Name: Mike Bauder '24

Hometown: Hazleton, PA

Undergrad: Misericordia University, PA

Interests: International Human Rights, Veterans Law, Anti-Poverty Advocacy

Mike was drafted in to public interest and social justice work before he could even ride a bike. His parents instilled in him the importance of service before self and taught him that each human being was born with value. It was the principle of love for others (and conscription by his parents) that drove Mike to serve and volunteer in many capacities in his small hometown of Hazleton, PA. In 2002, Mike enlisted in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard and deployed to Iraq in 2004. War was hard but coming home was harder. Serving other people proved to be some of the best therapy for Mike because it helped shift his thinking from himself to others. Serving others has taken him to places like Jamaica, England and India. Mike has a background in federal acquisition which provided the opportunity to live and work in the Kingdom of Bahrain for a few years. Those years gave him the chance to live among many different cultures. Service for others has always been the legacy that he was born in to but is now the legacy that he is continuing to build upon. 

Name: Sheree Brewer '23

Hometown: Omaha, NE

Undergrad: Rowan Univeristy

Interests: Family Law, Public Health, Public Interest

Shéree Brewer’s determination to pursue family law, public health, and social justice is derived from her own encounters with our legal system.  She is motivated to influence the decisions that are made regarding restraining orders, passionate concerning creating a healthy relationships curriculum for the youth, and adamant about diminishing the disparities that perpetuate social ills.  Each career choice was a deliberate decision to bridge a gap in our society providing lower-income families with higher quality education and housing.  Her trajectory started at Charity Community Church where she learned how to better serve the community: “We are charged to give the best we have as often as possible.”  Preceding law school, she managed the operations of a parochial school where they teach children how to communicate offering a private school education to underprivileged families.  In 2018, she earned a degree in Psychology from Rowan University to better understand the people she serves.  For over 13 years she managed a mixed low-income housing tax credit property, where she learned the importance of building a community.  While renovating the environment into a more beautiful dwelling, she brought the residents out of their homes with events giving them bonding opportunities with their neighbors, first responders, and management converting a once dangerous area into a community of quality.  

Name: Erinmarie Byrnes '23

Hometown: Glenside, PA

Undergrad: University of Rochester

Throughout her time in undergrad, Erinmarie held multiple leadership positions in student government and other organizations. She also held a research position, and a work study job that connected college students with elementary students in the Rochester City School District. After undergrad, she joined Teach for America as a corps member in Nashville. Erinmarie taught 2nd and 6th grade English Language Learners from all over the world. As a teacher, Erinmarie witnessed the injustices her students and school community faced on a daily basis, such as housing, food, and job security, de facto school segregation, and immigration issues. During her time as a teacher, Erinmarie became interested in restorative classroom practices, which she now applies in thinking about the criminal justice system. Erinmarie hopes to be able to use her law degree to further restorative and reparative justice.

Name: Nkora Carr '23

Hometown: Long Island, NY

Undergrad: Pennsylvania State University

Interests: Juvenile Criminal Defense

As a sociology major, Nkora researched the school to prison pipeline and (so-called) deviant behavior. She learned that black children are being pushed in to the prison system at alarmingly young ages, for behaviors that white children would get detention for or speak to a counselor. Exposing children to the prison system makes it harder for them to properly socialize. Most children who behave badly have an undiagnosed mental illness or issues at home, such as neglect or abuse. These are children who need our help, they do not need to be displaced and outcasted. This is why Nkora is also interested in Child Advocacy and wants to pursue a Masters in Social Work. 

Name: Loris Dennis

Hometown: Michigan

Undergraduate: Denison University

Graduate: Boston University

Interests: Public Interest, Education Law

Loris Dennis is a 1L from Michigan. She attended Denison University as a Psychology major. Throughout her studies at Denison, she took on various leadership roles and completed independent research focusing on the intersection between literacy development and disadvantaged communities. After undergrad, Loris joined Teach for America in Boston, Massachusetts where she received her Masters in Education, taught 10th-grade Biology and worked for the organization outside of teaching. While working as a teacher, she noticed the racial and economic struggles her students and families were experiencing and wanted to do everything she could to support them. She knew law school was an important step to advocating and serving them.  She is particularly interested in the education, the legal system, and housing injustices that face communities of color and disadvantaged populations.  Loris hopes to use her law degree to advocate and serve communities like her students to ensure they are receiving justice. Loris strives for equity ensuring these communities are getting the legal justice they need and deserve.

