The Klau Institute has announced its 2023 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. In this, its seventh year, the program has grown to support more students than ever before. The 2023 Summer Fellows are:
Maria Hatzisavas, a second year law student, will serve at Beyond Legal Aid in Chicago, Illinois. Beyond Legal Aid uses its community partnerships to send its attorneys into underserved communities to provide legal services. “I am thrilled to be part of an organization that prioritizes accessibility and structures its services around the input of community leaders and members,” says Hatzisavas. “I have been advocating for a community-focused model in policymaking since my undergraduate years, so I look forward to incorporating it into my legal work.”
Alexandra Lesnik, a second year law student, will serve at Root and Rebound in Greenville, South Carolina. Root and Rebound seeks to restore power to families and communities most harmed by mass incarceration by providing reentry support to address the innumerable barriers to those with criminal records. Says Lesnik, “I am honored to join this work and support individuals and communities in pursuit of justice, liberation, and healing.”
Adam Miller, a first year law student, will clerk at the Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) this summer, assisting with the investigation and litigation of post-conviction claims of the wrongfully convicted in Louisiana serving life sentences. “I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work to right that ultimate wrong: the revocation of life and liberty by the State, with justice for nobody,” says Miller. “It’s important to remember that wrongful convictions always beget victims, with its shrapnel fundamentally human.”
Allison Morcus, a second year law student, will intern at Legal Aid Chicago, an organization that provides free civil legal services to people living in poverty. She will work on the Immigration Team, assisting clients with applications for asylum, U-Visas, and employment authorization. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to work with an organization that is dedicated to removing barriers to justice and empowering marginalized individuals,” says Morcus.
Ayanna Murphy, a first year law student, will work in the family law division of Ascend Justice in Chicago. The organization helps to mitigate the effects of gender-based violence through services such as personal protection orders, visas, and temporary housing. “I am honored to have this opportunity to work with an organization that provides advocacy for underserved communities,” says Murphy. “I hope that with what I learn during this summer, I will be able to help bring further awareness of these issues and their impacts to the community.”
Daryl Naquin, a second year law student, will work as a summer litigation intern at the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City. “I'm grateful to Christ for blessing me with this opportunity to advance LDF's mission of achieving racial justice for all in the areas of economic justice, voting rights, criminal justice, and education,” says Naquin. “My desire is to faithfully serve God, and it is a privilege to do so while supporting LDF's work of uplifting the marginalized and forgotten.”
The Klau Institute Summer Fellowship program has previously supported work at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Sargent Shiver Poverty Law Center, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the US Department of Justice, and many others. Fellows receive funding to assist with travel and living expenses, and upon return to campus, share their experiences and lessons with the Notre Dame community.