Biographies of 2013 Summer Fellows

Micah Stein – Cleary Gottlieb Fellow

Micah Stein is a first-year Harvard Law student from Cleveland, Ohio. He is an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, and a member of the Tenant Advocacy Program and the Jewish Law Students Association. Micah graduated from Yeshiva University in 2011 with a major in economics. He previously worked as a Fellow at the Tikvah Fund, researching contemporary economic issues in Israel, and as a freelance journalist, writing for The Daily Beast, Tablet Magazine, and the Jerusalem Post. Before attending college, Micah served in the 92nd Samson Brigade of the Israeli Defense Force. He is interested in the fields of administrative law and immigration policy and excited to join the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic this summer!

Micah Stein is HIRC’s Summer 2013 Cleary Gottlieb Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Fellow. His invaluable work with representing Clinic clients is generously supported through the contributions of attorneys at Cleary Gottlieb.

Lily Axelrod

Lily Axelrod is a rising 2L at Harvard Law School.  Inspired by her grandmother’s flight from anti-Semitic violence in Eastern Europe, Lily’s mission is to make the United States a more welcoming and fair place for newcomers. She is involved in the Harvard Immigration Project, a student practice organization that promotes immigrants’ rights through legal services and policy advocacy in collaboration with community organizations.  She also serves as a Review Editor of the Harvard Latino Law Review, Community Outreach Chair of Harvard Law Students for Reproductive Justice, and Business Manager for the Scales of Justice a cappella group.

Lily earned her B.A. from Brown University in 2009, with dual concentrations in Public Policy and Latin American Studies.  At Brown, she worked with student and community organizations to promote the rights of immigrants and workers. Following an interdisciplinary program on grassroots development and social change in Mexico, she conducted a study of civic participation among returned migrants in Mexico City, and lived with a Zapatista community in Chiapas as a human rights observer. After graduation, Lily participated in a University of Mississippi research project on community responses to natural disasters, while taking graduate courses in spatial analysis and political science. She then served as a full-time community organizer for the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, where she collaborated with civil rights, faith and labor organizations to combat anti-immigrant legislation and policing.  Before coming to law school, she assisted immigrants with employment-based visa and green card applications as a paralegal at Siskind Susser PC, an immigration law firm in Memphis, Tennessee.

It is an honor for Lily to contribute to HIRC’s asylum cases this summer. She also looks forward to supporting detained immigrants with criminal charges and convictions through HIRC’s new Crimmigration Clinic in the fall semester.

Isabelle Sauriol

A soon-to-be L.L.B. graduate from the University of Montreal, Isabelle Sauriol discovered immigration law in the course of her studies and was instantly drawn to its unique blend of politics, and administrative and international law. She was also attracted by the opportunity it offers to help people who are survivors of torture and violence in taking their first steps in a democratic country. While in law school, Isabelle interned at the NGO Actions Réfugiés Montréal, where she visited detained immigrants and refugees weekly to provide them with information on their rights and on available legal resources. Isabelle was also an intern at Bertrand, Deslauriers LLP, a Montreal firm specializing in immigration law. In her spare time, the former journalism student is a blogger for the Embassy of the Republic of Korea and a passionate globe-trotter.   

Kayla Zecher

In 2009, upon completion of mandatory military service in Israel, Kayla joined the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) in Washington, D.C. as an intern on immigration and refugee policy. There, she focused on refugee resettlement, U.S. immigration reform, and gender-based violence as a weapon in war-torn areas.  In 2010, after returning to Israel, she joined ATZUM-Task Force on Human Trafficking (TFHT) as Projects Coordinator, working on legislative support and educational initiatives against human trafficking. Kayla also worked with the African Refugee Development Center (ARDC) in south Tel Aviv as the Higher Education Projects Coordinator, developing academic and vocational training programs for refugees from Eritrea, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast. Kayla began her law studies in 2011 at the Academic Center for Law & Business in Ramat Gan, focusing on immigration law and human rights law. In addition to continuing her work on the Task Force over this past year, Kayla worked at Attorney Yonatan Berman’s Refugee Clinic, where she represented trafficked Eritrean women and worked on the recent Israeli Supreme Court case concerning the Anti-Infiltration Law.

With little support from the Israeli government, which has a 0.17% asylum acceptance rate and most often refers to asylum seekers as “infiltrators,” almost all legal and humanitarian aid is provided by NGOs and a small group of lawyers certified in refugee law. Kayla is attending law school, because despite all of the challenges, she believes that the law is one of the only ways to bring about serious change for refugees residing in Israel.

Chris Zheng – Liman Summer Fellow

Chris is a rising senior at Yale College, majoring in Ethics, Politics and Economics. An international student from Shanghai, China, Chris’ interest in immigration law stemmed from his childhood experiences living in the United States. Having returned to the United States on his own for college, he identifies deeply with both first and second generation immigrants. He is particularly interested in the lives of Asian immigrants, and questions of citizenship, identity and belonging.

At Yale, Chris served as President of Chinese undergraduate student organization. He writes a bi-weekly column for the Yale Daily News, where he often comments on social and political issues in China, as well as international student life in the United States. He also writes occasionally for Tea Leaf Nation, an emerging e-magazine on China.

As a Liman Summer Fellow, Chris’ work at HIRC is generously supported by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, coordinated by Yale Law School.