2020 Human Rights Center Fellows
This year, seventeen fellows working with high-impact organizations to defend rights of refugees, immigrants, gendered violence, racial discrimination, educational advocacy, implications of counter-terrorism, women’s rights, extradition of fugitives, armed conflict, and many more important issues pertaining to human rights.
Cooper Christiancy (2L)
Oxford University & UCLA’s Promise Institute
Cooper Christiancy is a rising 3L at the University of Minnesota Law School. At UMN Law, his studies focus on immigration law, LGBTQ+ legal issues, and international human rights law. He is a Student Director for the Human Rights Litigation and International Clinic and a Senior Articles Editor for Volume 105 of the Minnesota Law Review. Last year, he spent the summer working with the Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis through a Human Rights Fellowship. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018 with degrees in Global Studies and Communication Studies.
The Human Rights Center’s summer funding has allowed Cooper to secure research fellowships with professors at Oxford University and UCLA’s Promise Institute. In these projects, Cooper will work on projects involving gendered violence and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, as well as research on the intersection between human rights scholarship and international law prohibiting racial discrimination and xenophobia. Cooper is most excited to bring experiences and insights from these fellowships to his work with professors and UMN clinics.
Joshua Cottle (2L)
Equal Justice Society
Josh grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, before making the long trek to the Midwest for the past six years. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa, where he majored in Physics and Economics before coming to law school at the University of Minnesota. Josh is interested in pursuing a legal career that engages the areas of criminal justice reform, economic inequality, and education policy.
This summer, Josh will be working at the Equal Justice Society, located in Oakland, California. The Equal Justice Society seeks broaden conceptions of present-day discrimination to include unconscious and structural bias by using social science, structural analysis, and real-life experience. Currently, the Equal Justice Society targets its advocacy efforts on school discipline, special education, and the school-to-prison pipeline, race-conscious remedies, and inequities in the criminal justice system.
Jay Ettinger (2L)
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights - Special Procedures
Born and raised in southern Minnesota, Jay Ettinger developed his interest in international affairs as an undergraduate student at the University of Southern California where he studied Business Administration. While at USC he had the opportunity to work in Shanghai, China as a USC Global Fellow and study abroad in Budapest, Hungry. After graduating he worked for three years as a District Manager for the German grocer ALDI before attending the University of Minnesota to pursue his interests in the law and international human rights
As a law student Jay has sought out opportunities to engage in areas of international law. His experiences include the opportunity to serve Professor Ní Aoláin as a Research Assistant in her role as a U.N. Special Rapporteur and his role as an Articles Editor for the Minnesota Journal of International Law. This summer Jay will be interning with Special Procedures in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. In this role he will be reviewing, researching, and drafting responses to complaints filed by individuals experiencing human rights abuses. He will also be drafting legal commentary on the human rights implications of national counter-terrorism legislation
Sydney Goggins (1L)
Center for Disability and Elder Law
Sydney grew up in Minnesota and graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. While studying in Chicago, Sydney worked at Voice of the People where she promoted quality, safe, and affordable housing for low-income families. That initial internship led to further opportunities to help marginalized communities in the city of Chicago and abroad. She provided pro bono legal services in Panama and worked on a project focused on systemic discrimination in the EU while in Germany. In law school, Sydney has continued to develop her passion for human rights through volunteering at WATCH and acting as the 1L representative for the Women’s Law Student Association
This summer, Sydney will be working with the Center for Disability and Elder Law serving low income elderly and disabled folks in Chicago. They provide pro bono legal assistance in a wide range of legal issues including adult guardianship, estate planning, eviction, elder abuse, and tenant issues. Sydney will conduct client intakes and work with a supervising attorney to aid clients with their legal issues. Sydney is excited to work with this incredible non-profit doing hands on human rights work
Adam Green (2L)
Sugar Law Center
Adam is initially from the Detroit area where he developed a passion for public interest work while working as a volunteer debate coach for inner city high school students in Detroit. He is excited to give back to his hometown during a pandemic which has ravaged the community. Adam has developed a passion for employment and labor law during law school as well, and is excited to develop his skills advocating for workers’ justice throughout his career.
Adam will be spending the summer at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice in Detroit, MI. At the Sugar Law Center, Adam will be principally engaged in support of litigation and public advocacy initiatives on wage theft, workplace discrimination, unrepresented workers’ rights, unemployment insurance, and constitutional rights issues. He will also undertake client intakes and public outreach/community engagement assignments, along with factual development, research, and investigation in support of litigation and public advocacy campaigns
Caleb Harrison (2L)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Prior to law school, Caleb spent a number of years researching and teaching moral, social, and political philosophy in North Carolina. Prior to that, he earned a B.A. in Philosophy and International Development at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Prior to that, he bounced around North America, playing hockey in Texas, California, British Columbia, and his home state of Alaska. When he is not doing assorted legal tasks, he and his spouse are chasing around their toddler and doggo, exploring the bike paths and parks that the Twin Cities have to offer.
