CLEAR Announces Summer Cohort of Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants Access to Justice Fellows

Left to right: Ari Appel ’24, Maya Leggat ’23, Valerie Orellana ’24 and Owen Woo ’24.

06.12.22 —Northeastern Law’s Center for Law, Equity and Race (CLEAR) is pleased to announce the third set of recipients of the Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants Access to Justice Fellowship, which honors the legacy of the late Massachusetts chief justice by continuing his commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in the judiciary and court systems.

The Gants Access to Justice Fellowship Committee, housed at the Massachusetts Bar Association and with assistance from the Massachusetts Bar Foundation as the fiscal agent, provides programming, mentorship and award stipends of $6,000 each to eligible students who have secured a co-op with a state or federal judge in New England (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine). In addition, Northeastern Law is matching the funds for 10 Gants fellows over two years at the direction of Dean James Hackney, who has made the diversity pipeline for judicial legal co-ops a top priority.

“CLEAR is committed to creating a more diverse pipeline of judicial internships and clerkships by providing LGBTQ, disability and BIPOC students with funding to enable them to take advantage of these opportunities for judicial instruction and mentorship,” said Professor Deborah Ramirez, faculty co-director of CLEAR. “One of  the center's top priorities is to ensure that the judicial internship and clerkship communities begin to look like the populations the courts serve.”

Four Northeastern Law students are each receiving $6,000 stipends to help cover expenses while undertaking unpaid judicial co-ops this summer. They are:

Ari Appel ’24  on co-op with Judge Howard Speicher, Massachusetts Land Court (Boston)

Maya Leggat ’23 on co-op with Judge Elspeth Cypher, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (Boston)

Valerie Orellana ’24 on co-op with Judge Leo Sorokin, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston)

Owen Woo ’24 on co-op with Judge Mary Page Kelley, U.S. District Court, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston)

About Northeastern University School of Law

The nation’s leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country. Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences through its signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. More than 1,000 employers worldwide in a wide range of legal, government, nonprofit and business organizations participate in the program. With a focus on social justice and innovation, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experiences to successfully practice law.

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