June 15, 2009
Cooley Graduate Awarded A 2009 Equal Justice Works Fellowship
Christina Nguyen to assist Asian immigrant youth in Washington, D.C.
Thomas M. Cooley Law School graduate Christina Nguyen was recently awarded a 2009 Equal Justice Works fellowship, sponsored by Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
The Equal Justice Works Fellowships program funds two-year fellowships, often through partnerships with law firms, corporations and public interest organizations. The program addresses the shortage of attorneys working with traditionally underserved populations, recognizing the many obstacles that prevent new attorneys from practicing public interest law, including the lack of entry-level jobs and daunting educational debt. The fellowships allow attorneys to work on public interest projects by offering salary, loan payment assistance, a national training and leadership development program, and other financial and technical support during the term of the fellowship.
In September, Nguyen will begin her two-year term with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center’s Asian Youth Immigrant Assistance Project. The project provides advocacy, outreach and immigration legal assistance to Asian immigrant youth and their families in the Washington, D.C. area. Nguyen will work with youth who are abused, abandoned or victims of human trafficking, and will assist in the prosecution of related crimes.
Nguyen’s parents fled Vietnam as refugees, and she said that she has always wanted to work with children and immigrants in some way.
“I felt that becoming a lawyer would be one way for me to help other immigrant families give to their own children the opportunities that I had,” she said in her biography on the Equal Justice Works Web site.
Nguyen has previously interned with the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center and her legal research and volunteer work at orphanages in Vietnam have exposed her to the victims of human trafficking, who are often children.
Equal Justice Works Fellowships is the largest postgraduate legal fellowship program in the U.S. More than 300 lawyers and law students submitted applications for the class of 2009, and 48 were awarded fellowships. For more information about Equal Justice Works Fellowships and other public interest law opportunities, visit www.equaljusticeworks.org/programs.
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the country. Founded in 1972, it operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Ann Arbor, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Lansing. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 13,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley Law School ranked second in total minority enrollment in 2007 among the 195 ABA-accredited law schools, according to information included in the American Bar Association's Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools (2008 Edition). Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.