Attorney’s Office Santa Ana, Calif.
Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (2) Philadelphia
Queens District Attorney’s Office New York
Salt Lake City District Attorney’s Office Salt Lake City
San Luis Obispo District Attorney’s Office San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office Boston

Public Defense

Alexandria Public Defender’s Office Alexandria, Va.
Arlington County (and City of Falls Church) Public Defender’s Office Arlington, Va.
Charlottesville-Albemarle Public Defender’s Office (2) Charlottesville
Colorado Public Defender’s Office Golden, Colo.
Fairfax County Public Defender’s Office Fairfax, Va.
Hampton Public Defender’s Office Hampton, Va.
Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender Memphis, Tenn.
Maryland Office of the Public Defender Baltimore
Mecklenburg County Public Defender’s Office Charlotte, N.C.
Morris County Office of the Public Defender Morristown, N.J.
Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem New York
New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office Stratham, N.H.
Northern Virginia Capital Defender Tysons, Va.
Office of the Public Defender for the 13th Judicial Circuit Tampa, Fla.
Orleans Public Defenders New Orleans
Staunton Public Defender’s Office Staunton, Va.

State and Local Government

Albemarle County Attorney’s Office Charlottesville
Colorado Department of Law Denver
District of Columbia, Office of the Solicitor General Washington, D.C.
Iowa Attorney General’s Office Burlington, Iowa
Missouri Attorney General’s Office Jefferson City, Mo.
New York Department of Social Services, Litigation Unity New York
Texas Office of the Attorney General Austin, Texas
University of Virginia, Office of University Counsel Charlottesville
Virginia Office of the Attorney General Richmond, Va.
Virginia Office of the Attorney General, Office of the Solicitor General Richmond, Va.

 

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