Summer 2016 Fellowship Recipients

This year, thanks to the outstanding support of The University of Texas School of Law students, faculty, and staff and the surrounding legal community, Texas Law Fellowships has the pleasure of funding 30 applicants. We are pleased to announce the following as members of our 2016 Fellows Class:

Tyler Allard –Federal Aviation Administration

Ard Ardalan – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Michael Babcock –United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

Louis Bedford – The Department of Education

Yuri Chornobil – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Vanessa Chorush – American Gateways

Jessica Cisneros – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Cody Combs – Department of Justice, Office of Immigration Litigation

Mark Dore – Environmental Protection Agency

James Earl – Legal Aid Society

Emily Eby – Texas Appleseed

Amanda Fullerton – Williamson County District Attorney

Justin Garbacz – American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

Teddy Garber – Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Rachel Geiman – Maryland Attorney General’s Office

Saadia Hashmi – North Texas Civil Rights Project

Ellen Horton – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

Marisa Joyce – Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Jung Lim Koo – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Claire Krebs – Natural Resources Defense Council

Emilie Melton – Austin Bar Association, Veteran’s Legal Assistance Project

George Miller – New York Attorney General’s Office

Brooke Noble – Texas Advocacy Project

Michael O’Brien – Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Texas

Paul Osadebe – The Texas Civil Rights Project

Amy Rodriguez – U.S. Attorney’s Office and Human Rights First

Chelsea Schell – Securities and Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division

Alex Shahrestani – Electronic Frontier Foundation

Samantha Whitehead – Texas Advocacy Project

Mollie Williams – The Institute for Justice

Pledge Drive 2016 – Donate and Vote for Fellows!

Texas Law Fellowship’s annual Pledge Drive begins today! Donate $25 or more and have the chance to vote for up to six applicants to receive fellowships. If you donate online, you will receive an email from that allows you to vote. Make sure to stop by the TLF table in the atrium this week to pick up swag for donating!


This year we have 34 qualified applicants:

Tyler Allard, 2L – Federal Aviation Administration

Tyler will be interning at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C., where he will be working in the Regulations Division of the Office of the Chief Counsel. He is looking forward to the facets of administrative law and regulatory policy – such as FAA’s rulemaking on commercial and delivery drones – and the intersection of safety and innovation issues relating to our 21st century economy and technology!

Ard Ardalan, 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

This summer, Ard will be an intern in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. He will be continuing his practical legal education in criminal law while assisting assistant district attorneys in their daily tasks. Ard will serve the public interest by advancing the cause of justice and protecting the people of Harris County.

Michael Babcock, 1L – United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

Michael will be working in the financial litigation division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. With a background in finance and accounting, he is excited to be able to make an impact during his time at the USAO. He believes that his commitment to public service and the organization for which he will be working all align with the goals of the Texas Law Fellowships program. He is sincerely appreciative to be considered for your donation

Louis Bedford, 1L – The Department of Education

The Department of Education will allow Louis to work closely with children who are in impoverished neighborhoods and children whose school districts cannot afford new books. Those are the children he wants to help. For the schools and school districts who punish certain demographics with a heavier and more frequent hand than other students, Louis wants to be able to protect all of the children who have to go through these trials and heartaches on a daily basis.

Yuri Chornobil, 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

This summer Yuri will be working at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he hopes to be placed in the Child Abuse Division of the Special Victims Unit. The majority of these cases involve instances of child sexual abuse, and although the work will be emotionally challenging, Yuri believes that it will be extremely rewarding. As a legal intern, he will assist district attorneys in all phases of their work including investigations, victim interviews, trial preparation, and trial strategy.

Vanessa Chorush, 1L – American Gateways

This summer, Vanessa will be interning with American Gateways – a nonprofit in Austin that provides free or low-cost legal services to those in need of representation for immigration-related matters. As a summer intern, she will be assisting with “Know-Your-Rights” presentations, workshops for asylum seekers, and helping staff attorneys file forms for various types of immigration relief.

Jessica Cisneros, 1L – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Jessica will be working in the San Antonio office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. USCIS is the government entity responsible for overseeing immigration into the United States. Jessica is the daughter of immigrant parents, and her passion for these kinds of issues is deeply influenced by her background. She hopes to learn more about this area of the law to serve others who find themselves in circumstances similar to what her parents once faced. She thanks you for your help!

Cody Combs, 1L – Department of Justice, Office of Immigration Litigation

This summer Cody will be working with the Department of Justice, Civil Division, in the Office of Immigration Litigation – Appellate section in Washington DC. OIL defends the decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals in the Federal Appellate Courts, provides counsel to U.S. Attorney’s Offices in criminal immigration issues, and provides advice to federal agencies in matters relating to immigration. As an intern he will draft substantive briefs and motions for submission to the Federal Courts of Appeal.