Name: Meghan DeVol

Hometown: Columbus, OH

Undergrad: The Ohio State University

Interests: Racial Justice, Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Criminal Justice Reform

Meghan’s passion for justice was ignited by her experience as a student in Columbus City Schools. Her experiences in CCS and her love of history led her to declare a double major in History and African American and African Studies in college. As Meghan became more socially and politically conscious and as her knowledge of historical injustice continued to grow, so did her desire to put the knowledge she acquired into action. The intersection of law, history, and social justice, and the desire to serve others is what led Meghan to law school. Meghan is most interested in racial justice and its deep connections to all other social issues, especially mass incarceration, and voter suppression. She hopes to continue to learn and work to empower marginalized communities towards justice in her time as a Social Justice Scholar and as an attorney.
 

Name: Jibri Douglas, MPH

Hometown: Newark, NJ

Undergrad: University of Georgia

Interests: Racial Justice, Civil Rights, Real Estate, Public Health, Entrepreneurship, Movement Lawyering, Civil Litigation 

Jibri Douglas hails from Newark, NJ, and is currently a 1LE in the part-time program. In 2010, Jibri graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in Health Promotion and Behavior. Since graduating from UGA, Jibri has worked tirelessly in the HIV/AIDS field in many capacities primarily with LGBT homeless youth, substance users and formerly incarcerated women of color. In 2017, Jibri graduated with their Master of Public Health degree from Drexel University concentrating in Health Management and Policy.  Today, Jibri is the Program Manager of Family Planning for a local Philadelphia non-profit as well as a professor at Montclair State University. Additionally, Jibri identifies as a social entrepreneur who over the years has slowly married their background in public health to entrepreneurship. Jibri started their journey in 2008 by publishing their first poetry book "Old Vs. New: The Chronicles of Growth" selling over 300 copies in undergrad. In 2015, after successfully launching the first hospital-wide LGBTQ healthcare initiative in Hudson County, NJ, Jibri founded TJD Medical Consulting, a small diversity and inclusion boutique consulting firm with a focus on healthcare organizations. In 2019, Jibri transitioned into real estate development. After years of working in public health and seeing the impacts of housing blight on communities, Jibri created Noire Real Estate, LLC. As a Social Justice Scholar and subsequently as a practicing attorney, Jibri plans to combine their experience and passion for public health, real estate, and entrepreneurism to work alongside communities to revitalize residential and commercial properties, close the generational wealth gap, and fight against codified disenfranchisement in our legal system for Black and Brown communities. Jibri's ultimate goal is one day become a judge at either the appellate or state Supreme Court. 

Name: Tue Ho '22 

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Undergrad: Temple University

Graduate: University of Pennsylvania

Interests: Housing justice and criminal reform

Tue Ho is a first-generation immigrant from Saigon, Vietnam. Growing up around economic poverty in South Philadelphia, Tue was extremely privileged when his father became a janitor at a private school. With this, Tue was able to perceive the achievement gap at an early age when he compared his neighbors’ public education opportunities to his own private education opportunities. This led him to a career in public education, and he spent four years as a special education teacher in Kensington. In education, Tue began to explore the interconnected systems of oppression that impact students, particularly housing justice and criminal reform. He has worked with teachers across Philadelphia to create a curriculum centered on housing rights and gentrification. He’s also worked for various domestic violence prevention and victim support organizations as volunteer and facilitator. He is currently a research intern for the fair housing center in Philadelphia and teaches karate in south Philadelphia. As a Social Justice Scholar, he is excited to ground his legal studies in continued advocacy for marginalized and oppressed communities.

Name: Venia Imel ‘24 

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland

Undergrad: University of Maryland

Interests: International Law, Human Rights, Criminal Justice Reform

Venia is a person of hope who highly prioritizes equity, fairness, justice, and kindness.  After growing up in an environment that was closely entangled with drugs, alcohol, incarceration, violence, and poverty, Venia sought to help enact reform on the systems that perpetrated the harm she saw in her everyday life. While earning her B.A. in criminal justice from the University of Maryland in 2021, Venia worked closely with the NAACP on her campus and in the local Prince George’s County where she also participated in many student organizations and projects that focused on uplifting Students of Color and mutual aid within the community. Her passions so far focus on criminal justice reform and international human rights. 

Name: Jeremy Koepf

Hometown:  Caro, MI

Undergrad: B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science from Grand Valley State University

Grad: M.A. in Higher Education, Administration from Boston College

Interests: My interests include: science, medical technology, healthcare, and education.

