Joan graduated from the University at Albany with a double major in political science and public policy and a concentration in public law. As a Child and Family Advocacy Fellow at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, Joan completed externships with the Covenant House Advocacy and Legal Aid Services Department and the Administration for Children's Services, Division of Legal Services. Upon graduation from Hofstra Law, Joan was the recipient of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Award for Excellence in Family Law. Joan is currently an attorney with the Administration for Children's Services, Division of Legal Services.
Keisha was born the last of seven children and second half of a pair of twins in Jamaica, West Indies and moved to the United States at the age of 11. Keisha attended Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, where she earned a B.A. and majored in psychology. Upon graduation, Keisha began a career at Covenant House New York, the largest non-governmental child service agency of its kind in New York City. In the summer of 2001, Keisha completed the requirements for a master's in public administration at Audrey Cohen College. She then went to work for Covenant House Alaska, where she organized Covenant House Alaska's youth leadership program, which gives young people the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their peers.
As a Child and Family Advocacy Fellow, Keisha spent her first summer working with a Queens County Family Court judge and her second at the Legal Aid Society Domestic Violence Project. During her final year of law school, Keisha and two other fellows developed and led a mock trial as part of the ABA's Teen Dating Violence Prevention summit in Washington, D.C. She also participated in the Region II National Trial Competition in Syracuse, New York and served as book review editor for the Family Court Review. Keisha currently works at the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division.
Marion attended Moravian College in Pennsylvania, majoring in sociology and political science. While an undergraduate student, Marion interned at Covenant House Washington, where she worked with at-risk youth to encourage their personal growth and prevent teenage pregnancy. She also interned with the assistant district attorney of special offenses in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where she did an extensive study of prevailing forensic interviewing techniques for children, in order to assist the department in opening a new Child Advocacy Center.
Through the Child Advocacy Fellowship, Marion had the opportunity to intern for the Juvenile Rights Division of The Legal Aid Society and for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Project in New York City Family Courts. She was also a researcher for the Family Law Education Reform (FLER) Project and the AFCC Cooperation Manager for the Family Court Review. Since graduating law school, Marion has worked as a Staff Attorney at The Family Center and an Associate at the law firm of Magovern and Sclafani.
Kira Storz Schettino
Kira graduated from Loyola College in Maryland with a B.A. in political science. While a Fellow at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, Kira interned with the Center for Family Representation in Brooklyn, New York, where she assisted an attorney in community outreach, helped to educate practicing attorneys, and provided assistance to parents with children in foster care. She also interned with the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Division in Queens, where she worked with the juvenile delinquency team. During her final year in law school, Kira served as the Research Editor for the Family Court Review. Upon graduation, Kira worked at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County. She currently works at a matrimonial law firm in Nassau County.
Sharon Clarke is an attorney and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, dual Masters Degrees in Public Health and Social Work from the University of South Florida, and a J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. During her years as a practicing Social Worker, Sharon held positions as the Director of an Adolescent Pregnancy Program and a Crime Victim’s Advocate with the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office - Bureau of Sex Offense and Domestic Violence.
While a student at Hofstra Law, Sharon was very active in numerous academic and extra curricular activities. She was a Child and Family Advocacy Fellow, a Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Associate, Vice President of the Black Law Student’s Association, Co-Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocate Project (CAP), an Admissions Student Ambassador, and Managing Editor of Articles for the Family Court Review. She participated in summer externships with the Queens County Integrated Domestic Violence Court and New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Services, where she wrote two chapters in the published training manual - MHLS Practice Manual for Providing Services to Children and Adolescents in the Mental Health System. Sharon also served as a researcher on the Family Law Education Reform Project (FLER) and had the distinction of having her student note - Strictly Liable: Governmental Use of the Parent-Child Relationship as a Basis for Holding Victim’s Liable for Their Child’s Witness to Domestic Violence - published in the January 2006 edition of the Family Court Review.
Sharon was one of only two students in her graduating class to receive a one year Legal Fellowship with the New York State Unified Court System. She began her fellowship in September 2006, and was offered a full-time position as a Court Attorney prior to the completion of her fellowship. In September 2008 she was promoted to her current position as Senior Court Attorney. As a Court Attorney, Sharon has had the opportunity to contribute to published judicial decisions on such issues as whether a former lesbian partner has standing to seek custody of her former partner’s biological child; and whether the parent of a child in foster care should be forced to consent to the immunization of her children when it goes against the parent’s religious beliefs.
