2006 TLF Candidates
1. Karla Vargas – ACLU of Texas, Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellow
I will work with the ACLU based project of an Ira Glasser Racial Justice Fellow whose work
addresses national issues of immigration on the US – Mexico border. I’ll monitor human rights
violations and vigilantism on the border; will conduct legal research on pending national anti-
immigrant legislation and the constitutionality of legislation countering the aforementioned.
2. Roxanne Tizvaresh – ACLU of Texas, Police Accountablity Project
The PAP seeks to combat police misconduct, hold errant officers accountable, and reform police
policy through litigation, legislation and public education. T he ACLU of Texas stands at the
forefront of these efforts and is a worthy investment because of its role as an advocate of
3. Katie Karam – ACLU of Texas, Prison and Jail Accountability Project
I will work under the supervision of the ACLU of Texas Legal Director on general legal matters
and be assigned to the Prison and Jail Accountability Project. Over the summer I will work on
projects specifically aimed at reducing prison rape, demanding adequate medical care for the
incarcerated, and curbing jail over-crowding.
4. Amanda Traphagan – Advocacy, Inc.
I will work at the Central Texas regional office, located in Austin, for Advocacy, Inc., an
organization that provides legal services to people with disabilities. I will conduct research and
assist in the preparation of motions, pleadings, and other documents, and also assist in advising
clients, primarily in the areas of education and employment law.
5. Elise Harriger – Amnesty International USA
Today, over half the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. I
will work with the death penalty division of Amnesty International, which works for clemency
on individual death penalty cases and supports state and federal legislation that seeks to limit the
application of the death penalty.
6. Andrew Biberstein – CAIR Coalition
I will be working with Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition in Washington, DC.
Since this is the only organization in the area working with individuals detained by immigration
authorities, there is a great need for this type of legal services. Involvement in the clients' cases
will utilize my background in foreign languages and cultures to provide essential services.
7. Kalani Hawks – Casa Alianza
I will be working in the legal aid department of Casa Alianza in Mexico City. I will help to
ensure due process for child victims, assist with document issuance to ensure the child’s right to
a legal identity, organize workshops on the rights of children, and aid in research promoting
change in the legal framework in benefit of all Mexican children.
8. Christie E. Turner – Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services of DC
At Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services, I will be working directly with poor
and indigent foreign-born clients in downtown Washington, DC. My work will focus primarily
on asylum cases, in which I will assist in defending the legal rights of individuals who have fled
persecution or human rights abuses in their home countries and are seeking refuge in the U.S.
9. Melissa Lopez – Catholic Charities of Dallas, Immigration & Legal Services
As a law clerk, I will be interviewing clients, helping clients fill out their applications for legal
immigration status, preparing briefs and motions, and representing clients in Immigration Court. ILS
assists women who have been the victims of domestic violence, families with some members with legal
status and others not, and people facing deportation, as well as many others.
10. Susan Kelly – Catholic Charities of Dallas, Immigration & Legal Services
I would appreciate TLF support for my participation in the Catholic Charities of Dallas,
Immigration & Legal Services clerkship program. This program offers practical training in all
stages of the immigration process, from consultations to representations in immigration court,
which will provide valuable experience in a field in which I would like to ultimately pursue.
11. Jennifer James, Colorado Attorney General's Office, State Services Section
This summer I will be working at the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. The division I will be
working in protects children from becoming victims of child abuse. We handle appeals from
convicted child abusers, and we investigate and shut down day care centers that are abusive or
neglectful of children.
12. Kevin Eide – D.C. Public Defender Service, Civil Legal Services Division
This summer I plan to work with the Civil Legal Services Division of the Public Defender
Service for the District of Columbia. I will be working with the Special Education Advocates
unit, which works to ensure that the educational needs of students in the juvenile delinquency
system are met.
13. Vivek Kothari – D.C. Public Defender Service, Civil Legal Services Division
I will be working with the DC Public Defender Service to address the issues that children in the
delinquency system face that often hinder their successful reintegration into the community. In
particular, I will be working to help disabled children secure alternative educational programs as
mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
14. Shirley Horng – D.C. Public Defender Service, Special Litigation Division
The Public Defender Service stands for the essential propositions that everyone has a right to
counsel and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. The Special Litigation Division files civil
rights lawsuits on behalf of indigent clients to attack systemic violations of fundamental rights. I
am eager to join the Special Litigation Division in the pursuit of fairer trials and equal justice.
15. Christine Rhodes – U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Organized Crime &
The internship in the US Department of Justice’s RICO section in D.C. grants the opportunity for
extensive research and writing on a variety of issues pertaining to federal criminal procedure and
law, evidence, labor law, RICO, sentencing, legislative, and policy matters. The interns also
attend a brown bag luncheon with the US Attorney General and visit federal prisons.
16. Sarah P. Steward – Texas Fair Defense Project
Right to counsel is a fundamental principle of the American criminal justice system. Far too
often, poor defendants in Texas charged with misdemeanors or released on felony bond are
denied appointment of counsel through the practice of indefinite delay. I will research this
problem in order to support the litigation efforts of the Texas Fair Defense Project.
