Second-year students Jess Feinberg, Katharine Janes and Jen Kelso of the University of Virginia School of Law will promote legal rights this summer as deWilde Fellows. 

The Katherine and David deWilde ’67 Public Interest Summer Fellowships provide financial support to outstanding UVA Law students promoting the protection of civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law in public service internships.  

Feinberg will work for Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C., that works on a broad range of issues affecting Muslim Americans, including immigration law, prisoners’ rights, religious land use and employment discrimination. 

Feinberg’s duties will primarily involve litigation support, such as conducting legal and factual research, preparing memoranda, speaking with clients and potential clients, drafting portions of court filings or aiding in preparation for oral argument. 

“Working to combat discrimination and bigotry is always necessary, and it is particularly critical right now,” she said. “As a gay Jewish woman, I could not be more excited to be interning with an organization that is committed to the intersectional advancement of civil rights. Progress is not a zero-sum game, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to work on impact litigation for such a wide range of issues.” 

Janes will work for the Boston-based Youth Advocacy Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services and then for the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center. Both organizations advocate for youth in the criminal justice system. 

Janes will lobby to abolish solitary confinement and life without parole for juveniles, as well as advocate to improve juvenile confinement conditions and ensure youth have strong, fair legal representation. 

“Young people in the juvenile justice system are particularly vulnerable and often face compounding forms of marginalization,” she said. “The organizations for which I will work this summer employ a wide array of strategies — including impact litigation, policy advocacy and grassroots mobilization — and I am excited to use these tools to advocate for needed structural reforms. During my internships, and throughout my legal career, I hope to play a part in making the juvenile justice system more rehabilitative, equitable and ultimately just.” 

Kelso will work for the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, based in Washington, D.C. The group provides technical assistance and support to community-based immigrant organizations, legal practitioners and advocates working to advance the rights of noncitizens.  

As a legal intern, Kelso will conduct legal research, draft memoranda and help with factual investigation.   

“I have previously worked in immigration law providing direct services, but I haven’t done the large-scale impact work that NIPNLG does, so my goal is to contribute to its important work this summer while also diversifying my own experience and skill set,” she said. “The current administration has attacked immigrants' rights for the past three-and-a-half years, and I am excited to contribute to the critical work of lawyers standing with immigrant communities against harmful policies.” 

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.

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