Sharon is an active member of the Nassau County Bar Association and serves as a mentor to a middle school student through the Bar’s mentoring program. Additionally, she serves as a mentor to a high school student in the Legal Outreach Program. Sharon serves on the court’s Child Care Committee, Synergies for Success Committee, and Black History Month Committee. She is an active member of her church’s Legal Affinity Network, a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the Amistad Long Island Black Bar Association.
Alexis graduated high honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in sociology. Post graduation, Alexis worked as a family advocate at the Berkeley YMCA Head Start and volunteered with CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).
While a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Alexis interned with the Center for Family Representation and the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society. She was a researcher for the Family Law Education Reform (FLER) Project and attended the Wingspread Conference. Alexis was also a member of the Hofstra Law Review. Since graduation, Alexis has worked at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division in Brooklyn.
Franca Fanizzi Sachs
Franca graduated from Queens College with a B.A. in sociology. After graduation, she worked at Children's Home Society of California, assisting families to meet their childcare needs. She also worked at St. Mary's Children and Family Services, first as an aftercare caseworker, where she assisted families in the transition from foster care to home, and later as a caseworker in the Abuse Treatment and Prevention Program, a residential treatment program for adolescent boys.
During her Fellowship at Hofstra Law, Franca interned with the Nassau County Attorney's Office, Family Court Bureau, with Agenda for Children Tomorrow, and with the Honorable Leonard B. Austin. She also assisted with the organization of NITA's Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Child program in June 2005 and was a staff member on the Family Court Review.
Franca currently works at The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University as the Executive Director of Fellowship Programs. In that capacity, she is responsible for the administration of the law school’s three fellowship programs in Child and Family Advocacy, Health Law and Policy, and LGBT Rights.
Victoria attended the University of Notre Dame, where she served as a volunteer with several organizations designed to assist children and families in the South Bend area. Her experiences include working with children with developmental disabilities and children at risk of becoming victims of violence. She graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with majors in psychology and political science and a minor in Middle Eastern studies.
As a Fellow, Victoria spent her first summer working for a Maryland Family Court judge and her second with the Fairfax County Public Defender's Office assisting lawyers in representing youth in legal matters where they are charged with misdemeanor or felony crimes. She was an active member of Hofstra's Moot Court Team and received the Best Oralist Award in the 2005 Long Island Moot Court Competition. Victoria was also a Articles Editor of the Family Court Review. Since graduating from Hofstra Law, Victoria has worked at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division in Queens, at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and with the DC Public School District.
Margaret holds a B.A. degree in music and an M.A. in art history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has completed Ph.D. coursework in fine arts at New York University. Prior to beginning law school, Margaret had an extensive and varied professional background as a marketer, editor, writer, museum educator and college professor and worked as a victim's advocate in the then pilot Integrated Domestic Violence Court in White Plains, New York. She had also volunteered with Westchester County Family Abuse Court Services as an advocate/counselor and has served as a legal intern with My Sisters' Place.
After becoming a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Margaret continued her work with the Westchester Integrated Domestic Violence Court and My Sisters' Place. She also assisted with the development of the ABA's Teenage Dating Violence Prevention National Summit in 2004.
Elizabeth received her A.B. in history from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. After finishing school, she taught special education in a Philadelphia middle school and worked as a social worker for individuals with disabilities.
Elizabeth spent her first summer as a fellow working for the New York State Administrative Judge for Matrimonial Matters, and her second with the Queens District Attorney's office in the special victims bureau. She participated in the ABA's Teenage Dating Violence Prevention National Summit in Washington, D.C., in 2004. Upon graduation, Elizabeth worked at the Bronx District Attorney's Office.
Elizabeth graduated from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, with a major in psychology and a minor in American politics. A great deal of her time within the psychology department was spent focusing on children, families and the law, and the psychological issues that surround them and the legal system. While an undergraduate student, Elizabeth interned with the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy, where she worked within a women's prison on a research study focused on psychopathy among female inmates. She also interned with a community research group studying perceptions of juvenile culpability and criminality.
As a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Elizabeth interned with the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society's Brooklyn Office, where she assisted lawyers in representing youth in delinquency and PINS matters and in advocating for children in abuse and neglect cases. She also interned with Agenda for Children Tomorrow, working to improve services for children, families, and communities in New York City. In her final year at Hofstra Law, Elizabeth served as a research assistant for Professor Andrew Schepard, assisting in the drafting of the Uniform Collaborative Law Act. Now an attorney, Elizabeth works for Southwest Virginia Legal Aid.
