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Hofstra Law’s Freedman Institute Names New Social Justice Fellows

Uniondale, NY; Oct. 19, 2021—Ten first-year Hofstra Law students have joined the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics as Social Justice Fellows for the 2021-22 academic year. Selection for the Fellowship is highly competitive and based on academic achievement; demonstrated commitment to social justice and public service; diverse background and interests; and prior experience in public interest organizations, nonprofits and/or government work.

Fellows are awarded a one-time stipend during their first year in the program, and are expected to devote approximately ten hours per month to the Fellowship’s activities, including attending monthly meetings, developing programs and participating in sponsored events.

Funding for this year’s Fellows is supported by Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP.

“This year’s Fellows are a committed, passionate, and inspiring group,” said Theo Liebmann, clinical professor of law & executive director of the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics. “It is so important that the Law School and its supporters put resources behind the students, and I am deeply grateful that Moritt Hock & Hamroff has taken on that challenge.”

“An integral part of Moritt Hock & Hamroff’s history and mission involves a deeply committed dedication to recognizing and mentoring talented young people who represent the future of the legal field,” said Hofstra Law alum Marc Hamroff ’83, managing partner of the firm. “Following several years of renewed societal interest in issues of social justice, Moritt Hock & Hamroff determined to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the idea of public service. We are honored to support this Fellowship with Hofstra Law in order to develop and promote the excellent work of this next generation of public service advocates and leaders as they remain dedicated to joining our profession and setting new standards of professional excellence in the years ahead.”

In 2016, the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics established the Freedman Social Justice Fellowship Program to build a community of law students dedicated to careers in social justice and public service, and train them throughout their three years to become skilled, thoughtful counselors and leaders who will be effective advocates.

Students are exposed to significant and exciting issues in public interest law through active engagement in a range of events, from informal luncheons with students and faculty to Hofstra Law programs and conferences. Fellows are paired with faculty and alumni mentors who provide academic and career guidance throughout the three years of the Fellowship Program, supporting development of each Fellow’s leadership skills.

2021-22 1L Social Justice Fellows

Alyssa Achiron
Alyssa graduated from the University of Georgia as a political science major and women’s studies minor, and then received her Master’s degree from NYU, where she studied politics and women’s studies through an interdisciplinary program called XE: Experiential Humanities and Social Engagement. Before starting law school, she worked at Weitz and Luxenberg as a personal injury paralegal.

Erin Cauley
Erin is from Maryland, and earned her BA from Hofstra University with majors in Political Science, Anthropology, and Criminology. Although Erin is unsure of exactly what area of the law she would like to work in after graduation, she is very interested in social justice issues, specifically regarding the LGBTQ+ community.

Dominique Edmonds
Dominique has a passion for community service, which has enabled her to impact groups in need, especially within her Queens community. Her interest in serving others began at 14, when she became involved with teaching and mentoring local youth. After graduating from Virginia State University with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and minor in political science, she worked at the New York City Law Department as a Juvenile Delinquency Paralegal.

Celina Flores
Celina graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BA in political science, and a concentration in international relations. Shortly after graduation, she became an EMT, searching for ways to help people. However, she quickly realized that she could do more for her patients, especially victims of abuse, if she pursued a career in the legal field. At Hofstra Law and beyond, Celina plans to advocate for victims of neglect, abuse, and violence.

Karson Goggans
Following her BA in sociology and philosophy at Texas Tech University, Karson continued at TTU to obtain a MA in philosophy with a concentration in the intersection of ethics and feminist epistemology. During this time, Karson worked as a legal assistant for a criminal defense firm in Lubbock, Texas. After graduating, Karson relocated from Texas to New York to pursue a JD at Hofstra Law. Karson is interested in pursuing a career in public interest and advocating for victim’s rights.

Maisha Imam
Maisha is a first generation Bangladeshi-American from Georgia. She began her career on Capitol Hill working for the US House of Representatives, prior to finishing her undergraduate studies from the University of Georgia. She is co-founder and former president of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the Muslim Women’s Professional Network. Before attending law school, Maisha gained hands-on experience at Sidley Austin LLP, working on pro bono projects for asylum seekers. Maisha hopes to use her law degree to bridge the gaps in the immigration system or international law field, particularly for those facing domestic violence or seeking asylum.

Amber Makda
Amber is originally from Plainview, New York, and graduated with a BBA from Baruch College. Throughout college and for the year preceding law school, she worked for Doctors Without Borders (MSF-USA) where she developed an interest in international human rights law, legal advocacy, and working with refugees. Amber is also interested in immigration law, and is hoping to narrow her interests through work experiences and school.

Rrita Osmani
Rrita was born in Prishtina, Kosovo. Her family fled from Kosovo in 1999 during the Kosovo War, and she was raised in New York City. She attended Cornell University, where she majored in industrial labor relations which has informed her of the rich history of labor and how it informed and supported other social movements. Some of her previous internships focused on NGO work, political campaigns and the Clerk’s office for the Appellate Division First Department. Rrita hopes to use her law degree to accomplish her goal of doing “something good” and advocate for those that feel like they are alone.

Veronica Ruiz
A native of Queens, NY, Veronica graduated with a BS in accounting and MS in taxation from The Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University. Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the State of New York. Before beginning her legal studies at Hofstra Law, Veronica worked as a tax accountant in the wealth and asset management sector at Ernst & Young LLP. Veronica is a dual fellow, representing the Business Law Fellowship in addition to the Freedman Social Justice Fellowship, and is eager to merge the interests of both. Veronica aspires to work in tax policy after graduation.

Anthony Santiago
Anthony was born and raised in Manhattan. After graduating high school, he joined the Marine Corps. After his time in the military, Anthony worked in the hospitality industry for a little over three years. Throughout his work experiences, he developed a passion for being of service to others. With the passion of serving others in mind, Anthony decided to leave his job in hospitality to complete his undergraduate studies and earn admission to law school. Anthony has worked with individuals in vulnerable communities such as the disabled Veterans population in Central Florida. He hopes to use his skills to benefit vulnerable communities throughout his time in law school and long after.

Learn more about the Social Justice Fellows on the Freedman Institute website

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