Sparer Fellowship

Sparer Fellows

The Sparer Fellowship Program is an outstanding opportunity for high-caliber, qualified students to engage in concentrated studies and unique internships. Fellows are placed at leading public interest organizations, in the U.S. and abroad, providing legal services to underrepresented constituencies.

Read more about how some of the current Sparer Fellows will be spending their summer.

  • While attending St. John's University, Desiree spent time studying Gender Issues abroad in Egypt. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy of Law and Business Management, she took a year off from school. In that year off, she helped approximately 100 low-income elderly Americans per month receive the proper health services that they needed. In her spare time, she worked closely with the youth in her community, developing extra curricular community programs and teaching Sunday School at her church all while developing her comedic abilities. Realizing there was a cap on the amount of services she could provide she decided to move onto law school where she has served on executive boards as the Outreach Coordinator for Law Students for Reproductive Justice and Contributing Writer for the BLS Advocate. Also, she has gotten involved with Pro Bono projects such as the Courtroom Advocacy Project and Uncontested Divorce.

  • Mihal has focused her advocacy and organizing work on facilitating a shift towards restorative, community-based approaches to criminal and juvenile justice. Mihal began engaging with the incarcerated community as a volunteer creative arts instructor in prisons while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan. After witnessing the people in her workshop endure countless abuses, Mihal partnered with local nonprofits and attorneys to help connect incarcerated citizens with treatment programs, legal assistance, and other resources that could help them address the challenges they faced in prison and facilitate their successful reentry into their communities. In her senior year, as an intern for the ACLU of Michigan’s Juvenile Life-Without-Parole Initiative, Mihal developed Youth-for-Youth Justice, a campaign mobilizing local youth to know their rights and be spokespeople for juvenile justice reform. After graduating, Mihal spent five years working as a Court Advocate for the Center for Community Alternatives, an alternative to incarceration program in Brooklyn. As an advocate, Mihal worked to ensure that youth going through delinquency proceedings had their needs and interests heard in a courtroom where they might otherwise be ignored. Motivated by this experience, she came to law school to help give voice to the stories that go unheard in the criminal justice system and continue advocating for a comprehensive shift towards holistic approaches to justice.

  • Jerehme Bamberger came to Brooklyn Law after spending a year and a half working with the Champaign Urbana Citizens for Peace and Justice on criminal justice reform in Champaign, IL. He graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 2010 with a BA in Anthropology. His public interest focuses are community and restorative justice; while at Brooklyn Law he also hopes to contribute to the expansion of the ways we talk about the criminal justice system and our role in it. To this end he is the Events Chair of the BLS Criminal Law Society.

  • While attending Villanova University, Caitrin spent a summer interning at a drug treatment court, which first sparked her interest in holistic approaches to social problems like addiction, homelessness and domestic violence. After finishing a degree in Sociology and Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Caitrin spent two years with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. The first was spent with a non-profit in Oregon working on a legislative policy campaign promoting a public health approach to addiction - focusing on treatment, prevention and recovery services in addition to strategic public safety efforts. She then moved to Seattle to work at the Recovery Café, a supportive community center for individuals in recovery from addictions, homelessness and mental illness. After staying for an additional year working full-time at Recovery, Caitrin began at BLS. In her short time here, Caitrin has already become involved with BLSPI and VetLaw as a 1L delegate for each. She is excited to be a Sparer Fellow, viewing it as an opportunity to further expand her understanding of the role the legal system plays in holistic approaches to systemic social issues.

  • After exploring her passion for international development and human rights through an undergraduate semester at the University of Sydney, Jill migrated to the Northern Territory of Australia to work in Indigenous public policy reform after graduating from George Washington University. She later worked in the Philippines and East Timor in sustainable economic development, election observation, direct aid, and diplomacy. These experiences highlighted how a legal education would expand Jill's ability to support social change. At BLS, Jill helps deliver student programming as a National Lawyer's Guild board member, and is exploring grassroots advocacy by co-facilitating a weekly health justice youth group through the Resilience Advocacy Project. Jill seeks opportunities in movement lawyering, migrant and refugee rights, and social justice for her Sparer summer. She will volunteer on a weeklong immigration law project this March with Catholic Charities Atlanta.