Sarah received a B.S. in psychology from Tennessee Technological University and an M.A. in clinical psychology from East Tennessee State University. As a graduate student, Sarah participated in the Make A Difference Project, consulting with school systems on behavior modification techniques for students. She also worked at a residential treatment facility where she led group therapy sessions for juvenile sex offenders. As a member of Americorps, Sarah instructed parents in behavior modification techniques and coordinated community service projects focused on the betterment of children's environments.
As a Fellow at Hofstra, Sarah interned with the Tennessee Technical Assistance Committee, working with child experts to design, implement and evaluate reforms made to Tennessee's Department of Children's Services.
MJ graduated cum laude from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, with a double major in political science and modern foreign languages. After graduating, she began working with Campaign for a Landmine Free World, a program of Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF), an organization that was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for its role in founding the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. In 2000 MJ traveled to Vietnam and Cambodia to visit VVAF's clinics for civilians suffering from war-related ailments. Following that, MJ accepted a position with San Francisco Health Plan, a nonprofit organization which provides health coverage to uninsured children and families in the city. In March 2002, MJ took time off work to travel to Afghanistan as part of a delegation of 14 women coordinated by the San Francisco-based nonprofit Global Exchange. The delegation visited hospitals, schools, and micro-lending programs, and assisted in efforts to help rebuild the lives of women and children following many years of Taliban rule.
During her time at Hofstra, MJ interned with the New York State Supervising Family Court Judge in Brooklyn Family Court and with inMotion. She was also the Managing Editor of Articles for the Family Court Review and her note "Lessening the sting of ASFA: The Rehabilitation-Relapse Dilemma Brought About By Drug Addiction and Termination of Parental Rights" was published in the July 2007 edition.
Abbey attended Boston University (BU) as a journalism major. While at BU, Abbey spent time working for USA Today and the Massachusetts Children's Trust Fund. She also spent a semester abroad in London, where she interned at a family law firm. Abbey graduated cum laude from BU in January 2004, and began working as a paralegal for a private attorney handling family, criminal, and civil cases. For three years, she participated in BU's equivalent of the Big Brother/Big Sister program.
While a student at Hofstra Law, Abbey interned with a Queens County Family Court judge and with the New York County District Attorney's Office. She also served as the Managing Editor of the Family Court Review and her note, "The Foster Care Ombudsman: Empowering the Powerless" was published in the July 2007 edition. Upon graduation, Abbey worked for the New York City Law Department, handling juvenile delinquency matters.
Carissa graduated cum laude from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in legal studies. While attending Geneseo, she spent part of her summers interning at the Ulster County District Attorney's Office, and during her senior year she interned at the Livingston County District Attorney's Office, where she had the opportunity to work with the in-house domestic violence specialist.
During her time as a fellow, Carissa interned with a Queens County Family Court judge. She also worked at a matrimonial law firm. Carissa was an Associate Editor of the Hofstra Law Review and her note titled "You Can't Choose Your Parents: Why Children Raised by Same-sex Couples Are Entitled to Inheritance Rights From Both Their Parents" was published in volume 35.2 of the Law Review.
During the summer after her first year of law school, Carissa clerked for the Honorable Edwina Richardson of the Queens Family Court. In the fall of her second year Carissa worked as a research assistant to Professor Theo Liebmann and she also assisted Professor Andrew Schepard on the St. Basil’s Pro Bono Project where she traveled to Garrison, NY to interview children whose educational rights were being questioned by the district. In her third year of law school Carissa participated in the child advocacy clinic and was a member of Hofstra Law’s team in the Representing Clients in Mediation competition, sponsored by the ABA. Carissa also worked at the matrimonial law firm of Schlissel, Ostrow, Karabatos & Poepplein, PLLC in Garden City, NY and accepted full time employment with the firm after her graduation. Carissa is currently an Associate at the law firm of Kramer Levin in New York City.