Both a scientist and an educator, Jeremy has spent his career working to support and elevate the communities around him. Jeremy received his B.S. in Clinical Laboratory Science at GVSU and worked for a decade in community outreach hospitals performing diagnostic testing including hematology, chemistry, coagulation, immunohematology. In this work, Jeremy was able to support medical care for vulnerable and underserved populations, like advocating for more inclusive testing for trans women in the healthcare system.

Clinical work granted the incredible opportunity to save lives but infrequently provided the ability to change lives. Education seemed to be an answer, so Jeremy enrolled in graduate school and acquired his M.A. in Higher Education from Boston College. Through his work within the Dean's Division at Boston College and Swarthmore College, Jeremy was able to support programs like: first-generation and low-income initiatives, the College Transitions Program, the Alcohol Screen and Prevention Initiative, and as an lgbtqia+ mentor.

At the start 2020, with a mind to starting law school, Jeremy moved back into the laboratory full time and worked through the pandemic, which included performing COVID-19 PCR testing in microbiology and issuing COVID-19 convalescent plasma in immunohematology. Moving forward the areas of law that are of most interest are: healthcare, medical technology, and education.

Name: Rebecca Lewis '23

Hometown: Gibbsboro, NJ

Undergrad: Rutgers University

Interests: Human Rights/Prisoners Rights, Domestic Violence, and Criminal Defense

Through her experience learning about community development and working with Camden-based nonprofits, Rebecca realized her passionate pursuit of equality for all could become her life’s work. She completed internships with The Alice Paul Institute, where she focused on the Equal Rights Amendment Campaign as well as the Voter Rights Initiative, and The Pennsylvania Innocence Project where she assisted with research on potential innocence cases. During these internships she learned of the importance of and working for the rights of others and public interest law. 

Name: Zaniya Lewis

Hometown: Edgewater Park, NJ

Undergraduate: The George Washington University

Interests: Civil Rights Law, Education Law, Employment Law, Veterans Law, and Sports Law

Growing up in a military family sparked Zaniya's passion for social justice and advocacy. Zaniya has experienced many obstacles in life, which inspired her to start her own nonprofit organization called YesSheCanCampaign, a 501c3 national nonprofit that empowers youth
to be extraordinary and to change the world. Her nonprofit is centered on equipping young people who are overcoming adversity with the tools and resources to succeed in college and their careers.  In 2019, Zaniya experienced scholarship award displacement as
an undergraduate student and her advocacy is breaking barriers, already resulting in a law (S985) that restricts scholarship award displacement at New Jersey public universities. New Jersey is now the second state in the nation to outlaw scholarship award displacement.
Her advocacy inspired the Helping Students Plan for College Act 2021, a federal bill to address scholarship award displacement nationwide. Having access to resources and opportunities Zaniya had not previously known existed brought inspiration and purpose to her life. Zaniya aspires to use her legal degree to assist government agencies and corporations in developing their diversity initiatives, employment programs, military and veterans affairs, scholarship programs, and more. She is also interested in working in several areas of law, such as employment law, veterans law, education law, sports law, civil rights, and more. Zaniya’s mission in life is to inspire others to keep climbing and to use their passions to make a difference in the world.

Arlette Leyba portrait

Name: Arlette Leyba '22 

Hometown: Camden, NJ 

Undergrad: Rutgers University–New Brunswick 

Interests: Civil rights, Immigration, Domestic violence

Growing up in Camden, as the daughter of immigrants, and being a first-generation college student has sparked her interest in social justice reform. Prior to law school Arlette Leyba was involved with a youth development program in Camden called Camden Adolescents Striving for Achievement (C.A.S.A.). For the past two years, she has been working at the Camden Center for Law and Social Justice, a nonprofit law firm, helping the immigrant community as well as helping victims of domestic violence.  "The reason I am so passionate about becoming an advocate for others is that I have seen the need from members in my family and community. I am eager to learn from my peers and others within the Social Justice Program, ways in which I can help and hopefully make a difference."

Constance Hope Long

Name: Constance Hope Long '22 

Hometown: Waynesboro, PA

Undergrad: Temple University

Interests: Immigration law and domestic violence

Hope’s number one interest is in Immigration Law, specifically in deportation defense and impact litigation. Before applying for law school Hope worked as litigation paralegal in an Immigration Law firm for over two years, where her primary focus was in Asylum and Cancellation of Removal cases, Special Immigrant Juvenile Cases, and family petitions. While working on those cases she was able to experience the difference that quality legal representation makes in this field, which in many cases is a matter of life and death. To give people the service they need requires a compassion and deep commitment to seeing them through a situation that might be the most terrifying and stressful moment in their lives. she believe there is no better way to get the full value of what the legal profession has to offer than to fight for those who need it most.