Mark Doré, 1L – Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance

Mark will be working for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, which targets the most serious water, air, and chemical hazards through civil and criminal enforcement. As an intern, Mark will support litigation in communities vulnerable to pollution, assisting with problems such as hazardous waste and Clean Water Act issues.

James Earl, 2L – Legal Aid Society

James will be working at the Legal Aid Society, the oldest provider of legal aid in the United States. It handles over 200,000 criminal cases per year. This summer, he will work in their Queens County Criminal Division in New York City. James will represent the indigent in both felony and misdemeanor cases. Not only will he be helping those who truly have nowhere else to turn, but he will be receiving some of the best training that a young criminal defense attorney can receive.

Emily Eby, 1L – Texas Appleseed

This summer, Emily will be working for Texas Appleseed, an Austin-based organization that promotes social and economic justice for all Texans by leveraging the skills and resources of volunteer lawyers, in-house staff, and other professionals to identify practical solutions to emerging and novel social problems in our state. My work will focus on creating resources for victims of civil asset forfeiture, advocating for homeless youth with various established social services, and researching tactics to prevent elder abuse, both physical and financial.

Amanda Fullterton, 2L – Williamson County District Attorney’s Office

This summer Amanda will be working for the Williamson County District Attorney’s Office: presenting before grand juries, negotiating with defense attorneys, and maybe even second chairing a trial. She will spend the first half of the summer with the Felony Trial Division, and the second half with the Appellate Division in order to get a sense of the entire advocacy process. She’s extremely passionate about criminal trial advocacy, so this a perfect match.

Justin Garbacz, 1L – American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

This summer Justin will be working for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. The ACLU is a non-profit organization that advocates for the protection of civil rights and civil liberties – especially those that are vulnerable to violation. As an intern, he plans to primarily work on projects involving immigration reform and protecting the rights of non-citizens. However, he also looks forward to working on criminal justice reform and doing research for “Know Your Rights!” campaigns.

Teddy Garber, 1L – Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

Should corporations allow employees to speak their native language at work? Yes! A cleaning business did not allow its employees to speak Spanish. Thankfully, MALDEF is suing to protect the rights of Latinos. Should it be a felony to rent an apartment to undocumented immigrants? No! Yet Texas House Bill 11 made this a felony. MALDEF is challenging that in court. Teddy will help MALDEF by researching and drafting discovery requests.

Rachel Geiman, 2L – Maryland Attorney General’s Office

This summer Rachel will be working for the Maryland Attorney General’s antitrust office. She will be working on cases and investigations of companies that may be violating antitrust laws by engaging in price-fixing, group boycotts, and other anticompetitive practices. Rachel is particularly excited to be involved in the litigation of a nation-wide case addressing an extreme price increase of an important pharmaceutical drug.

Kate Goodrich, 1L – State Bar of Texas, Chief Disciplinary Council

Kate will be working for the Chief Disciplinary Council of the State Bar of Texas. These are the people who hold other attorneys accountable. An example of the work they do includes the high profile case recently out of Burleson where and ex-District Attorney wrongfully prosecuted an innocent man.

Saadia Hashmi, 1L – North Texas Civil Rights Project

This summer, Saadia will be advocating for clients through impact litigation with the North Texas Civil Rights Project (NTCRP). She will be working specifically on ADA and Rehabilitation Act issues, voting rights, prison suicide, and race discrimination in public accommodation. NTCRP embodies the same mission and message as its parent organization—championing and protecting the civil rights of its community. They work on a number of cases concerning racial, economic, and immigrant protection and justice, among others. NTCRP additionally provides an active voice in the media; campaigning school safety and diversity across North Texas.Saadia is honored and excited to help NTCRP light the way for equality and justice to become truly realized in her community.

Ellen Horton, 1L – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

This summer, Ellen will have the privilege to serve alongside the prosecutors of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in the Major Offenders division. She will have the opportunity to work on a variety of cases, including human trafficking, hate crimes, organized crime, and other civil rights violations. Ellen is most looking forward to doing her part to fight human trafficking, as Houston is one of the highest volume cities for human trafficking.

Marisa Joyce, 2L – Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division

Marisa will be working for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, in the office that helps protect immigrants from employment discrimination and unfair treatment at work. Immigrants with the right to work often face discrimination when searching for jobs – due to both employer ignorance and overt xenophobia. Marisa will be helping the office spread awareness about hiring immigrants with work authorization and assist their legal team bring suits against employers who discriminate based on national origin or citizenship status.

Jung Lim Koo, 1L – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Jung will be working for the Eagle Pass office of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid. The Eagle Pass office provides free legal services to low income residents from south Texas. He will assist with initial interviews and follow-up interviews, and research any issues raised. Jung will also draft complaints and discovery requests. Further, he will draft and respond to motions with supporting authority and assist in preparing witnesses for administrative and trial proceedings. Finally, Jung will assist with appellate briefs.