John earned a B.A. from Pace University. He served as a police officer in the City of Yonkers for 20 years, steadily rising through the ranks and working in nearly every aspect of police work. Through his work as a detective, John's career moved gradually towards child abuse investigations. During his tenure as a detective and homicide investigator, John investigated many high-profile child abuse cases. In 1996 he reopened the unsolved sexual murder of a 14-year-old girl. As a result of his four-year investigation, a brutal sexual sadist and serial killer was arrested and taken off the streets forever. His work on this case has been profiled in a major textbook and on the acclaimed television show "Cold Case Files." John also served as the commanding officer of the Westchester County Child Abuse Investigation Team and the squad commander of the Yonkers Police Child Abuse Investigation Team. During these years, he supervised hundreds of child abuse investigations and has been at the forefront of the multidisciplinary approach to child abuse investigation. John worked hand-in-hand with the Westchester County District Attorney's office, child protective services and the medical community to develop a more comprehensive approach to child abuse investigations.
Laura graduated from Loyola College in 2004 with a major in Political Science and Sociology and a concentration in Service Leadership.
During her second year at Hofstra Law, Laura was Co-President of the Public Justice Foundation and participated in the Courtrooms Advocate Project, assisting victims of domestic violence. In her final year, she participated in Hofstra’s Child Advocacy Clinic, where she represented children in foster care and children requiring special immigrant juvenile status. Laura was also the Managing Editor of Volume 46 of the Family Court Review, a peer-reviewed, quarterly journal published under the auspices of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and her note on inter country adoption between the United States and Guatemala was published in the October 2007 issue.
Laura has interned at the Nassau County Family Court and with Lawyers for Children. Upon graduation, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work at Lawyers for Children and advocated on behalf of the educational needs of children in foster care in New York City.
Rose Marie Garcia
Rose Marie graduated from Hunter College with a major in political science and a minor in English. While at Hunter, Rose Marie held internships at The Legal Aid Society -- Criminal Defense Division, New York City's Corporation Counsel -- Family Court Division, and Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT). Upon graduating she was hired as a site coordinator for LIFT at the Queens County Family Court and was responsible for providing information to family court petitioners and litigants regarding issues such as custody, visitation, domestic violence, child support, child abuse/neglect, and foster care. Rose Marie volunteered with Safe Horizon, serving as a Spanish/English interpreter for monolingual Hispanic victims of domestic violence, and at the Children's Aid Society, where she served as a mentor for the youth development programs.
During her first year of law school, Rose Marie served as a student member of the Committee on Family Court and Family Law at the City Bar Association.
Since she became a student at Hofstra Law, Rose Marie has served as a law student member of the Committee on Family Court and Family Law at the City Bar Association and interned at inMotion – Justice for Women working on immigration, divorce and family court cases. Rose Marie was also a student in Hofstra’s Child Advocacy Clinic where she worked on special immigrant juvenile status, educational neglect and PINS cases. Rose Marie currently works at the Children’s Law Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Jaclyn graduated cum laude with honors in History, and with a minor in English from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. While in college, she interned at the Office of the Corporation Counsel, Child Abuse and Neglect Division (now the Office of the Attorney General, Child Protection division) in Washington, D.C.
During her Fellowship at Hofstra, Jaclyn interned with the Honorable Jeffrey M. Wallace of the Hermiston Circuit Court in Oregon and with the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office in Oregon. She was Managing Editor of Notes & Comments for the Family Court Review and her note, “Listen to Me! Empowering Youth and Courts Through Increased Youth Participation” was published in the January 2008 issue. Jaclyn served as a member of the Domestic Violence Courtroom Advocates, the Black Law Students Association, and the Council on Children at the City Bar Association. She also assisted with the New York State Parent Education and Awareness Program (P.E.A.C.E.) and worked to develop an educational curriculum for youth aging out of foster care. In her final year at Hofstra, Jaclyn participated in the Child Advocacy Clinic.
Erin Cook Thompson
Erin is a graduate of Appalachian State University (ASU), where she majored in criminal justice and psychology. While a student at ASU, Erin served on the Student Judicial Board for four years -- two of them as chairperson -- and interned with the Boone Police Department. While she was a Fellow, Erin worked with the Nassau County Parent Education and Custody Effectiveness (P.E.A.C.E.) Program and interned with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office, Sex Crime and Child Abuse Unit and with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
Kate Brittle is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College. Prior to starting law school, she worked for the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, staffing their legal hotline and providing legal advice to a variety of clients, while also working at a private practice matrimonial law firm. During her time at Hofstra Law, Kate was a 2007 1L Moot Court Competition Finalist, a member of the Moot Court Association, and competed in the 2008 American Association for Justice Trial Competition in New York. Kate also served as an Article Editor for the Hofstra Law Review. Her law review note addressing the problem of juvenile prostitution was published in Volume 36 of the Hofstra Law Review.