  • After completing her undergraduate studies at Columbia University, Shalisa worked as a paralegal for Bronx AIDS Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization providing legal advocacy to HIV+ and low-income families in the Bronx. Her experience working with public interest attorneys and advocating in the Bronx Court systems played a large role in her decision to attend Brooklyn Law School and pursue a career in Public Interest Law. She is excited to join the Sparer community and work alongside like-minded individuals dedicated to making better the lives of others.

  • Andrew received a B.S. from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations in 2013. While in college, he worked as a law clerk for the Westchester County Legal Aid Society, doing legal work on felony trials and extensive work on interpreting the newly passed Judicial Diversion law, which provides drug-addicted offenders a chance at rehabilitation overseen by a team of defense lawyers, prosecutors, social workers and a County Judge. He was also tasked with determining strategies to minimize harmful collateral consequences of criminal convictions, including public housing, public benefits and immigration consequences. Subsequently, Andrew interned and then clerked at Advocates for Justice, a public interest law firm in Manhattan. In that job, he had a hand in a wide variety of cases in courts and tribunals of various levels, including a First Amendment case against the New York Public Library, a federal civil rights/segregation case against members of a school board, and a series of cases on behalf of supermarket workers in Brooklyn who were systematically paid less than half the minimum wage. His ultimate goal is to become a versatile advocate, who can fight for his client in any kind of controversy in which an advocate is needed.

  • Jamie graduated from the University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy with a focus in International Development and Human Rights. She spent time volunteering in Central and South America, and found her experience working with a local Peruvian NGO to promote youth empowerment especially meaningful. She later worked with Sudanese and Eritrean African refugees to assist them with the process of seeking asylum in Israel. During the year prior to attending law school, she worked as a community organizer promoting the rights of low-income workers in the Washington, DC area, while also coordinating with attorneys and local nonprofits to organize educational presentations for groups of workers. These experiences influenced her decision to attend law school and she is thrilled to be a part of the Sparer community, to be among other BLS students planning on pursuing a career in public interest.

  • Morgan graduated from New York University this past May where she double majored in Politics and History. She was very involved in Fraternity and Sorority Life, serving as the president of her sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi (AEPhi). During her term as president, AEPhi was honored toreceive the “Chapter of the Year” award both at NYU and at the AEPhi National Convention for excelling in the four pillars of Greek Life: leadership, scholarship,friendship, and service. In addition, Morgan was named “President of the Year” at the NYU Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards for my contributions to the inter-Greek community. Outside of her experiences at NYU, Morgan worked as a Youth Care Professional at Hillside Children’s Center for the past three years. Hillside is a Residential Treatment Facility for youths who suffer from serious and chronic emotional disorders and have symptoms or behaviors that prevent them from functioning at home, at school, or in the community. In addition to working at Hillside, Morgan spent last summer in Washington, D.C canvassing for the Human Rights Campaign, working to end discriminatory policies in the workplace. Through her work with the HRC, Morgan was given the opportunity to inform the public about the struggles that the LGBTQ community faces and motivate them to get involved in the movement for equal rights. Morgan’s experiences with both Hillside and the HRC have inspired her to devote her career to public interest work to become a leader in the fight for equality. She is particularly interested in LGBTQ rights and would cherish the opportunity to work towards equality through litigation, legislative work, or public advocacy.

  • Serenna McCloud holds a BS in Psychology from SUNY Cortland. While there she was active in researching and writing about racial and socioeconomic disparities in the US prison population. She has also had a lifelong commitment to social justice and peace activism. Ms. McCloud has worked as a legal and administrative assistant in an intellectual property law firm and an investment management company. She also worked in student services at Cornell University's Engineering College. Ms. McCloud is a member of Brooklyn law school's class of 2016. She is a member of BLSPI, BLSA and IPLA. Ms. McCloud is very interested in social justice from an economic perspective.

