Introducing Palmer Lawrence, and Looking Back on Past HIRC Fellows and Attorneys

We’re excited to introduce HIRC’s newest research fellow!

Palmer Lawrence is a 2013 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School. During law school she interned for the Executive Office of Immigration Review, Human Rights Watch, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Regional Bureau for Africa, Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Aid, and Legal Aid of Cambodia. She received the Michigan Program in Refugee and Asylum Law Fellowship and participated in the drafting of The Michigan Guidelines on the Exclusion of International Criminals at the Sixth Colloquium on Challenges in International Refugee Law. Originally from Augusta, GA, she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and sociology from Emory University in 2009.

Palmer will contribute to the new version of Professor Anker’s treatise, Law of Asylum in the United States.

Throughout the years, HIRC has had the fortune of hosting many extraordinary fellows and attorneys. As we welcome Palmer, this blog post will take a look back on these amazing individuals and their invaluable contributions to the Clinic.

Clinical and Advocacy Fellow, Lecturer on Law and Associate Director (2008-2009)

Matt Muller (2006-2008)

Most recently, Matt has worked as an Immigrants’ Rights Attorney at Kerosky, Purves & Bogue, a San Francisco law firm.

From 2006-2008, Matthew was a Clinical and Advocacy Fellow at HIRC. In 2008-09, he managed the Clinic as Associate Director during Professor Anker’s sabbatical. During his time at HIRC, Matt trained and supervised law students in their representation of clients, set up the Harvard site of the Clinic, and taught the Immigration and Refugee Advocacy seminar.

Matt first began working on immigration cases in 2002. He has worked with several non-profit organizations, including Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and the International Institute of Boston.

During his time at Harvard Law School, Matt joined the Legal Aid Bureau and was elected to its Board of Directors. He served as an editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal and worked in the Massachusetts courts as a state-certified mediator.

Matt graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis. Prior to college, Matt enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in several countries and completed various diplomatic and humanitarian missions.

Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching and Advocacy Fellows

Eunice Lee (2009-2011)

Eunice is currently an anthropology grad student at UC Berkeley. In the summer of 2012, she served as the Visiting Academic Supervisor at ORAM, a Bay Area NGO that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity.  Formerly, she was an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Immigrants’ Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, NY.

Eunice received her B.A. from Stanford University with honors and distinction and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was named the 2006 Reinhardt Scholar for Public Interest Law. As a law student, Eunice was co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal and submissions committee editor of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. She also served as student director of the Immigration Legal Services Clinic, student director of the Orville H. Schell Center for International Human Rights, and co-chair of the Pacific Islander/Asian/Native American Students’ Association. After graduating from law school, Eunice clerked for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Jean Han (2007-2009)

Before working as a Supervising Attorney at Ayuda, a non-profit organization in Washington D.C. that serves low-income immigrants, Jean worked at the Clinic from 2007-2009. At Ayuda, she continues to focus on asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. Before coming to the Clinic, she worked at Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC.

Jean is a 2006 graduate of Yale Law School and holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Harvard College. At Yale, she was a student director for the Immigration Legal Services clinic. When Jean came back to Harvard to work for the Clinic, she also served as the chaired the Pre-Law Committee at Lowell House.

Jean is a member of the Board of Directors of the Refugee Reunification Project. In the past, she has also served on the Board of Advisors of the Esperanza Education Fund, an immigration status-blind college scholarship for immigrant students in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Research Fellow

Laura Fontaine (2008-2009)

Laura is currently an associate at Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank LLP in Dallas, focusing on general commercial litigation and bankruptcy litigation. Before joining Gruber Hurst, she was an associate with the Dallas office of Vinson & Elkins.

After graduating Harvard Law School in 2008, she served as a clerk for the Honorable Vanessa L. Bryant of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. She worked at HIRC as a Research Fellow at the conclusion of her clerkship, and contributed to the 2011 edition of Professor Anker’s treatise, Law of Asylum in the United States.

She also serves on the Judiciary Committee of the Dallas Bar Association.

Catherine Birdwell (2012-2013)

Catherine Birdwell worked with the Clinic as an Immigration and Refugee Research Fellow, focusing on the 2013 edition of Professor Anker’s treatise, the Law of Asylum. While in law school, she developed a passion for immigration and refugee advocacy while working with immigration law firms and non-profits in Texas and Washington, DC.  She received her B.A. from Rhodes College in International Studies and her J.D. from the Catholic University of America, cum laude.

Immigration & Refugee Advocates

Susham Modi (2009-2010)

Susham Modi is currently a Clinical Supervising Attorney at the University of Texas at Houston Law Center’s Immigration Clinic and founder of The Modi Law Firm, his own immigration law practice. He received a B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Texas at Arlington and a J.D. from Penn State. As a law student at Penn State, he was actively involved in Penn State’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights, and worked on complex immigration matters as a member of Holland & Knight’s Community Services Team.

Immediately prior to joining University of Houston Law, Susham worked as an advocate at HIRC. During his time at the Clinic, he worked on asylum, withholding of removal, Convention Against Torture (CAT) and U visa cases, supervised law students in the creation of “know-your-rights” materials for undocumented youth, assisted with a Second Circuit Court of Appeals amici curiae brief and assisted in preparing classroom materials and trainings for law students enrolled in the Immigration and Refugee Advocacy seminar.

