Ryann Aaron, Class of 2016
Ryann recognized early in his law school career that his prior work as a CPA put him in a unique position to contribute effectively to the Camden community through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Pro Bono Project. Ryann served as a student site leader in VITA during both his 1L and 2L years. With a passion for supporting his community, Ryann also has taken on increasing responsibility, volunteering on the Voters’ Rights Pro Bono Project and serving in 2014-15 as the Mary Philbrook Student Selection Committee Chair, APIL Auction Co-chair, and OUTLaws President. In the latter role, Ryann organized a successful panel discussion focusing on police practices and policies that target the transgender community. Now in his 3L year, Ryann continues his efforts as APIL President and Student Leader for VITA. With hopes of practicing as a corporate attorney in the greater New York area, Ryann is excited about the prospect of continuing his commitment to pro bono and public service after graduation.
Joshua Bauers, Class of 2015
Josh is the inaugural Maida Public Interest Post-Graduate Fellow, pursuing fairer housing for New Jersey residents. After earning an undergraduate degree in social work, Josh became a part-time evening law student, serving as an editor on the Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion and as Secretary of the International Law Society. Josh contributed to many pro bono projects, including Street Law, Planning Estates Pro Bono (PEP), and the Domestic Violence Project. As a student researcher for the Pro Bono Research Project, Josh completed several projects for the New Jersey Law Revision Commission. Josh was heavily involved in the Learn, Empower, and Advocate for the Developmentally Disabled (LEAD) Pro Bono project, and continues as an attorney advisor. During law school, he also contributed to the Fair Share Housing Center’s "testing" for racial discrimination in the local housing market, and worked for other local non-profits including Catholic Charities and Senior Citizens United Community Services (SCUCS) where he assisted low-income families in financial planning, entitlements counseling, and locating affordable housing. A member of the Board of Directors of Planting Seeds of Hope (PSH), Josh has promoted integration and community stabilization through neighborhood planning and community gardening. He also participates in a program that generates searching discussions about spirituality, race, sexuality, and politics. At graduation, Josh received the Dean’s Pro Bono Publico Award for Exceptional Service for completing over 100 pro bono hours and the Eve Biskind Klothen Pro Bono Distinction Award. The Law School is proud that Josh is carrying forward its core value of service as a Maida Fellow at Fair Share Housing, under the supervision of Executive Director Kevin Walsh, ’99, Philbrook Student Public Interest Awardee and 2012 Philbrook Awardee.
Linwood Donelson, Class of 2016
Linwood has been committed to the education of children in his local community since being elected to his local board of education at nineteen in 2010 while attending Stockton University. While continuing to serve on the Lower Alloways Creek Board of Education, he was also appointed to the Salem County Special Services and Vocational Technical Schools Board of Education in 2013. His commitment to education has also led him to increase his advocacy for the schools by becoming involved in local and county politics, which led him to an internship in the Washington office of Congressman Frank LoBiondo and an Eagleton Fellowship this past academic year. Through a partnership between the Child and Family Advocacy Clinic and First Start Academy at Rowan University, he also worked with Professor Meredith Schalick, helping children who have been involved with the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency prepare for high school and college. He is currently enrolled in the Civil Practice Clinic and is committed to continuing to help children and families in his community, which led to his decision to seek the office of Salem County Surrogate this fall.
Frantz Duncan, Class of 2016
Frantz decided to attend Rutgers Law School to pursue a career in public service. In his first year, Frantz began volunteering as a court mediator. To further his passion to help others, he divided his first summer between the Mediation Department of the Office of the Public Defender for the State of New Jersey, and Seton Hall Law School’s Summer Institute of Pre-Legal Studies, which serves students whose promise is threatened by disadvantages. Frantz currently works with the Camden County Juvenile Conference Committee to help rehabilitate Camden County youth. Frantz’s passion is to help protect the rights and dignity of youth who cannot help themselves. As such, he spent a week in Guatemala advocating on behalf of deported immigrant children as part of a course with Professors Gottesman and Mandelbaum. Frantz is currently working on juvenile expungement matters and serving as Student Leader of the Hon. Judith Wizmur Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project, and expects to work in the Children’s Justice Clinic in his final semester. After a judicial clerkship, Frantz aspires to work for the Public Defender’s Office handling juvenile matters.
