Type Media Center is pleased to announce Divya Babbula and Austin Field as the two recipients of the 2020 Robert Masur Fellowship in Civil Liberties! Click here to read the full release, or see below to learn more about the program.
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.
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 has been selected as the 2018 Masur Fellow in Civil Liberties. Kyla 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.
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