  • Herberth was raised in New York City where his experiences shaped his perspective of the Poverty Cycle and the School to Prison Pipeline. After he moved to Allentown, PA and worked as an organizer for a presidential campaign he learned more about the political participation rates of impoverished communities. Having always lived in immigrant communities and being part of an immigrant family, Herberth is dedicated to examining the impact that criminal and immigration laws have on indigent and immigrant communities. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, Herberth returned to New York City and worked as Citizen School Teacher in Harlem. As a teacher, Herberth learned about the challenges some families faced such as homelessness, disabilities, poverty, and crime. As a future lawyer, Herberth intends to break the Poverty Cycle and promote the American Dream.

  • After undergrad at California State University at Bakersfield, Ellen moved to New York City and worked for 3 years at A Better Chance, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of well-educated young people of color who are capable of assuming positions of leadership in American society. She realized that a legal education would enable her to make a larger impact on some of the issues that A Better Chance applicants were facing. At BLS, Ellen is a Co-Event Coordinator for the Law Students for Reproductive Justice, a 1L representative for Latin American Law Students Association, and an active member of NLG.

  • During her sophomore year at City College, Ishrat received an opportunity to intern at the Council on American Islamic Relation (CAIR) as a civil rights intern. It was an extraordinary and humbling experience that heavily impacted her decision to pursue a law degree and work in the field of public interest. During her internship she encountered various situations in which people, mainly immigrants, were targeted based on race and were discriminated against and this fueled her passion to study immigration law and civil rights. Additionally, Ishrat’s experience as a tutor for children also gave her an interest in the field of child advocacy. At Brooklyn Law School, Ishrat found a nexus for those with a passion for public interest and hopes that her Sparer summer internship will provide her with an opportunity to serve underserved individuals though legal services while providing her with invaluable experiences.

  • Kathryn Rumbles graduated from Simpson College in 2010 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Environmental Science. Upon completing her degree, she worked for a variety of non-profit organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund and Americorps VISTA. Kathryn decided to attend BLS because of its emphasis on the public interest sector, and she is thrilled to participate in the Sparer Fellowship program. During her first summer, she hopes to contribute to a local environmental non-profit with a focus on clean air law and policy.

  • Lily studied English and Anthropology at the University of Virginia, graduating in 2008. She wrote her senior thesis on the effects of urban renewal on the health, specifically infectious diseases, in Charlottesville, Virginia. An interest in public health and human rights inspired several trips, including a summer in Nairobi where she volunteered in a clinic. After graduating, she worked with two small HIV/AIDS Service Groups, the first in Charlottesville, and the second in Boulder, Colorado. After a long trip through southeast Asia, Lily landed in New York City in 2011, where she began an internship with MADRE, an international women's human rights organization. With MADRE, she was able to work on projects all over the world (from New York) with our sister organizations. Perhaps it was the pulse of the city, but over time Lily felt herself drawn towards New York City politics. She left MADRE to work with Citizens Union of New York, a good government watchdog organization. Here, she had the opportunity to work with city councilmembers, the borough president's office, state senators and assembly members, and other advocacy groups in New York. She continues to volunteer with Citizens Union as a member of their Local Candidates Committee, interviewing candidates for office in NYC and helping the board to issue endorsements for a voting guide. She also recently finished a year of tutoring at P.S. 188 on the Lower East Side through Reading Partners. Lily is also a Park Slope Food Coop member, an avid crossfitter, and a runner (NYC Marathon 2014!). Through the Sparer program, Lily hopes to pursue her interests in government and politics, wherever they may lead.

  • Nelson, a native from Hong Kong, moved to California at the age of 18 and graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Communications in 2007. Upon graduating, Nelson devoted his professional career in the non-profit sector, and concentrated in working with low-income Asian American immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In his last position as the Programs Director at the YMCA of San Francisco, Nelson worked closely with the Chinese community and managed different community-wide initiatives, bringing positive impacts on the many new immigrant families. It is his goal to expand his work and influence in the community through his work at the Sparer Fellowship program.

Learn more about the recent Sparer Forum.

Have questions? We have answers.

Sparer Fellowship Program
Marva Skeene
Brooklyn Law School
250 Joralemon Street, Room 800A
Brooklyn, New York 11201

Telephone: (718) 780-0351

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