The Klau Center has announced its 2021 Summer Fellows, Notre Dame law students working in public interest organizations that promote civil or human rights, and/or the enforcement of federal rights on behalf of underrepresented minorities.
Madison Kemker is second-year law student who first discovered the disparate outcomes of law enforcement interactions with minority populations while studying Nonprofit Management and Public Policy at Indiana University. She will serve an internship at the ACLU of Indiana, and will work on either equitable policing or freedom of speech. “I am committed to protecting the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans, especially those of the traditionally marginalized,” she says. “Enforcing the constitutional rights of my fellow Indiana citizens with the Indiana ACLU will be an incredible learning experience.”
Jenae Longenecker is a second-year law student and president of Notre Dame’s chapter of the American Constitution Society. In her work with the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), Longnecker will serve in the civil arm of CAASE’s legal team, which provides a wide range of civil legal services for survivors of sexual assault and sex trafficking, conducting legal research and preparing legal memoranda as well as communicating directly with clients and appearing at virtual court dates. Says Longenecker, “I hope to sharpen my understanding of the systems that perpetuate sexual exploitation and explore the most promising forms of intervention in those systems.” Jenae’s fellowship is made possible in part through funding from the Pasquale Family Endowment for Excellence.
Davis Lovvorn is a first-year law student who serves as director of public schools for Notre Dame Law School’s Education Law Forum. Lovvorn will work with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, assisting with impact litigation and policy concerning voting rights, employment, immigrant rights, and education. “Throughout my life, I have been committed to promoting civil and human rights, especially within marginalized groups,” says Lovvorn. “This internship will help me gain experience researching and analyzing constitutional and statutory claims at both the federal and state levels in high impact cases.”
Jessa Webber is a second-year law student and vice president of the Notre Dame Exoneration Project. Webber is deeply concerned with wrongful convictions, which disproportionately affect people of color. She will serve as an intern with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit, helping to review claims of wrongful conviction and provide discoveries to the state’s Attorney General. “In the case of wrongful convictions, many minority individuals are unjustly stripped of their freedom,” explains Webber. “The CIU works to help reinstate the rights of these innocent people.”
Now in its fifth year, the Klau Center Summer Fellowship program has previously supported work at the National Housing Project, the Sargent Shiver Poverty Law Center, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the US Department of Justice, among others. Fellows receive funding to assist with travel and living expenses, and upon return to campus, share their experiences with the wider community.