Claire Krebs, 1L – Natural Resources Defense Council

The NRDC’s mission is to protect and restore the environment, be it air, land, water, or endangered species and places. The NRDC is a powerful advocate for environmental justice, and is consistently recognized as one of the most effective public interest environmental groups in the country. Claire will be in the Chicago office, assisting attorneys in advocating for improving regional surface water quality, transitioning to clean energy, and protecting endangered species (plus the Monarch butterfly). It is her dream job!

Emilie Melton, 1L – Austin Bar Association, Veteran’s Legal Assistance Project

This summer Emilie will be interning for the Austin Bar Association’s Veteran’s Legal Assistance Project. This project seeks to expand the availability of legal assistance to low-income veterans and their families. Assistance will be provided for a variety of legal issues including: family law, employment, housing, and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits. She will be conducting client intake, helping applicants with pro se filings, and assisting attorneys in legal research.

George Miller, 1L – New York Attorney General’s Office, Investor Protection Bureau

George will be assisting with potential and current investigations, as well as ongoing litigation. The Bureau is tasked with enforcement of NY’s blue sky laws, and in recent years has investigated wide ranging conduct impacting financial markets including: RMBS, high-frequency trading, Ponzi schemes, and foreign currency exchange. The Bureau also litigates cases concerning deceptive and fraudulent practices involving securities and commodities.

Brooke Noble, 1L – Texas Advocacy Project

Brooke will be working for the Texas Advocacy Project helping survivors of domestic and sexual violence with the legal issues they face as they try to cleanse their lives. Brooke is a survivor herself, and the complications she faced when attempting to navigate the legal system at 16 years old fueled her desire to go to law school. What she saw and experienced was unjust, and she wants to ensure others will have better access to legal remedies.

Michael O’Brien, 2L – Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Texas

Michael is excited to be working for the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Texas, Ft. Worth Office. He will be doing primarily trial work representing indigent defendants in federal court. It’s exactly what he wants to do: help clients in need and do some interesting criminal law. Michael’s hope for when he graduates law school is to become a federal public defender, so he really appreciates any help you can give in funding his summer work.

Paul Osadebe, 2L – The Texas Civil Rights Project

The Texas Civil Rights Project is the largest non-profit focused on securing racial, economic, and social justice through litigation, advocacy, and education on behalf of poor and rural Texans. Paul will be investigating potential cases, working with clients, and preparing complaints, motions, and discovery. He will also assist with depositions, hearings, trials, and any other work needed.

Amy Rodriguez, 2L – U.S. Attorney’s Office and Human Rights First

Amy will be splitting her summer between government and public interest work. Her first six weeks will be at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas in the Major Offenders Unit. The Unit covers criminal acts from organized crime to human trafficking, and immigration matters. Her next six weeks will be at Human Rights First, a nonprofit organization providing legal representation to refugees and assisting them in seeking asylum.

Chelsea Schell, 2L – Securities and Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division

The SEC’s mission is to “protect investors, maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.” This is done by overseeing securities exchanges, brokers and dealers, investment advisors, and mutual funds. The enforcement division investigates federal securities law and prosecutes violators in federal courts. Chelsea will research and write memoranda, perform document review, and be involved in witness interviews.

Alex Shahrestani, 1L – Electronic Frontier Foundation

This summer Alex will be working at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he will be doing policy work for the upcoming implementation of body cameras for the Austin Police Department. Given the climate of police-public relations, especially regarding police brutality claims, the body camera policy will work to serve to cool over-aggressive police action and also exonerate them from false claims of excessive force.

Bethany Spare, 2L – Department of Justice, Antitrust Division

Last year, forty four executives and eighteen companies were held accountable for price-fixing, bid-rigging and fraud offenses. This summer, Bethany has the opportunity to work with the attorneys who made that possible. The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice works alongside the Securities and Exchange Commission in order make sure businessmen and women are held accountable for their economic crimes. She will be able to assist in investigation, develop research, and help prepare for trail.

Samantha Whitehead, 1L – Texas Advocacy Project

This summer Samantha will be working at Texas Advocacy Project, a statewide nonprofit legal organization based in Austin that provides FREE legal assistance to victims of family violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. As one of three law clerks, she will spend ten weeks as an extra hand for the thirteen staff attorneys – assisting with research, client interviews, drafting pleadings, training preparation, trail preparation, and other legal duties as they come up.

Mollie Williams, 1L – The Institute for Justice

The Institute for Justice identifies itself as the “National Law Firm for Liberty” as it fights for freedom in the following areas of law: economic liberty, private property, first amendment, and school choice. While clerking at IJ, Mollie’s duties will include legal research and writing, interviewing clients, and a number of other litigation responsibilities. As IJ has won 70 percent of its cases, she is very excited to join the fight for liberty as part of this dynamic team!

