Justice Center announces five class of 2024 postgraduate fellows

2024 Texas Law Postgraduate Public Interest Fellows: Ritika Kumar and Kalyn Mizelle McDaniel

Texas Law has awarded the G. Rollie White Trust, Julius Glickman, and Mike Myers postgraduate public interest fellowships to three members of the class of 2024. Two graduating students willreceive Texas Law Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowships. Each fellow will receive funding through the Law School to support their first year of employment at a nonprofit organization. 

“We are proud to support these graduates as they embark on their careers in public service. And we look forward to witnessing the incredible contributions they will make to society and the legal profession,” said Nicole Simmons, director of the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law, which administers the fellowships at the Law School. “We are thankful for the generous supporters who made these fellowship opportunities possible for these deserving graduates.” 

 

Katherine Himaya Lewis will receive the G. Rollie White Trust Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by the G. Rollie White Trust, to work at Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma in Tulsa. Her work will focus on Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma’s Women in Recovery program, an intensive outpatient alternative for eligible women facing long prison sentences. She will represent participants in the program in family law matters to help them maintain their recovery and preserve their families. 

At Texas Law, Lewis was a member of the Women’s Law Caucus, the Human Rights Law Society, the Public Interest Law Association, and First Generation Law Students. She participated in the Children’s Rights Clinic and volunteered for the U.S. Department of State researching international orphan hosting programs. She spent her summers working in Austin with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid’s Family Defense Project and interning with Travis County Civil District Court Judge Aurora Martinez Jones, who hears cases related to child welfare. 

 

Megan Day will receive the Julius Glickman Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by Julius Glickman ’66, to work in the San Diego office of the Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Her project will provide direct legal services, including post-conviction relief, to deported veterans around the world and engage in advocacy efforts to ensure pathways for deported veterans’ repatriation. 

At Texas Law, Day was president of the student chapter of the American Constitution Society, vice president of the Human Rights Law Society, and a bassist for Assault and Flattery, and she participated in the Texas International Law Journal and the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy. As a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program, she coordinated immigration projects, including spearheading the deported veterans humanitarian parole workshop. She participated in the Transnational Workers Rights Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and Criminal Defense Clinic. She spent the summer after her 1L year working with Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project Anti-Detention Team in Los Angeles. She spent the summer after her 2L year working with the Immigrant Defenders Law Center’s Cross Border Initiative in San Diego. 

 

Emily Gustafson will receive the Mike A. Myers Fellowship in Public Interest Law, funded by Mike Myers ‘63, to work at the Texas Advocacy Project in Austin. Her project will focus on developing an international human rights framework to address domestic violence in the United States to highlight obligations and solutions at the state and federal level. 

At Texas Law, Gustafson was a member of the Women’s Law Caucus and served as symposium editor of the Texas International Law Journal. She was a student fellow with The Strauss Center for International Security and Law and participated in transactional skills competitions. She was a student in the Human Rights Clinic and participated in a range of pro bono projects, including the expunction project and the parole project. She spent her summers working at the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings, Hilliard Shadowen, LLP, and Lloyd Gosselink Rochelle and Townsend, PC, in Austin and the Federal Trade Commission in Dallas. 

Ritika Kumar and Kalyn Mizelle McDaniel will receive Texas Law Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowships, which fund graduating students to work with public interest legal organizations and certain international organizations for the year following their graduation. These fellowships, which are not project based, were announced by Dean Chesney last year. 

 

Ritika Kumar will work at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid in Austin as a member of the housing team. She will assist clients in federally subsidized housing in defending against evictions and work at the intersection of housing and environmental law on matters involving substandard housing conditions.  

At Texas Law, Kumar was president of Texas Law Fellowships, a Teaching Quizmaster with the 1L writing program, and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program. She participated in the parole project during all three years of law school and also volunteered for an array of pro bono projects, including driver’s license recovery, wills, and immigration. She participated in both the Environmental Clinic and the Housing Clinic. After her 1L year, Kumar spent the summer working on disaster recovery and fair housing at Texas Appleseed in Austin. She spent the summer after her 2L year working as a summer associate at Social Finance, an impact finance and advisory nonprofit, in Boston. Over the school year, she worked remotely for Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, a San Francisco-based law firm, on issues in environmental, tribal and land use law. 

 

Kalyn Mizelle McDaniel will work at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which is based in Washington, D.C. She will spearhead projects addressing the threat of far-right extremism and Christian nationalism to democracy and the rule of law.  

At Texas Law, McDaniel was co-president of the Human Rights Legal Society, a vice president of Texas Law’s American Constitution Society Chapter, a National Security Law Fellow with the Strauss Center, a staff editor for the Texas International Law Journal, and a Pro Bono Scholar with the Mithoff Pro Bono Program, helping to lead the Title IX project. She interned with Judge Jan Soifer of the Travis County Civil District Courts and participated in the Civil Rights Clinic. She also spent a semester in practice with the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law in Washington, D.C. After her 1L year, McDaniel spent the summer working on national security law at the Center for Ethics and Rule of Law at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She spent the summer after her 2L year working at Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C. After her fellowship, she will clerk for Judge Neal E. Kravitz of the District of Columbia Superior Court. 

“Thank you to Dean Chesney for his continued support of Texas Law students and alumni pursuing public-interest careers,” said Simmons. “His creation of the Texas Law Postgraduate Public Interest Fellowship Program greatly expands the opportunities available to our graduates seeking to serve the public.”