Name: Emma Martin '23

Hometown: Port Jefferson, NY

Undergrad: Adelphi University

Interests: LGBTQ+ and Gender Discrimination Law

Prior to law school, Emma worked as an intern in a few different capacities, specifically surrounding food justice. She worked on a campaign advocating for farmworker’s rights on the Eastern End of Long Island, helping to create a farmer’s market campaign to spread information about the injustices farmworkers bear. Emma has also worked for a food bank, helping clients apply for SNAP and during the summer months, managing sites that distribute free food for children via a NYS federal grant. These internships allowed her to see different versions of advocacy and solidify her passion for social justice work. Emma wrote her undergrad Honors College thesis about the factors that impact LGBTQ+ college students in self-disclosing their identities on campus, where her passion for LGBTQ+ advocacy was foregrounded. She hopes to focus on LGBTQ+ and gender discrimination law, combining her social work skills with law skills to bring about positive change. 

Name: Shirneil Merisier

Undergraduate: The Pennsylvania State University 

Hometown: Abington, PA

Interests: Family Law, Immigration Law, and Civil Rights Law

Shirneil Merisier is a 1L evening student balancing law school and her position at Women Against Abuse as a paralegal, where she advocates for domestic violence victims/survivors as they navigate the judicial system. Aside from the daily advocacy Shirneil engages in with her clients. She is also committed to social justice reform within the workplace. She has taken the responsibility of facilitating conversations on the presence of implicit bias, discriminatory practices, and the role of the police in domestic violence. 

Shirneil’s interest in social justice reform was first sparked by her parents. As the daughter of immigrants, she has witnessed her parents interact with the various judicial systems and has seen first-hand how inaccessible the judicial system is to vulnerable populations. Her goal is to become a liaison between the system and those who are vulnerable. Shirneil is passionate about raising the voices of those who are often overlooked and dismissed.

Prior to law school, Shirneil graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a B.A. in Public Relations, a B.A. in Psychology, and a minor in Dispute Management and resolutions. While on campus her commitment to her community and social justice reform could be seen through her work within her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. While on campus Shirneil served as the Global target chair and implemented programs raising awareness on global issues.

Shirneil is dedicated to social justice reform and is excited to expand her areas of interest and advocacy alongside the Social Justice Scholars
 

Stephanie Mignogna

Name: Stephanie Mignogna '22 

Hometown: Voorhees, NJ

Undergrad: Saint Joseph's University

Stephanie Mignogna is excited to continue her varied work in social justice as a Social Justice Scholar.  Whether rebuilding houses in New Orleans, working in impoverished regions of Appalachia, or assisting women exiting prostitution in South Africa, she is eager to learn about why the world is the way that it is and how the dynamics of class, background, gender, and race intersect to perpetuate inequality.  Her goal is to use her privilege to empower and uplift others while being a voice for change.

Mumbi Ngugi

Name: Mũmbi Wanjikũ Ngũgĩ' '22 

Hometown: Irvine, CA 

Undergrad: Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University (FAU)

Interests:  Progressive prosecution, public interest law, critical race theory, feminism, philosophy.

Mũmbi Wanjikũ Ngũgĩ is a Kenyan-American born in North Jersey. Ngũgĩ grew up in Southern California and went to university at the Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University where she studied Law and Society, Spanish and Women's Studies. Ngũgĩ's liberal arts studies taught her to look at the issues of the world from a critical feminist lens. As a social justice scholar, Ngũgĩ looks forward to engaging public interest law through pro-bono service, explore the privilege of being able to study law in Camden, and focus on issues of juvenile justice from a critical race perspective.

Abioye Oyeyemi portrait

Name: Abioye Oyeyemi '22

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Undergrad: Temple University

Interests: Immigration law, Corporate law, International law, Education law, Family law

Abioye Oyeyemi is a full-time teacher during the days in Philadelphia and is pursuing his JD in the evening as a part-time student. Abioye is a first-generation immigrant born in Lagos, Nigeria, raised by a single father of three children, who despite numerous hardship and challenges, found success in America. He cites his father and late mother as his inspiration in life, and his drive in guiding others in obtaining opportunities that will bring them success in life.

