Two Alumni Chosen for Equal Justice Works Fellowships
JUNE 13, 2009—Two recent Law School graduates, Luke Grundman ('09) and Carmen O'Halloran ('08), have been named recipients of 2009 Equal Justice Works fellowships, to begin in September and last for two years.
Grundman will work with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis in the areas of affordable housing and microfinance, human rights, and consumer rights. His fellowship is sponsored by the family of Hyman Edelman; Leonard, Street and Deinard; and the Allen and Linda Saeks Family Foundation.
O'Halloran will work with Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance in Minneapolis in the areas of immigrant populations and children and youth. Her fellowship is sponsored by Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.
Equal Justice Works is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986 by law students from 14 law schools to expand legal services for underserved populations and increase opportunities in the field of public interest. It now has nearly 200 law school members and is the nation's largest postgraduate legal fellowship program.
In applying for a fellowship, law school graduates must present a project proposal for a nonprofit organization that has agreed to host them if they are selected. Sponsors recommend candidates on the basis of project proposals, experience, and other criteria that complement pro bono interests.
In his project, Grundman intends to use policy advocacy, direct representation, and litigation to further fair housing goals and prevent the predatory practices of the past as governmental entities begin purchasing foreclosed properties and restoring them for rent or resale.
O'Halloran's project focuses on Somali youth in Minnesota, many of whom have come from a background of war and have entered the country without proper immigration measures. She plans to secure their immigration status through education, community collaboration, and direct representation.
Hundreds of capable and dedicated law school graduates apply to Equal Justice Works each year for support in pursuing their public interest aspirations. For 2009, it bestowed 46 public interest fellowships. Grundman is grateful to his sponsors for giving him the opportunity to address fair housing, "an area of great need," he says. "I could not have designed a better conclusion to my education at the University of Minnesota Law School, or a better beginning to a career in public interest law."