After her first year at Hofstra Law, Kate interned with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division in Queens where she represented children and youth in abuse and neglect and juvenile delinquency proceedings. She also participated in the child advocacy skills program, Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Child. During her second summer, Kate was an intern with the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. Upon graduation, Kate accepted a position with the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
Diana Buchanan, a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, holds a master's degree in family and child studies (magna cum laude), a certificate in gerontological studies, and a B.A. in foreign affairs and diplomacy/minor in Latin American Studies (cum laude).
While attending graduate school, Diana interned with the U.S. Department of Defense and helped to develop a curriculum for youth caregivers of wounded soldiers. The program involved children of soldiers wounded in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. She also completed a master's thesis that involved conducting a needs assessment of the U.S. Marine Corps Warrior Transition Program. Diana worked in conjunction with the administration at Camp LeJeune to research the transitional needs of Marines involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Her undergraduate honors thesis involved traveling to El Salvador to study the impact of family and culture on women leaders.
Since she began attending the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, Diana has participated in the Mediation Clinic, mediating Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) cases, has interned with the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law in Washington, D.C. and with the Judge Advocate General (JAG), and has volunteered her time to teach mock trial skills to at risk high school students.
Angela graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in philosophy in 2000. After her graduation, she spent five years in public service, as a senior aide to former New York City Council Member Eva Moskowitz and policy director for Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller.
Angela was a Dean’s Scholar each of her three years at Hofstra Law and at graduation received the William Eric Goldberg Scholarship and the Citation of Excellence in Family Law Course. During her time at Hofstra Law, Angela served as the Notes & Comments Editor for the Hofstra Law Review, participated in the Child Advocacy Clinic, interned with womenslaw.org, and helped with the start up of the Youth Court at Hempstead High School. Angela has researched and written on a variety of policy issues in the child and family context, including truancy and dropping out, collaborative law, caregiver discrimination, child protectionism in First Amendment jurisprudence, and the evolution of family as a functional model.
Upon graduation, Angela joined the law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP in New York City. She was recently appointed to the New York State Bar Association Committee on Children and the Law.
Emily graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2003 with a B.A. in politics and a minor in philosophy. While at Catholic University, Emily interned with the Children's Defense Fund and participated in community service at a local infant and maternity home.
After graduation, Emily moved to Houston, Texas, to spend a year volunteering as a licensed foster parent at Casa de Esperanza de los Niños. Casa is a residential facility for children with ages from infancy to 6 years old who suffer from neglect, abuse or the effect of AIDS. Emily was a house parent at Casa and was responsible for up to six children in the Intake and Assessment house. After a challenging and life-altering year, she returned to Washington, D.C., to work for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Emily interned with Magistrate Judge Carol Dalton at Washington, D.C.'s Superior Court, researching cases of child abuse and neglect, during the summer after her first year at Hofstra Law. She interned with the Children's Law Center in Washington, D.C. during her second summer. During her time at Hofstra Law, Emily was also is a Research Editor for Hofstra's Family Court Review and a participant in the Child Advocacy Clinic. At graduation, Emily received the Stephanie E. Kupferman Juvenile Justice Endowed Scholarship. Emily is currently a Staff Attorney at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC. Class of 2010
Michelle graduated from Providence College, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.A. in American Studies and a minor in Political Science. She rigorously pursued her academic studies, obtaining membership in Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. During her undergraduate studies, Michelle developed a concentration in women's studies and protection of the family which sparked her interest in child and family advocacy. Outside of the classroom, Michelle was actively involved in various activities including the Campus Ministry's Social Justice Club and the American Cancer Society's Colleges Against Cancer where she became an advocate dedicated to helping create an environment of equality, rights and compassion. As a member of Colleges Against Cancer she served as the Advocacy Chair for two years. Under her guidance, her chapter received national recognition for their efforts and standard setting achievements. She continued to develop her interest in child welfare by volunteering for Rhode Island Kid’s Count, a statewide advocacy and policy making organization. In addition, Michelle worked as a legal assistant for three years during college and interned for a New York State Senator.