Caitlin C. Faye, Class of 2016
Caitlin has been deeply committed to working in public interest throughout her life. During high school, she volunteered both with local organizations and, as an exchange student in Bolivia, at a local day care During college, she organized events concerning domestic violence, helped organize a community immigration forum, and taught local high school students about the United Nations. She also conducted research on living conditions and reintegration strategies in Senegalese prisons, where she taught English to inmates twice a week. After college, she worked at a community organization in Southwest Philadelphia, serving the African immigrant population. She then returned to Senegal on a Fulbright scholarship, where she led marketing research on local rice in order to improve food security. During law school, Caitlin has maintained her commitment to public service. She interned at Philadelphia Legal Assistance, where she helped file migrant farmworker employment claims. She also worked at HIAS Pennsylvania, an organization that provides legal services to low-income immigrants. More recently, she interned with the Defender Association of Philadelphia and the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, often working on cases in which criminal and immigration proceedings overlap. Caitlin’s commitment to public service, and in particular to serving the low-income immigrant community, makes her a standout member of the Rutgers community.
Alexis Franklin, Class of 2016
Alexis, who is the mother of two wonderful daughters, Amaya and Amira, graduated from Stanford University in 2005. During her eight year hiatus between Stanford University and Rutgers Law, she worked as a paralegal in a toxic tort firm that successfully sued the oil industry for contaminating water supplies throughout the country. She also worked as a paralegal in a Social Security disability firm, assisting numerous clients in attaining benefits. She also volunteered as a tutor, mentor and basketball coach for girls of middle school age. As a law student, she has been involved in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Pro Bono Project, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s voter protection program. She assisted in organizing multiple community programs through the Black Law Student’s Association, and is currently Student Leader of the 501(c)(3) Pro Bono Project. Alexis hopes to continue working in an area of law where she can advocate for those who would otherwise not have a voice.
Matthew George, Class of 2015
Matthew George has dedicated himself to supporting people when they are most vulnerable. Throughout law school, he worked with the Domestic Violence Pro Bono Project, first as a volunteer and then as a student co-director. Whether providing information to victims at the local courthouse or training new Project volunteers, Matthew exemplified both empathy and professionalism. His experience with the Domestic Violence Project led Matthew to enroll in the Domestic Violence Clinic, where he represented plaintiffs in restraining order hearings and co-drafted an appellate brief. Matthew’s passion and performance in the Domestic Violence Project and Clinic, and in his other domestic violence classes, earned him the Lisa & Kolin Pimental Memorial Award at graduation in May of 2015. While in law school, Matthew worked for two summers with the State’s Attorney’s Office in Allegany County, Maryland as a researcher and a student attorney. After admission to the bar, Matthew hopes to work as a prosecutor in his home state of Maryland, specializing in Special Victims and Domestic Violence cases.
Amanda O'Keefe, Class of 2016
Amanda is pursuing a career advocating for individuals with disabilities. Inspired by her younger sister, who lives with medical disabilities, Amanda founded Learn, Empower & Advocate for the Developmentally Disabled (LEAD) in the summer following her first year with support from Professor Herbert Hinkle. LEAD educates families caring for individuals with disabilities about the state and federal resources available to them. To further her work advocating for people with disabilities, Amanda serves as a student representative to the Chancellor's Disability Advisory Council and co-presents disability awareness training sessions to Rutgers faculty and staff members. Amanda is also a student leader for Planning Estates Pro Bono (PEP), a project in which law students visit elder facilities to draft wills, powers of attorney and medical directives for low-income elderly residents free of charge. In her second year, Amanda was invited to serve on the New Jersey State Bar Association's Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs, co-chaired by former Supreme Court Justices Helen E. Hoens and Virginia A. Long. The commission is addressing the justice gap facing New Jersey's low- and moderate-income residents, while also helping to create opportunities for unemployed and underemployed attorneys. To date, Amanda has logged over 250 hours of pro bono work, all while maintaining a full course load. After graduation, Amanda plans to continue pursuing a legal career advocating for people with disabilities at Hinkle, Fingles & Prior, P.C.
Matthew Schorr, Class of 2015
Matthew Schorr’s commitment to helping others became apparent at a young age. At 13, Matthew led a soda can tab collection campaign that raised hundreds of dollars for the Ronald McDonald House in Camden. In high school and college, Matthew participated in many community service projects and fundraising events. During his three years at Rutgers School of Law, Matthew logged over 100 hours of pro bono work through several different projects, including the Financial Literacy Pro Bono Project; the Planning Estates Pro Bono (PEP) Project; the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Project; the Hon. Judith Wizmur Bankruptcy Pro Bono Project; the 501(c)(3) Pro Bono Project, and the Mediation Pro Bono Project, for which he served as co-leader for two years. He continues to oversee mediations at the Court in partnership with the Mediation Project. In addition to bro bono activities, Matthew served as Student Bar Association President, as well as a member of the executive boards of several other law student organizations. More recently, Matthew and his fiancé Jory have opened The Cat’s Meow Rescue, a nonprofit that has found homes for hundreds of cats. Matthew is clerking for the Honorable Lee B. Laskin in the Superior Court of New Jersey in Camden.