Create Change – Fall 2019

Executive Director's message

Be the change you wish to see in the world . . . – Gandhi

Anna Wang - Photo by Christine Baker-Parrish

Welcome, Class of 2022 and transfer students in the Class of 2021! Over 250 1Ls, 2L transfer students, and advanced degree students are the newest members of the Stanford Law School community. We look forward to introducing our new students to all the experiences that make SLS such a special place. A few weeks ago, at the end of their first week of classes, we hosted a mini-retreat for our 1L students to get to know one another and talk more about what motivates them to pursue public interest law. See the photos below.

We have heard from many of our returning students about their rewarding and productive summer internships. We had students prosecuting misdemeanors at Yosemite National Park, investigating human rights violations and presenting them to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, defending indigent clients in federal court, and representing the city and county of San Francisco in various legal matters. You can read more about their experiences below as well.

While students were off-campus working in internships, Levin Center staff were busy planning for the 2019-2020 school year, supporting our rising 3Ls and alumni exiting clerkships who are seeking jobs in Fall 2020, and working with rising 2Ls already focused on next summer’s public interest job search. I also had a wonderful time reconnecting with alumni during my travels this summer. With the generous support of the Law School’s Alumni Relations office, we hosted receptions in four cities with our biggest public interest alumni communities. We held our first summer reception in San Francisco in June at the offices of Lieff Cabraser (with special thanks to alumni Lin Yee Chan, JD ’07; Michelle Lamy, JD ’15; and Michael Levin-Gesundheit, JD ’13, for allowing us to use their office). Then I visited New York City and Washington, DC in mid-July, where I got to see Stephanie Rudolph, JD ’11 (our 2019 Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award recipient who will be honored at our Oct. 21 Fall Public Service Awards dinner–more details below) and Molly Claflin, JD ’08, (she’s the alumna who is profiled in this issue). Finally, Associate Dean Diane Chin and I headed down to Los Angeles at the end of July for our final reception. See photos in the gallery below.

I hope you enjoy reading about what has happened in the SLS public interest community this past summer as well as what is anticipated to come this quarter. As always, I welcome your feedback.


Alumna Molly Claflin, JD '08, Works At Intersection of Law and Politics

Molly Claflin, JD ’08, always knew she wanted to make a difference and in her current role especially, she is doing exactly that. As Chief Oversight Counsel at the anticorruption nonprofit American Oversight in Washington D.C., Claflin is involved in cutting edge issues we read about in the news. She coordinates investigations into corruption charges and regularly contributes legal analysis to major media outlets about issues like perjury before Congress.

Claflin reflects, “I went to law school in order to work at the intersection of law and politics and help create political change. By holding our elected officials accountable, I can have an impact on the immigration debate, on the U.S. response to climate change, and on reproductive justice. And that is a really amazing feeling.”

Prior to joining American Oversight, Claflin served as Counsel to the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In that role, she primarily conducted investigations, including the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. She recalls one of her most meaningful experiences in this role: “I worked on deposing the participants of the now-infamous June 9 Trump Tower meetings between Don Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner and various Russians during the campaign. It was incredible to be working on something of such import to the country, and to work to try to better understand the extent of the Russian interference in the 2016 election. This became even more meaningful when Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report came out, and it emerged that I and two other lawyers on my Committee were in fact the only lawyers in the federal government who have been able to depose Don Trump Jr. It was remarkable to realize my work would play an important role in history.”

At SLS, Claflin was involved in the American Constitution Society and was the founder of Stanford Law Students for Obama. Claflin reflects on her law school experience: “Don’t worry about following a path. So often in law school it seems like there is one path: do Law Review, go to a firm your 2L summer, clerk, etc. I bucked the entire path, because there was no clear path for being a political lawyer. And I’m so glad I did. It’s a bit more work, because you have to do the legwork and find your own way, but so very worth it when you get to where you want to go – rather than where the usual path takes you.”

Claflin launched her career after law school working on the Obama campaign in 2008, followed by a five year stint at Gibson Dunn. At Gibson, Claflin did meaningful pro bono work on a Voting Rights Act Section 2 case which went to trial, and won. Her work on that case led to gerrymandered districts being redrawn.

Claflin offers, “I think there is a very common misconception among law students – and lawyers! – that a firm prepares you for anything, and public interest jobs will be easy to get once you leave the firm. The reality of the situation is that public interest jobs are often significantly more difficult to get, and require a great deal of expertise and specialization. You need to focus on what you want to do, and structure your experiences around that. For example, my whole time at SLS I was working on political campaigns. When I was at a law firm, I spent significant time doing pro bono work on voting rights and volunteering with campaigns and other political groups, so that I would have the experience when the right job came up. Your path may not be straight, but you have to make sure not to lose track of the ultimate goal on the way.”

Fall Public Service Awards Reception Will Honor Two Outstanding Advocates

Yasmeen Hassan
Stephanie Rudolph, JD ’11


We are delighted to honor two outstanding public interest attorneys at our annual Fall Public Service Awards dinner on Monday, October 21, 2019 at Paul Brest Hall at the Munger Graduate Residence. The National Public Service Award will be presented to Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now, a human rights organization focused on legal equality for women and girls, with offices in New York, London, Nairobi and Beirut and presences in Washington, DC, Tbilisi, Delhi, and Beijing.

The Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award will be presented to Stephanie Rudolph, JD ’11, who directs the Source of Income Discrimination Unit at the New York City Commission on Human Rights. Rudolph supervises a team of attorneys and intervention specialists charged with enforcing the source of income provisions of the New York City Human Rights Law.

More details about both award recipients are available on our website.