Growing up in Nigeria, Abioye and his siblings had family or community members who showed him the importance of service.

Abioye spent three years volunteering and teaching English and life skills to fellow immigrants in Philadelphia. “Some of [them] were old enough to be my mother…it made me feel good knowing that I could help them…and they were extremely grateful…It reminded me so much of those that looked out for me in my childhood and throughout my life. They didn’t know it, but they were helping me more than I was probably helping them.”

His life experiences and current work with adolescents in Philadelphia are what drive Abioye to live up to the ideals of a Social Justice Scholar. He wants to be able to assist those that are less fortunate or in adverse circumstances in being able to experience many opportunities that might not be readily available to them. Ultimately, he wants them to find success in their lives, just as others have helped him find success in his.

Name: Kayvon Paul ‘22

Hometown: Long Branch, NJ

Undergrad: Monmouth University

Interests: Advocacy for those affected by domestic violence, mental health issues, and poverty.

Prior to Rutgers Law,  Kayvon worked on local, state, and federal political campaigns including a campaign that led to the election of New Jersey’s first Indian-American State Senator. After these campaigns, Kayvon worked at Garden State Equality, which is New Jersey’s largest LGBT interest group that represents over 150,000 members. Currently, Kayvon works at MBI, one of New Jersey’s largest public affairs and government relations firms based in the State’s capitol. While at Monmouth University, Kayvon served as co-chair and founding member for both the Asbury Park Young Democrats and Monmouth University Democrats.

Name: Grace Purgason '23

Hometown: Morristown, TN

Undergrad: University of Tennessee Knoxville

Interests: Immigration, Housing, and Prison Reform

Even though she entered undergrad pre-med, she soon changed her career track when a large immigration raid ravaged her hometown. Ever since then, she has immersed herself in the legal field by volunteering at Legal Aid of East Tennessee for the last eighteen months and working at countless pro bono clinics such as immigration, veterans, expungement, and domestic violence. Even though her heart is in immigration, Grace dives into all pro bono opportunities that are offered to her. She recently graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in three years with Neuroscience and Psychology degrees. 

Name: Missy Rebovich 24’

Hometown: Bordentown, NJ

Undergrad: Rider University, NJ

Interests: Public Interest, Environmental Justice, Gender-based Violence 

Missy has been working in government affairs and communications since graduating from Rider University in 2012. She is passionate about making New Jersey a place where everyone—regardless of race or ethnicity, gender identity, sexuality, or religion—can thrive by working to change laws that perpetuate systemic injustices. As the director of government and public affairs at New Jersey Future, Missy’s government affairs work has helped advance laws that protect residents from lead exposure and require municipalities to do climate hazard planning to keep communities and businesses safe from rising sea levels and other climate threats.

Name: Gladys Rosario '23

Hometown: Brownsville, TX

Undergrad: University of California, Berkeley

Interest: Civil Rights Law, Criminal Law, and Employment Law

Gladys Rosario was born in a Texas border town and moved to San Diego, California when she was 13-years-old. She grew up in a working class Mexican and Puerto Rican household and was a first-generation college student when she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. She majored in Political Economy and concentrated her studies in socioeconomic inequality in the United States. She is now the first in her family to attend law school.

Prior to law school, she worked as a legal assistant and paralegal for 4 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her most valued working experience was in the racial justice department at the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. She assisted attorneys with client interviews, case filings, advocacy report research, and program administration. While working at the Lawyers' Committee, she completed the Latina Coalition of Silicon Valley’s Engaged Latina Leadership Activist (ELLA) program in 2019. She is interested in using her law degree to assist low-income individuals and communities disproportionately impacted by the justice system.

Name: Zahirah Sabir '23

Undergrad: Rowan College

Zahirah is currently a 1L student in the evening program, while balancing a career with Rowan College at Burlington County, overseeing the grants office and workforce development outreach. Raised in a family that always emphasized the importance of helping others and being an advocate. Zahirah is a member of the Board of Directors for CONTACT of Burlington County which is a suicide and sexual assault prevention non-profit organization. In addition to her work with CONTACT, Zahirah volunteers with the Burlington Vicinage’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the Burlington County Women’s Council, which dedicates time to tackling gender equity issues.