While she was a law student, Michelle was a staff member of the Hofstra Law Review and a research assistant for Professor Andrew Schepard. She interned with the Queens District Attorney’s Office, the New York State Office of Children, and Families Services, and the Honorable Leonard B. Austin.
Beyza graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 2002 with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Art History. While she was a Fellow, Beyza interned with the Nassau County Family Court and the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She was a staff member of the Hofstra Law Review and worked as a volunteer for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’s online hotline, providing crisis support for victims of sexual assault. Beyza currently works at the matrimonial law firm of Braunstein & Zuckerman.
Evan graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Religion, with Honors (cum laude), and a B.A. in Political Science (cum laude). As an undergraduate, Evan completed an honors thesis on henotheism and western religions in addition to authoring a thesis as a Research Fellow for the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics on corporate environmentalism and public policy. As an undergraduate, Evan was elected as the President of his student government, and served as an intern to the Publisher of the Ventura County Star, was an undergraduate law clerk for the District Attorney of Ventura and served the County of Ventura Fire Department as a Cadet.
As a member of the USC community, Evan became very active in many campus organizations in addition to serving as the Captain of the wrestling team. Amid his many involvements, he is the most proud of his membership as the Vice President of USC Men CARE (Men Creating Attitudes for Rape-free Environments), an organization dedicated to the prevention of sexual assault through peer-education and activism.
While he was a student at Hofstra Law, Evan led the coaching staff of the Hempstead High School Mock Trial Team. For his dedication and commitment, he was awarded the Pro Bono Service Award of Excellence. He also participated in the Mediation Clinic and interned with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office.
Courtney Whitlock Leonard
Courtney attended Florida State University (FSU), majoring in social work. During her high school and undergraduate years she volunteered at various agencies, including Arnold Palmer Hospital's neonatal unit with drug addicted infants, Pine Hills Elementary School and Refuge House, a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center. She also interned as a social worker with the juvenile division of the Leon County Public Defender's Office. While attending FSU, she discovered a love for rock climbing, eventually competing with the intramural team.
Sasha graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 2003 with a B.A. in history. In 2002 and 2003, Sasha developed an interest in public policy advocacy when she interned as a research assistant for a juvenile justice prevention initiative at the Liberty Hill Foundation, which makes grants to groups working in their neighborhoods toward social justice. Sasha turned her interest in public policy advocacy into a commitment to improving the child welfare system when in 2003 she joined the Foundation Consortium for California’s Children and Youth, a non-partisan resource that brought together philanthropy, community organizations, schools and government agencies to improve public policy and practice for children and youth. As the program associate for the Foundation Consortium’s child welfare initiative, she assisted the Senior Fellow in fostering collaborations at the state and county level in implementing differential response and providing support to youth transitioning from foster care. Sasha learned about the critical importance of the court and legal process for children and youth in the child welfare system when in 2005 she became project assistant for Home At Last, a national initiative that conducted education and outreach to judicial leaders, government officials, decision makers and the public in raising awareness about the need to act on and implement the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care’s recommendations.
While she was a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Sasha interned with the Alliance for Children’s Rights in Los Angeles and with the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice in Jamaica, NY. She was also a member of the Family Court Review and participated in the Child Advocacy Clinic. Upon graduation, Sasha received the Stephanie E. Kupferman Juvenile Justice Endowed Scholarship. Sasha currently works at the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Massachusetts.
Randi graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English. She also holds a Master’s in Social Work from Columbia University. In 2000, Randi took her first job working with children in foster care as an assistant family teacher in a group home for adolescent boys in Hawai’i. She then worked as a social worker for the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Division. Prior to receiving her Master’s degree, Randi worked as a paralegal advocating for welfare recipients and people in danger of eviction in Spanish Harlem and as a counselor for a domestic violence support hotline in Brooklyn.
During her time at Hofstra, Randi interned with the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Division and with the Center for Family Representation. She moderated a youth panel at a conference titled “Working Together to Strengthen Our Communities: Preventing Youth Violence and Gangs”. She also served as the Managing Editor of the Family Court Review. Upon graduation, Randi received the Stephanie E. Kupferman Juvenile Justice Endowed Scholarship. Randi currently works at the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice.
Lauren graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a B.S. in Exceptional Needs Education. Throughout college, Lauren worked with the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and volunteered in the Bloomington educational community. Her experience working with special needs students, specifically those with profound academic, social and emotional disabilities, sparked her interest in family law and Hofstra Law's Child and Family Advocacy Fellowship.
