Six Graduates Secure Public Interest Fellowships


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Top, from left: Elizabeth Sanchez, Tessa Greenberg, Justin Bertsche; Bottom, from left: Katie Boraz, Brendan Gilligan, Taylor Desgrosseilliers

Six recent graduates will launch their public interest careers through Northwestern Pritzker School of Law post-graduate fellowships this year. These graduates have dedicated their time and skills to causes ranging from environmental law to supporting individuals living with disabilities to helping underserved residents in the Chicagoland area.

Northwestern Pritzker Law is a leader in preparing students for public interest careers and pro bono work, with an unparalleled focus on advancing social justice. “The public interest fellowship winners from the Class of 2023 are a talented and dedicated group,” says Cindy Wilson, clinical professor of law, director of the Center for Externships, and director of the Public Interest Center. “They have spent their time at the Law School representing disadvantaged clients and building skills and knowledge that they will use to further social justice causes. I am excited to follow their public interest careers and see the great work they will do.”

To help talented graduates launch public interest careers, the Law School fellowships award students with competitive salaries, plus medical insurance coverage, to support one year of full-time service as a lawyer at a nonprofit or government agency.

Barry T. McNamara Disability Rights Fellowship

Katie Boraz (JD ’23) will join the civil rights team at Equip for Equality in Chicago. Katie will work on a range of disability rights cases and also promote community integration of people with disabilities. Katie has actively pursued disability rights for much of her life. Katie’s own medical disabilities, which began when she was 12, forced her to retire from teaching middle school, where she witnessed many students with disabilities fail to receive the services to which they were entitled. Katie’s insurance company initially refused to pay for the treatment that Katie needed. Katie eventually won due to her advocacy and research. It was this experience that compelled Katie to go to law school. At Northwestern Pritzker Law, Katie strengthened her advocacy and skills, working at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and twice at Equip for Equality. She also worked with the Tenant Advocacy Clinic, as the disability representative of the Dean’s Diversity Council, as president of the Invisible Identities Disability Advocacy Group, and as director of community building and internal mentorship of the Public Interest Law Group.

Northwestern Pritzker Law Post-Graduate Fellows

Justin Bertsche (JD ’23) will join the Environmental Enforcement Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, where he will conduct research, draft pleadings, meet with opposing counsel, and take cases to settlement or trial. Justin entered law school aspiring to work in environmental law and took numerous environmental law courses at Northwestern Pritzker Law, including Natural Resources, Environmental Law, the Environmental Advocacy Clinic, the Climate Change Colloquium, and International Environmental Law. He has also interned with three environmental advocacy organizations, including the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC), the Corporate Accountability Lab, and Earthjustice’s Toxic Exposure & Health Program.

Taylor Desgrosseilliers (JD ’23) will join the environmental enforcement division in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, where she will perform legal research and participate in litigation on various environmental legal issues, including natural resources and pollution. Taylor has long been committed to environmental issues. After college, she worked for Greenpeace and the Environmental Defense Fund. While in law school, she took almost every environmental law class offered by Northwestern Pritzker Law and negotiations classes after learning about the importance of alternative dispute resolution. Taylor clerked for the Midwest Environmental Advocates in Wisconsin, externed for the Illinois Commerce Commission and participated in the Environmental Advocacy Clinic, working directly with the ELPC.

Theresa “Tessa” Greenberg (JD ’23) will work in the Office of the Illinois State Appellate Defender’s 1st district office, where she will represent indigent individuals in direct appeals and denials of post-conviction petitions. Tessa attended law school to work in the criminal justice field and has remained committed to this goal. During law school, she took courses including Anti-Discrimination Law, Civil Rights Lawyering, Violence Reduction, and Justice, Equity, and Opportunity. She served as a research assistant to Professor Annalise Buth, examining different restorative justice models; Professor Len Rubinowitz, assisting with a published article on civil rights legal strategies; and Professor Cindy Wilson, helping design and teach a legal writing course for students at Stateville Correctional Center. During her 1L and 2L summers, Tessa interned at Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, researching issues regarding the Pretrial Fairness Act and the Illinois SAFE-T Act. She also interned with the Cook County Public Defender and assisted with post-conviction petitions.

Brendan Gilligan (JD ’23) will join the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) civil liberties team. Based in San Francisco, EFF is the leading defender of digital civil liberties in the United States and the only organization with a mission focused on online speech and privacy that litigates to protect these rights. Brendan’s interest in digital privacy as a critical tool for social and political progress and his desire to work for an organization like EFF grew in college and led him to law school. At Northwestern Pritzker Law, Brendan has been laser-focused in his coursework and practical experiences to learn all he can about digital privacy. He worked at the Federal Defender, the Center for Media and Democracy through the Media/Freedom of Information Act Law Practicum, the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), and the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. Brendan is a note and comment editor for the Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property; publication of his comment entitled A Loaded God Complex: The Unconstitutionality of the Executive Branch’s Unilaterally Withholding Zero-Days is forthcoming.

Elizabeth Sanchez (JD ’23) will join The Intercept, published by Intercept Media, Inc. (a Delaware nonprofit organization), as a First Amendment fellow. At The Intercept, Elizabeth will be supervised by David Bralow, the organization’s general counsel. She will be involved with a range of work, such as providing research and guidance on content, access, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and general newsroom matters. Elizabeth has been interested in media and media law since college and throughout law school. She was the editor-in-chief of The Daily Lobo, the student-run newspaper at the University of New Mexico, where her experience with threatening mail and her awareness of violence against journalists worldwide compelled her to go to law school. While at Northwestern Pritzker Law, Elizabeth has had in-house internships with the CIR, The Markup, and the Boston Globe Media Partners. Elizabeth is also aware that, as a Hispanic woman, she has an important role to play in media law. As entry-level legal positions in the field are few and far between, Elizabeth worked persistently to network with dozens of people to find her dream job. During her time at Northwestern Pritzker Law, Elizabeth was also an associate editor of the Journal of Law and Social Policy.