Center for Civil Rights Welcomes Summer Interns and Externs

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Since its founding, the Center for Civil Rights has fulfilled its goal of helping train the next generation of civil rights lawyers by providing volunteer opportunities to dozens of law students during the school year and employing paid law student interns each summer. Rather than pursuing a traditional (and potentially more lucrative) career in corporate or criminal law, these students have admirably chosen to use their legal skills to further the struggle against the continuing legacy of discrimination and exclusion.

Interns with Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Death Penalty Project. Ms. Stubbs came for the Center's Summer
Speaker Series, where social justice attorneys speak about their work.

Summer interns work directly with Center clients and attorneys to develop a first-hand understanding of civil rights law. They play a major role in the Center's legal research, litigation, case investigation and preparation, client counseling, and outreach, and critically enhance our capacity to help communities throughout the state. This summer we are proud to be working with several outstanding students.

Meeting on the interns' first day in the office.
Rachel Nicholas

Rachel Nicholas is a rising second-year law student at the UNC. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UNC-Greensboro in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. After graduation, Rachel taught second grade in Rocky Mount, North Carolina for two years through Teach For America. She hopes to have a career in education law and civil rights.

Mark Bowers

Mark Bowers is a rising third year law student at the UNC. He moved to Chapel Hill from Asheville, NC where he completed his undergraduate studies with a Bachelors of Arts in Spanish from UNC-Asheville. Mark spent a year as an interpreter for a private immigration attorney in Asheville before entering UNC Law. Last summer he interned with the Immigration Legal Assistance Program at the North Carolina Justice Center.

Ndidi Menkiti

Ndidi Menkiti is a rising second year law student at Duke University. She graduated from Harvard in 2006 with a B.A. in English and African-American Studies as well as a Citation in Spanish. Menkiti also holds a Master's of Science in Teaching from Fordham Graduate School of Education. Ndidi worked with Habitat for Humanity International in Costa Rica, with the National Urban League in New York, and taught high school English in Brooklyn.

Ian Mance

Ian A. Mance is a rising third year law student at the UNC. From 2006 to 2010 he worked at the ACLU of North Carolina, where he coordinated a campaign that led to the reform of use-of-force policies in eighteen sheriffs’ departments statewide. Ian's article, Racial Profiling in North Carolina: Racial Disparities in Traffic Stops, 2000 to 2011, was recently published in Trial Briefs magazine.

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson is a rising second year law student at UNC. In 2011, she graduated from the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in Romance Languages and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Energy. Kelly is interested in pursuing a career in civil rights law or environmental law, and has a particular interest in environmental justice.

Interns at a Press Conference in Halifax, NC marking one year since the Center for Civil Rights' report, "Unless Our Children Begin to Learn Together."

The Center is also fortunate to have two students working with us this summer through the Law School’s Externship Program. This program allows students to earn course credits through direct, hands-on, experiential learning. Center externs work closely with the staff lawyers and fellows, and directly participate in the full range of civil rights lawyering and advocacy in which the Center is engaged.

Kevin Schroeder

Kevin Schroeder is a rising third year student at Carolina Law, originally from Winston-Salem, NC. Since 2008, he has worked as a legal assistant at Glover Immigration Law in Chapel Hill. He graduated with a degree in Political Science and Romance Languages from the UNC in 2010. Prior to law school, Kevin volunteered with Bike and Build, building homes with Habitat for Humanity in cities across the United States.

Stephanie Mellini

Stephanie Mellini is a rising second year law student at UNC. Before law school, Stephanie served a year with AmeriCorps VISTA in Raleigh, North Carolina, working for the city. She graduated from Florida State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts. Stephanie’s interests include Civil Rights and Human Rights law, and she is a member of the law school's Student Animal Legal Defense Fund.

Interns with Ms. Belle Frye in Halifax County, NC at the one-year anniversary press conference of the "Unless our Children Begin to Learn Together" report on education in the county.

The Center also has an outstanding intern this summer from the Southern Education Foundation’s Southern Education Leadership Initiative. This leadership development program is designed to advance equity and excellence in education in the poorest regions of the country.

Eldrin Deas

Eldrin Deas is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and holds a B.S. in Mathematics from Morehouse College, a M.S. degree in Education from Georgia State University, and is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate in the UNC School of Education. Eldrin's most cherished accomplishment to date is the 2006 Excellence in Mathematics Award in Abstract Algebra. Future plans include a teaching and research focused on the critical issues facing minority students across the South and across the country.

Nurturing the next generation of civil rights activists includes engaging young people even before they get to law school. This summer we were pleased to have Joshua Choper, a June 2012 graduate of Durham Academy, working with us for two weeks as part of his senior project.

Posted by Mark Dorosin on Wed. June 27, 2012 11:38 AM
Categories: Law Students
UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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