As a Human Rights Fellow this summer, Caleb will intern at the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, and work with detained immigrants to advocate for their civil and political rights. He will be researching legal issues affecting detainees in the Minnesota and the Eighth Circuit, drafting court documents, and assisting with impact litigation strategy development
Ingrid Hofeldt (1L)
Women’s Justice Institute
Ingrid is a 1L, originally hailing from Dayton, Ohio. She moved to Minnesota to earn her BA in Sociology/Anthropology from Carleton College. In college, she interned for a Lakota language nonprofit, captained the mock trial team, and completed a sociological study on the legal consciousness of rape crisis center legal advocates for her senior thesis. After graduating, she completed a Weitz Fellowship at the Women’s Fund of Omaha, where she delved into policy and community systems work around sexual assault, domestic violence, and trafficking.
This summer, Ingrid will be interning at the Women’s Justice Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit creating prison policy, working to decrease the number of incarcerated women in Illinois, and writing trauma-informed policies and procedures for Illinois correctional facilities. Ingrid is excited to engage in policy work again and explore her passion at the intersection of sexual violence and the criminal justice system
Lucy Holland (2L)
Lucy is a member of the Class of 2021 at University of Minnesota Law School. She is an active board member of If/When/How. Before attending law school, Lucy graduated from the University of Michigan with a double major in political science and women’s studies. She has worked in progressive and nonprofit organizations since that time, with a particular focus on reproductive health.
Lucy will spend her summer working with Gender Justice in St. Paul, Minnesota. Gender Justice is a nonprofit 501(c)3 legal and policy advocacy organization that often represents individuals in legal cases brought under federal civil rights statutes like Title VII, Title IX, as well as state statutes like the Minnesota Human Rights Act
Haille Laws (1L)
Department of Justice - Office of International Affairs (OIA)
Haille grew up in Wisconsin but has been living in the Twin Cities long enough to say she is from Minnesota. As an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, she received a BA in Political Science and minors in both Psychology and Spanish. As an undergraduate, Haille’s dedication to public service and to the legal profession was demonstrated by her work for womenwinning, Rumiñahui Asociacion, Minnesota Senator Sandra Pappas, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, LLP, all of which took her to places from Madrid, Spain to Washington, D.C., where she was able to learn how the private, nonprofit, and government sectors work together to affect their communities and create change
This summer, Haille will be working for the Department of Justice in their Office of International Affairs (OIA). The OIA works on the extradition and removal of fugitives, international prisoner transfer, international evidence gathering, giving legal advice to DOJ leadership and prosecutors, and international relations and treaty matters. She hopes to expand her knowledge of international relations and to begin to translate this experience into a career in human rights and humanitarian law
Allison Maybee (2L)
The Advocates for Human Rights - Refugee and Immigrant Rights
Allison grew up in Iowa and graduated from Wartburg College with a degree in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies. She spent a semester in Israel/Palestine studying peace and conflict. This sparked her passion for working with those in detention and immigrants or displaced persons. Before law school, Allison interned with the immigration departments of Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines and Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. This gave her the opportunity to work with refugees during their first 90 days in the U.S. and later on in the immigration process. Last summer, Allison interned with the EOIR Bloomington Immigration Court. This year, Allison was a student attorney with the Detainee Rights Clinic at the University of Minnesota. She will continue with the Detainee Rights Clinic next year as a student director
This summer, Allison will be working with the Advocates for Human Rights’ Refugee and Immigrant Program through the Cooper Fellowship. She will assist in providing legal services for low-income immigrants and refugees. She is excited for this opportunity to continue exploring her passion for working with immigrant communities
Cayli Posch (1L)
The Advocates for Human Rights
Cayli decided to go to law school to work in human rights and immigration. For the past two years she has participated in the Asylum Law Project, first as a trip leader as a 1L and as the President as a 2L. Cayli also enrolled in the Federal Immigration Litigation Clinic and will return 3L year as a student director. In undergrad, Cayli studied English Literature and Spanish Language and Literature. She was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to study abroad in Spain
The Cooper Fellowship is the perfect opportunity to dive headfirst into work on immigration and human rights. Cayli is thrilled to be working at the Advocates for Human Rights as that has always been a dream for her
Rae Sansonetti (2L)
New York County Defender Services
Before law school, Rae studied Fiction Writing and Communication Rhetoric at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating college, she took two years off from school and worked at jobs focused on inner city education and after school programs. She came to law school to pursue a job in public interest and human rights – specifically public defense. During her 1L summer, she worked as a law clerk at the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office and continued working there until May 2020. She will return to the office in the Fall
This summer Rae will be working at the New York County Defender Services (NYCDS) – one of three Manhattan public defense organizations. NYCDS addresses human rights issues surrounding mass incarceration and advocates for its clients in criminal and civil matters. The office also employs social workers who help clients successfully reenter society and immigration attorneys who help clients navigate ICE check-ins and negotiate immigration-safe pleas. This summer, she will research novel legal questions pertaining to these unprecedented times, participate in emergency applications for clients, interview clients who have been recently arrested, and participate in continuing legal education courses with the attorneys in the office. Although all the work this summer will be remote, Rae is honored to have this opportunity and is looking forward to learning how a different public defense office operates and collaborating with attorneys who are working tirelessly to preserve their clients’ rights during a pandemic
Katie Smith (1L)
International Institute of Humanitarian Law - UMN Grand Challenges Project
Katie came to the University of Minnesota Law School after earning a B.A. in Political Science and Law at UW-Parkside and an M.A. in International Politics from City University London. She also worked for a large non-profit in London for several years before moving to Minneapolis and teaching high school. She has always been interested in international law and advocacy and decided to come to law school to further pursue these interests
This summer, Katie will be a research assistant on a project focused on the laws of armed conflict. This project is partnered with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law and several other organizations that provide training and instruction in the laws of armed conflict. She is excited to learn more about the laws of war and the current issues in this field
Grace Swindler (1L)
New York City Department of Social Services - Support and Lien Recovery Litigation Unit
Grace was raised in Washington State and attended the University of South Carolina, where she majored in economics and marketing. In college, she studied the link between human rights and economics. After graduation, Grace worked at an all-girls school in India and learned more about international labor law. She witnessed how employment choices, family structure, and education level often determined one’s economic opportunities. This experience confirmed her desire to attend law school.