Zahirah formerly worked as a Legislative Aide for Assemblyman Whip Wilson of the 5th Legislative District where she was tasked with serving as a direct liaison for the Assemblyman to the Governor’s Office, Executive Branch Departments and Agencies, NJ Senate, Federal Representatives, County and Municipal officials as well as managing constituent cases. While advocating for constituents, she realized her passion for education and housing equity issues as well as linking community members to necessary resources. This passion for advocacy is also what lead Zahirah to law school and the SJS program.

Catherine Casey Schu

Name: Catherine "Casey" Schu '22 
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA 

Undergrad: La Salle University

Interests:  Immigration Law, Suicide Prevention, LGBTQ+ and Gender Discrimination

Casey studied Spanish and International Relations in college, which educated her on the myriad issues experienced by people worldwide. This led to an interest in immigration and understanding the importance of people's freedom of movement. As a senior in college, she interned at HIAS PA, an immigration nonprofit. She then worked there for a year postgrad as a social worker/legal assistant working with asylees and Cuban parolees. She continued her work as a social worker at other agencies, working with parents to cultivate healthy parenting skills and navigating foster families through the adoption process. Casey hopes to pair her social work skills with a legal education to cultivate personal connections with her clients as they work through their legal issues together.

Name: Sam Shopp '23

Hometown: Haddon Heights, NJ

Undergrad: Rutgers University

Interest: Child Advocacy, Civil Rights Law, and Labor Law

A New Jersey native and graduate of Rutgers New Brunswick, Sam Shopp is a dedicated public servant in the fields of child advocacy and education. He has interned for Senator Cory Booker and the Children's Defense Fund, and was a high school substitute teacher in South Jersey prior to entering law school. The intersections of race, class, and gender that exist within children's issues have informed Sam's commitment to continue fighting for children throughout his career as both a political advocate and a legal representative.

Name: Southiwa Paula Souvannaphasy ‘24

Hometown: Marysville, WA

Undergrad: University of Washington

Interest: Criminal Justice Reform, Juvenile Justice and Civil Rights

Paula Souvannaphasy graduated from the University of Washington and spent the last eight years working in nonprofit and government service. After graduation, she spent a year in AmeriCorps VISTA and most recently worked at the ACLU of Washington for five years during the Trump administration before coming to Rutgers Law. She is driven by the inequities she witnessed as a daughter of Laotian refugees and wants to make law more accessible to impacted communities, especially youth and people of color. She has realized that the tools and knowledge of the legal system are hoarded by a small group of privileged people and those tools should be widely dispersed so people can advocate for themselves. She hopes to continue her work in Public Interest Law after graduating from Rutgers Law.

Name: Kimberly Taylor

Hometown: Wilmington, DE

Undergraduate: West Chester University

Graduate: University of Delaware

Interests: Civil Rights Law, Education Law

By day, Kim is the Bi-College Title IX Coordinator at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, directing institutional efforts to address issues related to sexual and gender-based discrimination. In the evenings, she is pursuing her JD as a part-time student.

Kim has always been drawn to social justice issues, both through personal and professional experiences. She has spent the majority of her career in higher education, working in addition to Title IX, in campus safety, student conduct, prevention and advocacy, and crisis response. She is eager to merge her experiences as a practitioner with the knowledge and acumen that a law degree will provide. While her current focus is on gender equity, her “social injustice” lens continues to broaden, only deepening her commitment and belief that civil rights and human rights should be synonymous.

Name: Arden Walker ‘24

Undergrad: University of Cape Town (Honours) 

Interests: Economic and Financial Justice

Between her time at the University of Cape Town in South Africa and as an essential worker during the Covid-19 pandemic, Arden comes to Rutgers Law with a distinct understanding of how economic injustice begets other injustices. Arden’s post-graduate research at the University of Cape Town focused on the development of the Islamic Financial and Economic system in Malaysia and the ways in which they did and did not promote a more equitable and stable economy. With a legal education grounded in an intersectional understanding of economic justice, Arden plans to use the law as a tool for creating a more equitable and stable economic landscape. 

Viktoria Zerda

Name: Viktoria Zerda '22

Hometown: San Antonio, TX

Undergrad: University of Texas at San Antonio

Interest: Immigration

Viktoria Zerda is a Chicana from San Antonio, Texas. After moving to Philadelphia Viktoria worked at an environmental advocacy group before starting law school. Before moving, she received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also worked on the border since 2014 with Central American unaccompanied minors and organized around issues of migrant justice and the corruption of border agencies. She came into law school to concentrate on immigration law with a passion for asylum rights. She is interested in continuing her organizing work and becoming a movement lawyer.