17. Annelies Lottman – International Consortium for Law and Diplomacy
In the Peace Corps I learned that lasting development must come from within a society, not be
imposed from the outside. As an intern with ICLAD I will do research and develop materials that
will impact lawmakers in developing countries worldwide and provide the tools needed to create
laws that will positively affect the lives of vulnerable people.
18. Clay Fulghum – International Justice Mission
IJM is an international human rights agency that offers free legal services to victims of violence,
sexual exploitation, slavery and other forms of injustice in the developing world. As an intern at
the Washington DC office, I will support IJM’s casework abroad by preparing legal memos on
country-specific laws, as well as intervention reports for submission to local authorities.
19. Laura Pena, Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF)
My internship at the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) will focus on civil
rights litigation and policy dockets in the areas of education, immigration, employment, and
political access. MALDEF is the leading nonprofit Latino litigation and education outreach
institution in the U.S.
20. Paul Sebastian Di Blasi - Oficina Legal del Pueblo Unido South Texas Project
The South Texas Project of OLPU works to extend equal rights to all of the residents of the Rio
Grande Valley, as well as improving their living and working conditions. This summer I will
conduct legal research and writing on substantive civil rights issues such as police brutality,
disability discrimination, gender equity, and free expression.
21. Melissa Arong – Political Asylum Project of Austin
The Political Asylum Project of Austin (PAPA) provides immigration services to a client base
representing approximately 75 countries. I will conduct client intake and case research for those
seeking asylum from religious, ethnic, and political persecution in their homelands, as well as for
immigrant detainees in need of adequate legal representation.
22. Rachel Silverman – Texas Appleseed
I will be working on legal issues surrounding hurricane survivors, juvenile justice, mental health,
and mental retardation. I would appreciate the opportunity to help those in need. I would enjoy
the invaluable experience of being involved in the improvement of society through my work with
23. Marissa Marquez – Texas CASA
I am continuing my mission this summer: being a voice for abused and neglected children. While
working at Texas CASA, I will research legal issues on managing and creating non-profit
organizations in in order to help establish more CASA programs in Texas. I will provide many
voices for many abused and neglected children.
24. Jennifer Ferri – Texas Center for Actual Innocence
I will be working with the Texas Center for Actual Innocence to continue an on-going research
and writing project regarding the legal mechanisms used in cases in which inmates convicted of
felonies were later exonerated by proof of actual innocence.
25. Stefanie Collins – Texas Civil Rights Project
I plan to work at the Texas Civil Rights Project this summer with the help of a stipend from TLF. As a
summer law clerk at TCRP, I will be doing real hands-on legal work in the area of civil rights and
liberties, assisting the Project in its work of protecting and promoting the civil rights and liberties of all
26. Gabrielle Stokes – Texas Defender Service
The U.S. Supreme Court has openly criticized the Texas criminal justice system for providing
inadequate legal representation for death row inmates. In the modern death penalty era, 1/3 of all
US executions have occurred in Texas. TDS helps to improve the quality of representation
provided for Texans on death row. This summer, I will assist TDS in their mission.
27. Shelly Chattopadhyay – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) – Eagle Pass Office
I will be working at TRLA to 1) help protect farm-workers’ rights, 2) assist in Colonias
litigation, 3) aid in family law cases concerning domestic and sexual abuse, and 4) provide legal
support to attorneys on cases concerning a wide range of other civil legal matters. My work will
help bring social justice and awareness to people and to areas of the law that are often ignored.
28. Amber VanSchuyver – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA)- Edinburg Office
I will be working at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid to 1) help survivors of domestic abuse, 2)
investigate border rights violations, and 3) resolve immigration issues. With about 150,000
people qualifying for TRLA’s services in this area my work this summer will provide needed
legal assistance to low income individuals that otherwise would be turned away.
29. Radney H. Wood – United Nations Development Program (UNDP)
I will be working at the United Nations Development Program in Beirut under legal counsel and
prominent Lebanese public interest lawyer Ziyad Baroud helping to promote political
participation in under-represented groups. I will learn how to use the legal system to build a
robust civil society and help enfranchise those groups that are marginalized by society.
30. Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch – Women’s Advocacy Project, Texas Justice Initiative
The Texas Justice Initiative provides legal efforts that serve victims of domestic violence and
sexual assault, including protective orders and enhanced use of the appellate process in cases
interpreting domestic violence statutes. My tasks will include researching test cases for appeal
and assisting battered women and sexual assault victims in their legal efforts toward justice.
31. Dierdre Ewing – Women’s Advocacy Project, Family Violence Civil Program
I will do family law work for survivors of domestic violence.
32. Alanna Mae Bitzel – Women’s Advocacy Project, Teen Justice Initiative (TJI)
Dating violence is an epidemic. Nationally, 1 in 3 teens experiences relationship abuse; in
Austin, 48% of teens know someone who is or has been in a violent relationship. Winning a TLF
to work with TJI, the only program in Texas providing legal services to teen dating violence
survivors, will enable me to provide life-saving education and legal services to Austin youth.