Following her first year of law school, Lauren served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Jane Pearl in Manhattan and Bronx Family Courts. During her second year she began work as a research assistant, served as a staff editor on the Family Court Review, aided in the planning of the American Bar Association-sponsored national summit on the Fostering Connections to Success Act, and participated in the Hempstead High School Mock Trial Program.
In the summer of 2010, Lauren served as an intern for Child Advocates, Inc., an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings. In August, she also joined a multidisciplinary AFCC team in surveying service provision in family law related organizations in Indianapolis.
During her final year at Hofstra Law, Lauren continued her work as a research assistant and serve as Managing Editor of Vol. 49 of the Family Court Review (FCR). Her current research pertains to the ethics and evidentiary privileges and protections pertaining to consultants involved in forensic custody evaluations. Her related FCR note, Consultant Conduct In Anticipation of Court-Appointed or Party-Stipulated Forensic Custody Evaluations: Ethical Dilemmas and the Need For Neutral Parent Education, was published in the January 2011 issue of FCR. In the fall 2010 semester, Lauren participated in the law school's mediation clinic. Lauren received the William Eric Goldberg Scholarship at graduation, awarded to a student who has provided significant support and leadership in improving the quality of life and educational experience for others. Upon graduation, Lauren returned to the Midwest and accepted a position as a Clerk for the Honorable Nancy Vaidik of the Indiana Court of Appeals.
Jaime attended Binghamton University. Graduating with honors in only three years, she received her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Law with a minor in Sociology. While at Binghamton, Jaime participated in Binghamton's Youth Program, meeting with inner-city children to help them address educational and family issues. Jaime also worked with the Institute for Child Development, providing home care for autistic students. Her work there raised her awareness of the educational injustice special need children and their families must face. Jaime was a member of Sigma Alpha Lambda, the national leadership and honor Society as well as a member of Binghamton's Safe Zone, an alliance organization for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community. With Safe Zone, she worked with high school students who were coming out or questioning their orientation.
While she was a Fellow at Hofstra Law, Jaime interned with the Nassau County Attorney Family Court Bureau and with the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Division. She also participated in the Child Advocacy Clinic and coached the Hempstead High School Mock Trial Team. At graduation, Jaime received the Stephanie E. Kupferman Juvenile Justice Endowed Scholarship, awarded to a graduating student who has exhibited a commitment to protecting the rights of children and the pursuit of juvenile justice. Jaime graduated a semester early in December 2010 and currently works at Nassau County Legal Aid.
Andrew, originally from Florida, spent eight years of his childhood living on the island of St. Christopher in the Caribbean before moving back to the United States. Andrew graduated with honors from the University of West Florida with a BA in Social Work and a minor in Child Welfare. During his time there he was admitted to Phi Alpha, the national social work honor society. After graduation from UWF, Andrew worked as a Child Protective Investigator for the Department of Children and Families. He spent his time with DCF in a unit which specialized in physical and sexual abuse of children under 12.
While a student at Hofstra Law, Andrew was actively involved with OUTlaw and the Public Justice Foundation. He also served as a Managing Editor of Articles for the Family Court Review. Andrew has interned at the Covenant House New York, a shelter for homeless youth in Manhattan, for the Hon. Hope Zimmerman at the Nassau County Family Court, for the matrimonial law firm of Schlissel Ostrow and Karabatos, and at The Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice in Brooklyn. Andrew currently works for the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice in Jamaica, NY.
Christine was born and raised in San Diego, California. She graduated from University of California Berkeley in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science and minor in English. She spent the next two years working full time as a SCORE! Educational Director and volunteering as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). AS a CASA, Christine advocated for a 15 year old dependent who found herself in the system because of her mother’s neglect and severe drug abuse. Christine guided the youth through court proceedings and advocated for her best interest through written court reports and recommendations. Her first hand experience working in an overburdened dependency system opened her eyes to the low attorney retention within the field and the resulting distrust that foster youth have for the dependency system.
Since becoming at Child and Family Advocacy Fellow at Hofstra Law, Christine has interned with the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society, representing children and youth in abuse and neglect proceedings. She also interned with the New York City Corporation Counsel, prosecuting juvenile delinquents. Christine participated in the child advocacy skills program, Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Child and served as a Research Editor for the Hofstra Law Review. Upon graduation, Christine accepted a position with the New York City Law Department.