Current Stanford Law School students, faculty, staff, and alumni receive complimentary admission. All other guests are asked to contribute on a sliding scale ($35-70). All guests must register to attend as there will be assigned seating. We expect to be at full capacity and will maintain a waiting list.

SLS Students Venture on Alternative Summer Break Trips to Serve Clients


For a second year in a row, we sent a delegation of students to volunteer with Legal Services of Greater Miami (LSGM). Liz Hannah, JD ’20; Melissa Giangrande, JD ’20; Carolina Herrera, JD ’21; and Madeline Magnuson, JD ’20, spent the week with LSGM. LGSM is committed to the economic stability of households in Miami Dade and Monroe Counties. The Florida Keys population is still greatly impacted by the aftermath of Hurricane Irma and without the valuable pro bono services of Stanford Law many families would not have received needed legal services.

Jayme M. Cassidy, LSGM’s Pro Bono Advocacy Director, stated, “The students were exceptional and eager to learn during our intensive two-day training program. Following the training, the students accompanied by our staff attorneys held legal clinics in three separate locations throughout the Florida Keys. Overwhelmingly, our staff and clients were impressed with the student’s enthusiasm and level of service. Because of this pro bono project, 25 indigent families were able to receive legal service.”


Create Change - Fall 2019 19


We had another group of SLS students who spent a week in rural western New York (in Bath and Olean, New York) working with LawNY, a civil legal aid organization. Sophie Allen, JD ’21; Brett Diehl, JD ’21; Jason Fernandes, JD ’21; William Janover, JD ’21; Diana Li, JD ’21; Katelyn Masket, JD ’21; Carra Rentie, JD ’20; and Hannah Schwarz, JD ’21, were the eight students.

The trip’s focus was to better understand how legal aid is delivered in a rural context, and students had opportunities to work on proceedings in housing court, attend client meetings, and observe proceedings in criminal and family courts.

The group also met with local lawyers and officials throughout the week, including Judge Philip Roche, who shared his experiences of being a public defender, an assistant district attorney, and ultimately a judge.



We also sent a group of SLS students to Tijuana, Mexico to work with Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project. Bree Baccaglini, JD ’21; Annelise Corriveau, JD ’20; Erika Inwald, JD ’21; Diana Li, JD ’21; Laura Moraff, JD ’21; Carra Rentie, JD ’20; Michaela Ross, JD ’20; and Mallorie Urban, JD ’21, were the eight students.

The focus of the project is to provide information and legal advice to asylum seekers waiting to enter the United States at the southern border. Volunteers do outreach and legal observation at the border each morning to monitor an illegal list on which asylum seekers are forced to sign up before entering the country. Asylum seekers must wait several weeks or even months for their list numbers to be called so they can claim their legal right to asylum.

In addition to monitoring the border situation, Al Otro Lado volunteers help run a free legal clinic where asylum seekers can receive a free meal, listen to a know-your-rights talk about asylum in the United States, speak to a volunteer about the details of their potential asylum claim, and receive legal advice about their case from immigration attorneys. Al Otro Lado also now holds monthly workshops focused exclusively on the Trump administration’s new Migrant Protection Protocol, which forces asylum seekers with cognizable claims to return to Mexico while awaiting their court dates in the United States. Stanford Advocates for Immigrants’ Rights, an SLS student organization, will be sending another two groups of ten students down to the border again this fall to assist with those specialized workshops.

Summer Interns Share Their Experiences

We had 127 students participate in the Public Interest Summer Funding Program. This included 95 1Ls, 26 2Ls (22 who participated for a second year) and four JSD/Joint Degree students. Seventy three students interned at government agencies, 52 students interned at non-profit organizations, and two students interned at private public interest firms. While many of the students interned locally in San Francisco, Oakland, San Mateo, and Emeryville, others interned across the country in Washington, DC; New  York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Nashville, TN; Anchorage, AK; and Jefferson City, MO, to name a few. Additionally, 12 of our students interned abroad at organizations like the Rwanda Supreme Court in Rwanda, St. Andrew’s Refugee Services in Egypt, Reprieve in England, and Space for Change in Nigeria, to name a few. You can read more about a few of our students and their internship experiences below!


Mike Norton, JD '21, Peter Prindiville, JD '21, and William Janover, JD '21

Mike, Peter, and William all worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mike and William worked for Senator Feinstein and Peter worked for Senator Whitehouse.

Chief Justice Sam Rugege of the Supreme Court of Rwanda

Rachel Sohl, JD '21

Rachel clerked for Chief Justice Sam Rugege of the Supreme Court of Rwanda in Kigali, Rwanda.

Alumni: Are you enrolled in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?

We continually monitor and evaluate how to best support our graduates working in public interest law who have educational debt. As part of our efforts to analyze our Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) and compare it to other options, we would love to hear from alumni who are enrolled in the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Please contact Anna Wang to share your experience with that program.

About Create Change

Back Row (L-to-R): Diane T. Chin, Jodie Carian, and Shafaq Khan. Front row: Mike Winn, Anna Wang, and Titi Liu. Photo by Alyssa Ashdown

Create Change is designed and produced quarterly by the staff of the John and Terry Levin Center for Public Service and Public Interest Law. Unless specifically noted, all articles are written by staff:

Associate Dean for Public Service and Public Interest Law: Diane T. Chin
Executive Director: Anna Wang
Director, International Public Interest Initiatives: Titi Liu
Director, Pro Bono and Externship Programs: Mike Winn
Public Interest Counselor: Shafaq Khan
Assistant Director: Jodie Carian
Research Assistant: Huanvy Phan, BA ’20

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