Nereida Lopez and Emily Mollinedo, customers of Notre Dame Law School’s Class of 2021, have been awarded Thomas L. Shaffer Fellowships.
The fellowship, named in honor of professor emeritus and former dean, Thomas L. Shaffer, and funded by donor assistance, handles the income and advantages for two Notre Dame Legislation graduates to get the job done for two decades at a nonprofit business giving legal products and services to very low-revenue or other underrepresented populations.
Nereida Lopez, Nationwide Immigrant Justice Centre
Lopez will do her fellowship at the Countrywide Immigrant Justice Centre and will perform with asylum seekers on alternatives to detention, especially advocating for the removal of their ankle monitors. She will also lead workshops to achieve much more men and women who are implementing for asylum in the United States to inform them of their legal rights, and to supply steerage on the immigration procedure. She also ideas to get knowledge to enable NIJC advocate in opposition to the coverage of ankle monitoring — a exercise that has raised privateness fears and been located to matter some wearers to bodily agony and social stigma.
“I hope that the effect I make is not only in individuals’ lives, but in the immigration process
alone. Specially, I hope to contribute towards the change of this kind of heinous procedures,” she explained.
The NIJC fellowship has private indicating to Lopez as well.
Lopez was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and came to the U.S. with her family members when she was 8 a long time old. As a young little one, she and her family went via deportation proceedings for seven many years because of to a blunder built with their paperwork. All over that time it was tricky for her family members to have illustration and keep attorneys since of their funds.
That particular working experience and the troubles her household faced fueled her motivation to provide immigrants. This past spring, Lopez, alongside with her father, was ready to file her possess citizenship paperwork.
“I came to Notre Dame Regulation School with the target of representing immigrants like myself. I want others to have the illustration that my household and I could not have,” she claimed.
Throughout regulation college, Lopez was vice president and communications director for the recently set up Initially Technology Pros Team. She co-chaired the University student Bar Affiliation’s Variety and Inclusion Committee, and was a member of the Hispanic Legislation Students Affiliation. She competed in the Uvaldo Herrera Countrywide Moot Courtroom Levels of competition through her next and 3rd several years of legislation faculty as both a temporary writer and oralist. She also participated in the Regulation School’s Countrywide Immigrant Justice Middle Externship twice, successful an asylum case all through her second calendar year.
All through her to start with-calendar year summer, Lopez labored at Local community Authorized Support SoCal, in Santa Ana, California, and she spent her 2nd-yr summer months at the National Immigrant Justice Centre in Goshen, Indiana. She acquired her undergraduate degree from St. John’s College in Queens, New York.
Emily Mollinedo, Illinois Jail Task
Mollinedo will perform at the Illinois Jail Venture representing incarcerated people in sentencing claims and petitions. She will enable discover people today in less than-resourced and rural communities throughout Illinois who have been the most egregiously around-sentenced and intention to proper and undo those people lengthy sentences. She also ideas to aid reverse guidelines that led to more than-prolonged sentencing tendencies in the very first area.
“Since I was a youthful female, I have dreamt of being a attorney, because I usually considered the legislation as a job of services. For me, this fellowship not only enables me to have out my lifelong aspirations of becoming a law firm and serving to other people, but it signifies that I can use my training to assist reunite families long divided by harsh practices and policies,” said Mollinedo.
Right before coming to law college, Mollinedo labored as a paralegal/trial assistant. That career uncovered her to the importance of just sentencing in prison protection situations, leading her to look for out ordeals at Notre Dame. She participated in 3 of the Legislation School’s 11 externships: the Wrongful Conviction Externship, Expungements Externship, and Public Defender Externship. She also assisted with consumption for the Regulation School’s new Exoneration Justice Clinic.
In addition, she was the editor-in-chief of the Legislation School’s Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Plan, vice president of the Notre Dame Exoneration Task, and energetic in the Hispanic Regulation College students Association, also competing in the yearly Uvaldo Herrera Countrywide Moot Court docket Competitiveness during her second and third a long time of law school.
All through her initially-yr summer, Mollinedo labored at the Office environment of the Point out Appellate Defender in Springfield, Illinois, and was a investigation assistant for Affiliate Professor Marah Stith McLeod. She worked at the civil rights firm Loevy & Loevy in Chicago all through her second-calendar year summer. She gained her undergraduate degree from New York University.
Founded in 2013, the Thomas L. Shaffer General public Curiosity Fellowship proceeds a long custom of public curiosity at Notre Dame Law College. The fellowship honors Thomas L. Shaffer ’61 J.D., who was a longtime faculty member and former dean at Notre Dame Legislation University. All through his tenure, he was a supervising legal professional in the Notre Dame Lawful Assist Clinic, now known as the Notre Dame Scientific Legislation Centre, where by he taught clinical ethics and guided the legal follow of legislation pupils who serve underprivileged men and women in the South Bend space.