Public Interest Students Earn Fellowships Serving Immigrants, Indigent Defendants

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L to R: Epstein Program faculty member Sherod Thaxton, Janki Kaneria ’19, Gideon's Promise founder and president Jonathan Rapping and Epstein Program faculty director Ingrid Eagly


Three UCLA School of Law students have won prestigious fellowships through which they will serve immigrants and indigent defendants after they graduate in May. In addition, one recent UCLA Law graduate earned a fellowship for his work in helping people who are incarcerated in California.

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Janki Kaneria ’19 was named a 2019 Gideon Fellow. She will work in the public defender’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina, as part of the Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Project. The project provides employment and training to recent law school graduates and focuses on strengthening public defender offices and representation of indigent defendants across the country.

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Amy Kimbel ’19 is one of Immigrant Justice Corps’ 2019 Justice Fellows. She will work at the Public Law Center in Santa Ana, California, and be one of the first fellows in the six-year history of the program to work in California. IJC Justice Fellows represent immigrants battling deportation and seeking to gain lawful status or citizenship in the United States.

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Kelly Miller ’19 is a Justice Catalyst Fellow for 2019. She will serve immigrant detainees through her work at Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Los Angeles. Justice Catalyst Fellows endeavor to improve the lives of people in poor and underserved communities by initiating creative legal strategies at existing and emerging social justice programs across the country.

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Ian Stringham ’18 also received a Justice Catalyst Fellowship. He will continue his work as the founding director of California Legal Research, which expands access to law libraries, photocopiers and other resources for people incarcerated in California, enabling them to complete post-conviction work that would otherwise be impossible. CLR is the first California nonprofit to address the issue.

Kimbel, Miller and Stringham are affiliated with UCLA Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, which stands among the nation’s most innovative and successful law school public interest programs. In 20 years, more than 575 graduates of the program have gone on to advance social justice in the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors.