Generosity of Donors Allows for Increased Public Interest Work
This summer, 36 Emory Law students—the largest number in the school’s history—are serving the community in unpaid, public interest jobs because of donations to the Emory Public Interest Committee (EPIC) Summer Grant Program.
EPIC, a student-run organization, awards summer grants to law students who accept volunteer positions in the field of public interest law. The organization saw more than 60 summer grant applications this year, which called for a vigorous fundraising effort.
"This year's applicant pool was the largest ever, by far,” says Stacy Tolos, 2009-2010 EPIC president. “Luckily, we were able to raise money at the last minute to help close the huge gap between applicants and available grants. EPIC is so grateful for the very generous alumni and friends of Emory who donated in response to our plea for help.”
EPIC raised more than $100,000 through its annual Inspiration Awards fundraiser in February, which accounted for approximately 26 grants. The additional 10 grants came from donors who responded to an urgent call for donations.
“I know that I would not be where I am without the generosity of others to Emory Law,” says Laura Huffman 08L, a former Woodruff Fellow and associate at King & Spalding LLP, who donated a full EPIC grant. “I'm pleased to be able to help someone.”
“Had I not received the grant, I would not have been able to work here full time,” says Ashley Pecora 11L, the Laura S. Huffman Grant recipient, who is spending her summer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I started working at the CDC as a field placement and loved the work I was doing. It allowed me to develop writing and problem-solving skills and expose myself to new and interesting technologies,” Pecora says. “I am grateful for the opportunity the EPIC Grant Program gave me to continue with the CDC.”
This year’s grant recipients are working at a variety of nonprofit organizations and government agencies locally, nationally and internationally, including Atlanta Legal Aid Society, the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., and the Supreme Court of Israel in Jerusalem. The grants fund 10 weeks of full-time work and allow students to put their law school knowledge and skills into practice.
The goal of EPIC is to promote awareness and understanding of public interest law in the law school, and to make public interest jobs more accessible to Emory law students by assisting with employment and supporting public service programs.
2010 EPIC Summer Grant Recipients:
- Faisal Akhter – U.S. Attorney's Office, San Francisco
- Caleb Avraham – Federal Defender Program, Atlanta
- Ashten Bailey – Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta
- Jennifer Bellis – Environmental Protection Agency, Atlanta
- Laura Bove – DeKalb County Public Defender's Office, Decatur, Ga.
- Joanna Crowley – DeKalb County District Attorney's Office, Decatur, Ga.
- Donnalee Donaldson – Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta
- Erin Donohue – DeKalb County Public Defender's Office, Decatur, Ga.
- Jessica Felfoldi – Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta
- Ilan Grapel – The Supreme Court of Israel, Jerusalem, Israel
- Ivie Guobadia – Vera Institute of Justice, New York (Legal Association for Women Students Grant)
- Kaylon Hammond – Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, Chicago
- You-Jin Han – Georgia Lawyers for the Arts, Atlanta
- Jenny Hernandez – U.S. Department of State, Office of International Religious Freedom, Washington, D.C.
- John Irvin – Florida Legal Services, Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, Lake Worth, Fla.
- Niji Jain – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New York
- Anne Johnson – Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Boston, and Cambridge Public Schools Office of Legal Counsel, Cambridge, Mass.
- Shivana Jorawar – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Atlanta
- Erin Krinsky – The Hon. Debra Bernes, Georgia Court of Appeals, Atlanta
- Jennifer Lewis – North Carolina Department of Justice, Environmental Division, Raleigh, N.C.
- Jessica Lopez – Charleston County Public Defender's Office, Charleston, S.C.
- Flora Manship – California Rural Legal Assistance, San Francisco
- Merriam Mikhail – ACLU National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project, Atlanta (H.A. Stephens Memorial Grant)
- Rhiannon O'Connor – DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center, Decatur, Ga.
- Tommy Ozbolt – Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Boston
- Nisha Palvia – Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, Charlotte, N.C.
- Audrey Patten – U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Boston
- Ashley Pecora – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Technology Transfer Office, Atlanta (Laura S. Huffman Grant)
- Aarti Sharma – The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, Brooklyn, N.Y.
- Lauren Slive – National Health Law Program, Carrboro, N.C. (Janet Hayes Davis Foundation Grant)
- Emily Snyder – Barton Juvenile Defender Clinic, Atlanta (Kimberly L. Myers Grant)
- Sydney Spector – MFY Legal Services, New York (Sutherland Grant)
- Kristen Tullos – U.S. Attorney's Office, Savannah, Ga. (Student Bar Association Grant)
- Lisa Wolff – Miami Office of the Public Defender, Miami (Norman & Bettina Roberts Foundation Grant)
- Andrea Wood – Georgia Capital Defender, Atlanta
- Katherine Wu – Atlanta Legal Aid Society, Atlanta (Sutherland Grant)