Lauren Aronson (2011-2012)

While at HIRC, Lauren prepared asylum applications and VAWA petitions, and represented clients before the Asylum Office. She also conducted general immigration intakes. She assisted Professor Anker in revising the syllabus and selecting readings for the Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Seminar, and conducted research and performed editorial duties for the 2012 edition of Professor Anker’s treatise, Law of Asylum in the United States.

After her time at HIRC, Lauren worked at the National Immigrant Justice Center as a staff attorney for the Immigrant Children’s Protection Project and the Immigrant Legal Defense Project. At NIJC, she conducted Know Your Rights presentations for unaccompanied immigrant children, assessed their cases for eligibility and represented them in immigration court. She is currently the Immigration Clinic Teaching Fellow at the Michigan State University School of Law.

Lauren was a 2008 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and was admitted to the New York Bar in 2009. Lauren has a B.A. in English and Psychology from Rice University.

Cleary Gottlieb Fellows

Fatima Hassan 2012

Fatima Hassan is a third year student at HLS, where she is a student attorney with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau. She worked with HIRC as the Cleary Fellow during her 1L summer, and has remained active in HIP’s Bond Hearing Project. Prior to law school, Fatima tackled research projects focusing on how health and human rights intersect in conflict areas. As the Haas Center and Freeman Spogli International Public Service Fellow, she worked with the UN-led Global Protection Cluster in Geneva focusing on gender-based violence in humanitarian crises. She subsequently worked at the Center for Health Policy at Stanford University, focusing on child health in fragile states (Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria) and also with a philanthropic consultancy advising Fortune 500 clients and private donors. Fatima was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for her work in mobilizing the diaspora during the East Africa famine in 2011.

Fatima graduated in 2009 from Stanford University with degrees in Human Biology and African Studies. She served as President of the Muslim Student Awareness Network (MSAN) and as a staff member at the Women’s Community Center. She received the James W. Lyons Service Award in 2008 from Stanford.

Summer Moore-Estes 2011

Summer Moore-Estes worked as the Cleary Fellow in the summer of 2011. While a Cleary fellow, she drafted an amicus brief for the Board of Immigration Appeals and helped prepare clients for their asylum hearings. She also worked with clients in filing various documents with USCIS. After her fellowship, Summer spent two semesters at the Clinic – one placed at HLS, the other at GBLS – and was Co-President of the Harvard Immigration Project. She graduated in May 2013. She was awarded a Public Interest Venture Fund Fellowship to work with GBLS and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) after graduation.

Alison Davidian 2010

Alison was a 2010 L.L.M. graduate of Harvard Law School. She worked at HIRC at a Cleary Fellow during the summer after her graduation.  She holds a B.A. and an L.L.B., first class honors, from the University of Sydney.

After working at HIRC, Alison won the Henigson Human Rights Fellowship. She spent part of her fellowship year working with Equality Now in Zambia, and then went on to work in Eastern Congo with the Gender Justice Unit of the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). There, she assisted in strengthening the capacity of women’s rights organizations and other civil society groups. She subsequently served as a Transitional Justice Consultant at UN Women Uganda.

Nikki Flores 2009

Nikki served as a Cleary Fellow during the summer of 2009. She worked on an amicus brief for the Board of Immigration Appeals in a case involving issues of domestic violence and persecution on account of social group membership. She also worked with a number of clients at various stages of the asylum process and helped with clinic intakes. After she graduated from Harvard Law School in February 2011, Nikki continued to work with the Clinic as a volunteer. Nikki is currently a law clerk for the Honorable Elaine E. Bucklo of the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago. She will be joining the USCIS Office of General Counsel in Chicago in Fall 2013.

Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation Public Service Summer Fellow

Raviv Murciano 2010

Supported by a Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation fellowship, Raviv Murciano-Goroff helped HIRC create and maintain a web presence with information for immigrants, refugees, and asylum applicants seeking assistance and resources. Raviv’s interest in serving the needs of asylum seekers and immigrants stemmed from his experiences as an intern for the Boston Juvenile Courts and later for the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate. Getting to know youth identified in Massachusetts as “Children in Need of Services,” many of whom had immigrated to the United States, Raviv aimed to address the need to create accessible guides to community resources for immigrants, refugees, and their families. Following his fellowship, Raviv worked at the National Bureau of Economic Research to better understand and challenge some of the systemic causes of social and economic problems in America.

Summer Intern

Abel S. Delgado

Abel graduated in 2013 from Tulane Law School. Inspired by his Cuban exile family members and the diverse immigrant community he was raised in, he decided to pursue a career in indigent immigration defense. In law school, he represented clients filing for humanitarian immigration relief, visited detention centers in Louisiana to conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations, and attended committee meetings of the Louisiana State Legislature to advocate for immigrant rights. Before interning at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, he was a student practitioner at the Immigration Section of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice. Abel served as Tulane’s Chief Administrator of the Honor Board and President of the Federalist Society. He received his B.A. in Global Politics from Washington and Lee University.