Brooke Lewis RLAW'17 was granted a two-year Trustee Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellowship at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Using a holistic approach to addressing the unique and critical issues facing New Jersey’s urban communities, the Institute advocates for systematic reform that is transformative, achievable in the state, and replicable in communities across the nation. As a fellow, Lewis will be working on each of the three pillars of the Institute’s work–criminal justice reform, economic mobility, and civic engagement.
"I am so excited to be selected as the incoming Trustee Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellow. The attorneys and staff at the Institute are leaders in social justice, both locally and nationally, and I am honored to have the privilege to learn from them as an early-career attorney," said Lewis.
“Even as a first-generation college student at Rutgers–Camden, Brooke showed an incredible dedication to social justice—a dedication that has only grown throughout her law school career," said Professor Katie Eyer.
While a student at Rutgers Law, Lewis pursued opportunities to gain real-world experience and quickly developed an affinity for public defense and criminal justice policy. She participated in the Children’s Justice Clinic and the Community Reentry Practicum and was a Teaching Fellow with the Minority Student Program. She also served as a Senior Notes and Comments Editor for the Rutgers University Law Review and won the Blaine E. Capehart Award for Legal Writing Excellence.
"I think planning for a public interest career can sometimes have unique challenges," said Lewis. She cited Professors Eyer and Sandra Simkins for their help in guiding her throughout her legal education and serving as mentors in her pursuit of a career in public interest law.
Throughout her time as a student, Lewis worked at the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office in Philadelphia, where she drafted a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging one of Pennsylvania’s statutory sentencing aggravators; served as a legal intern at the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender; worked with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project; and clerked for the Honorable George S. Leone on the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.
"Brooke cares passionately about the issues that she will be working on as the NJISJ Trustee Social Justice Legal Advocacy Fellow and brings deep and rich experiences with criminal and racial justice advocacy to the position," said Eyer.