The fellowship competition is open to first-year law students who intend to carry out significant activities during the summer (in between their first and second year) in the areas of civil rights and/or civil liberties. Fellows each receive a $2,000 honorarium. Proposed activities may include a writing or research project, work with a public interest organization in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties, work on a civil rights or civil liberties law case under the supervision of a faculty member or lawyer, or any other work in the areas of civil rights or civil liberties.
Applications for the 2024 fellowship are now open.
Type Media Center recently launched a fundraising campaign to support the impact and longevity of the Robert Masur Fellowship. With a goal of raising $130,000 to build an endowment, we plan to offer more meaningful sums to each fellowship recipient and establish the fellowship on a solid, permanent footing. Donations will ensure that we continue to offer this important fellowship for years to come.
Maria Aurora Garcia
Maria Aurora Garcia, a rising 2L at the University of Nebraska College of Law, will spend her summer with The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP) in Chicago, Illinois as a Peggy Browning Fellow. Aurora’s passion for workers’ rights developed from her personal experiences as she discovered the systemic barriers and exploitations members of her working-class, immigrant community often faced at work. An aspiring advocate for workplace justice, Aurora’s work with FLAP will primarily focus on providing bilingual, accessible legal representation for low-income migrant laborers. In law school, Aurora is a student interpreter for Spanish-speaking clients at the immigration clinic, and most recently, she volunteered for the law school’s citizenship clinic. Aurora is honored and thrilled to deepen her understanding of legal advocacy and learn more about the workers’ rights movement with FLAP this summer.
Mary Cruz is a rising 2L at UCLA Law where she is specializing in the Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies programs. Prior to law school, she advanced pro-immigrant policy with the California Immigrant Policy Center and invested in nonprofits and leaders while at the Durfee Foundation. This summer, Mary will work with the ACLU SoCal Immigrants’ Rights team to address inequities stemming from the immigration legal system through impact litigation, direct representation, policy and education advocacy strategies. Mary’s experience growing up in a Zapotec migrant community shapes her commitment to advocate for Indigenous rights and language access as a future attorney.
Cristina G. Gamundi Garcia
Cristina G. Gamundi Garcia is a rising 2L at the University of Washington School of Law. She will spend her summer as a legal intern supporting the Child and Youth unit at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. The Child and Youth unit represents and advocates on behalf of immigrant children and youth that suffer persecution in their home country, face a lack of parental support, and experience poverty. Prior to law school, Cristina served as an interpreter on immigration cases and conducted research regarding immigration policy in Washington State. After law school, Cristina intends to pursue a career in immigration law to serve and empower immigrant populations.
Sebastián Ramírez is a rising 2L at Notre Dame Law School. Prior to starting law school, he worked as a union organizer with UNITE HERE! Local 1 in Chicago, where he successfully helped organize and lead Chicago’s first city-wide hotel strike which resulted in significant wage and benefit increases for thousands of Chicago hospitality workers. This summer, Sebastián will work on Chicago House’s TransLegal program, an initiative that provides legal assistance to trans people facing a myriad of legal issues. This upcoming fall and spring, Sebastián will extern with Indiana Legal Services and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). After law school, he plans to pursue a career in civil rights litigation.
Lauren Neal is a rising 2L at Brandeis School of Law and will spend summer 2021 as a legal intern with Kentucky Equal Justice Center. Kentucky Equal Justice Center is a non-profit that serves and advocates for low-income and underrepresented residents within Kentucky. During her time with KEJC she will work on several projects concerning housing and advocacy in Louisville, KY. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and preventing evictions during this difficult time is especially important. Prior to her start in law school, she was a legislative intern for the Indiana House Democratic Caucus and the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus where she was able to advocate and help close the communication gap between legislators and community members within Indiana. Lauren will graduate from Brandeis in May 2023.
Bailey Martin is a rising 2L at the University of Minnesota Law School. After graduating undergrad, she worked for the state of Ohio and nonprofits in Columbus, Ohio, in areas of affordable housing, community development, mental health, and community outreach. In law school, Bailey focuses on issues related to criminal justice reform and criminal defense and is passionate about advocating for the rights of people who are incarcerated. This summer, Bailey will be working with the Capital Habeas Unit in the Federal Public Defender Office – Southern District of Ohio. This unit represents Ohioans on death row in their federal habeas appeals, which are often their last available appeals. Bailey is excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve these clients and collaborate with attorneys dedicated to protecting the rights and lives of Ohioans on death row.
Divya Babbula, a student at the City University of New York, will spend her summer as a law clerk at the Austin-based Texas Civil Rights Project (TCRP). Divya’s work will address voting rights, racial and economic justice, and criminal justice reform, all of which are more urgent under COVID-19. She will primarily support TCRP’s voting rights litigation and legal advocacy to increase access to the democratic process and grassroots voter mobilization efforts. Prior to this clerkship, Divya has worked on immigrant justice, fair housing, and community economic development as an organizer and legal worker in Texas. As the pandemic exposes structural inequalities, she is determined to be a public interest lawyer in the South building political and economic power of marginalized communities.
Austin Field, a student at the University of Washington School of Law, will spend this summer as a legal intern with the Public Defender Association, a Seattle-based nonprofit that advocates for criminal justice reform. As an intern with the Association’s Racial Disparity Project, Austin will support efforts to protect civil liberties by ending discriminatory policing and promoting police accountability. Prior to attending law school, Austin served as an Army officer and as an investigator for the Bronx Defenders. Inspired by his experiences at the Bronx Defenders, Austin decided to attend the University of Washington School of Law and become a public defender.
Kyla Kaplan is a student at the University of Maryland School of Law spending her summer working at the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC). Kyla’s work will address issues of food insecurity and unequal access as well as the creation of sustainable food systems. Prior to her work at FLPC Kyla has spent many years working in and around food sustainability, food waste reduction, and improving the systems that affect what we eat and how it is produced.
About Robert Masur
Robert Masur dedicated his legal career to protecting the rights of the unemployed, minorities and the poor. A 1973 graduate of Stanford Law School, he spent six years at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago where he litigated a number of employment and consumer law cases. In 1976, he successfully argued an employment discrimination case before the Supreme Court. He entered private practice in 1981, where he focused on consumer protection law. His friends and family established the Robert Masur Fellowship in his memory to support the work to which he was dedicated, and to encourage young people to pursue public-interest legal careers.