This summer, Grace will be interning with the New York City Department of Social Services in the Support and Lien Recovery Litigation Unit (“SLRLU”). The SLRLU works primarily with child support, guardianships, and estates. She will be working with attorneys preparing legal documents and conducting legal research. Grace is excited to spend the summer working with the DSS and learning how to support individual rights. She expects to use this knowledge to further her human rights career.
Mehmet Turkoglu (LLM)
The Advocates for Human Rights - Refugee and Immigrant Rights
Mr. Turkoglu earned his legal degree at the Istanbul University Faculty of Law. He is currently pursuing an LL.M. degree at the University of Minnesota Law School. In Turkey, he was a volunteer lawyer at the Istanbul Bar Association Human rights Center. After practicing as a lawyer, he became a teaching assistant at the Suleyman Demirel University in the Public Law department. Before attending the University of Minnesota Law School, Mr. Turkoglu was an intern at the Advocates for Human Rights (ADHR) international justice department. As an intern, He worked on two human rights reports regarding Turkey’s human rights country condition for the UN Universal Periodic Review. After attending the law school, he participated with the Asylum Law Project and went to Austin, TX. He helped detained persons for their ‘credible fear interview’ with the asylum office. Further, he was an intern at the ADHR refugee and immigrant department for the spring semester 2020. During his time working there, He helped to draft legal documents and worked on some research projects regarding the clients’ asylum cases. Also, He was working with Prof. Cosette Creamer on the European Court of Human Rights.
As a Human Rights Center Fellow and recipient of the Eftekhari Fellowship this summer, Mehmet will be working at the Advocates for Human Rights with its international justice department and refugee and immigration program. He will be writing on Iran human rights country condition, particularly death penalty issue along with promoting human rights advocacy campaigns and providing legal assistance.
John Weber (1L)
Research Fellow for Professor Creamer with the University of Minnesota & Professor Payne of Oxford
John came to University of Minnesota Law School after graduating from Florida State University with a B.S. in International Affairs and History. During that time, he became interested in international and human rights law volunteering in Tallahassee with organizations advocating against human trafficking and in Argentina on a project spreading awareness of human rights issues.This experience led him to pursue a career in law and come to Minnesota
This summer John was originally planning to work for the Hungarian Helsinki Committee in Budapest, with their team focused on refugees and migrant issues. With the travel restrictions surrounding COVID-19 he will be a research fellow for UMN Professor Cosette Creamer’s Embattled Battlefield Instruction project, working to map and analyze fragmentation in Law of Armed Conflict training. He will also be working on a study that will analyze the effectiveness transitional justice mechanisms in relation to gender-based and sexual violence with Professor Leigh Payne of Oxford
Angela Whicher (1L)
Shelby County Public Defender
Angela grew up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Legal Studies and Psychology and a certificate in Criminal Justice. Prior to attending law school, Angela spent two years working as the Clinical Research Supervisor of a research lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms underlying a number of factors that relate to criminal behavior, specifically psychopathy, in the Wisconsin prison system. During her undergraduate years, Angela developed a passion for criminal defense law and interned at the Wisconsin Public Defender and Wisconsin Innocence Project.
This summer, Angela will be remotely interning for the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender in Memphis, Tennessee. She will have the opportunity to assist in all aspects of the SCPD’s work, including working on legal research and writing, attending legal training skills sessions, participating in courtroom observation, working on independent projects, interacting with clients via phone calls and video conferencing, and attending various speaker sessions.