Terrence Yung, 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

This summer, Terrence plans to work for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. HCDAO is a great organization that prosecutes many times of cases including consumer fraud cases to family criminal law issues (such as domestic violence, child abuse, etc.). Crime is a huge issue in Houston. A few weeks ago, Terrence read that a man in Houston raped a 14-year-old girl and infected her with HIV, chlamydia, and herpes. This is very bad behavior. It is important that someone will be on the other side doing legal research, writing memos, writing briefs. Terrence hopes that he gets the chance to do this, so please vote for him!

Fred Zoch, 2L – Williamson County District Attorney’s Office

This summer Fred will be working at the Williamson County D.A. As a 2L with a bar card, he will be able to examine witnesses, assist with formal plea procedures, help with trial prep, and assist with jury selection and jury trials. Additionally, Fred will be able to help prosecutors to court, to observe and help with court dockets, hearings, and trials.



2015 Fellowship Recipients

Thanks to the generous support of the UT Law and Austin legal community, TLF will be able to fund forty-one of our summer fellowship candidates this year! We’re pleased to announce the following recipients:

TLF 2015 Recipients

Named Fellowships

“The Abbott and Leslie Sprague Family Foundation Fellowship”

Kelly Hill – 2l – Institute of Museum and Library Services

“The American Constitution Society Fellowship”

Daniel Benowitz – 1L – American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

“The Angela K. Littwin Fellowship”

Bennett Moss – 1L – Antitrust Section of the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General of Texas

“The Hispanic Bar Association of Austin Fellowships”

Pamela Nickell – 2L – Kids In Need of Defense

Eddy Perez – Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Texas Charter School Association

Scott Weaver – 1L – American Gateways

“The Jordan M Steiker Fellowship”

Karly Jo Dixon – 1L – Texas Defender Service

“The McKool Smith Fellowship”

Thomas Dannehy – 1L – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

“The Texas Journal on Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Fellowship”


“The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law Fellowship”

Daniel Hung – 1L – Texas Railroad Commission

“The Texas Law Review Fellowship”

David Goode – 1L – Department of Justice, Environmental and Natural Resources Division


Unnamed Fellowships

Glenn Adkins – 1L – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Hunter Barker – 1L – Texas Attorney General’s Office

Colette Billings – 1L – Orange County Department of Education, Schools Legal Services

Emily Cohen – 2L – Dallas District Attorney’s Office and Collin County District Attorney’s Office

Katelin Cox – 1L – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

Hannah Dyal – 1L – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Amanda Fullerton – 1L – Workers Defense Project

Vanessa Garza – 1L – South Texas Civil Rights Project

Meghan Hennessy – 1L – Orange Country District Attorney’s Office

Elizabeth Hughes – 1L – Travis Country District Attorney’s Office

Vishal Iyer – 1L – Office of Capital Writs

Jared Janes – 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Emily Kirby – 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Merritt Lander – 1L – Institute for Justice

Erika López – 1L – Sacramento District Attorney’s Office

Alexandra Manatou – 2L – American Civil Liberties Union of Texas

Meredith Morse – 2L – Texas Defender Service

Alexcis Nell – 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Gita Pathak – 1L – Legal Aid Society of Orange County

Kristina Pekkala – 1L – U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas

Chase Porter – 2L – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid

Loura Proske – 1L – Dallas County Public Defender’s Office

Shadi Rafeedie 1L – Fort Bend District Attorney’s Office

Taylor Raymond – 1L – Disability Rights Texas

Miryea Ayala – 1L – Texas Attorney General’s Office

Alysha Seroussi – 2L – Public Defender Service of D.C.

Coco Sprague – 1L – Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas

Hollie Sumrall – 2L – Harris County District Attorney’s Office

Jonathan Turner – 1L – California Attorney General’s Office: Employment and Administrative Mandate Section

Claire Vaho – 2L – Texas Civil Rights Project

Margaret Wittenmyer – 1L – Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office

2015 TLF Application Information Sessions

The TLF application will be available next week on March 9th. TLF will host three information sessions throughout the application period to provide guidelines for applicants and to answer any questions about the applications.

Information Sessions:
March 10th, 12pm-1pm, TNH 2.140
March 12th, 12pm-1pm, TNH 2.140
March 24th, 12pm-1pm, TNH 2.139

How to vote for TLF Candidates

  1. To vote, please click on the Donate.
  2. You can pay with an existing PayPal account, or with any major credit card.
  3. Once you have contributed $25 or more, you will automatically be directed to the voting page.
  4. The list of TLF Candidates is available on the voting page.
  5. You can vote for up to 6 TLF Candidates.

If you have any questions, email us at Thank you for supporting the good work of our Texas Law Fellows!