- National Center for Youth Law - https://youthlaw.org -

NCYL’s 2015 Summer Clerks

2015 Summer clerks [1]


[2]Melissa Adamson is a rising second year student at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. This summer she will be assisting Senior Attorney Rebecca Gudeman on issues related to adolescent health care.

When she returns to school, Melissa will serve as the Co-Coordinator of the Foster Education Project, which trains law students to become educational rights holders for foster youth with special needs. She will also be a member of the Health Law Initiative, which partners with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to target social determinants of health through legal interventions.


[3]Jessie Conradi is an Oakland native and rising 3L at Golden Gate University School of Law.  Jessie will be working with Senior Attorney Bill Grimm on several bills addressing the over-medication of youth in foster care.

During her second year of law school, Jessie interned at East Bay Children’s Law Offices representing Alameda County foster youth.  She also participated in Golden Gate’s Honors Lawyering Program, an intensive summer program that combines core curriculum with an internship at Tenderloin Housing Clinic doing landlord-tenant law.  Jessie is the Managing Editor of the Golden Gate University Law Review.

Prior to law school, Jessie worked as a therapist in Washington, DC doing home-based family counseling with youth in the juvenile justice system.  Jessie has her Masters in Social Work from Catholic University of America and a Bachelors in Social Work from the University of Utah.  Jessie is an ultramarathoner and triathlete.


Deangelo Cortijo [4]DeAngelo Cortijo, NCYL’s Juvenile Justice Intern, joins this year’s Summer Program.  He will be assisting Staff Attorney Frankie Guzman in research on juvenile justice best practices and advocating for alternatives to incarcerating children. DeAngelo earned his Diploma in Paralegal studies from Black Stone Career Institute in 2014.

DeAngelo is originally from San Francisco’s Mission District. At age two, he entered the dependency system. By age 21, DeAngelo had served seven years in the juvenile justice system, including three years in California’s Department of Juvenile Justice. DeAngelo obtained his GED and held leadership and advocacy positions while in the juvenile justice system. Since his release, DeAngelo has used his experiences not only turn to his life around, but also to become an advocate for vulnerable youth. He is a Board Member for San Francisco’s City-Wide Transitional-aged Advisory Board where he advises on budget expenditures, local policy, and programs.

DeAngelo is currently a student at Chabot College and hopes to transfer to U.C. Berkeley in the fall of 2016. Ultimately, he wants to attend law school and become a champion for vulnerable youth and advocate for reforms that treat children in trouble with the law fairly and appropriately for their age and level of culpability.


[5]Kyle Kate Dudley is a rising second-year student at UC Davis School of Law. At NCYL, she is working with Leecia Welch on Foster Youth issues including placement instability, mental health, privacy rights, and more. Kyle Kate is also working on projects with Fiza Quraishi including pregnant and parenting foster youth, CSEC, and other issues at the intersection of the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

Kyle Kate hails from Massachusetts and ended her four-year tenure as the Managing Director of the Drama Studio, a conservatory theatre program in Springfield, MA to attend law school and pursue a career in Education Policy. She has worked with several non-profits, at a low-income legal aid organization, and at the MA Public Defenders’ Office. Kyle Kate has also taught workshops and classes in the New York City public school system, in Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as at Johannesburg Women’s Correctional Facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At UC Davis, Kyle Kate is the Education Policy Representative for the class of 2017 and a section writer for the Journal of Juvenile Law and Policy. She also has the privilege of being an Educational Rights Holder for a Foster Youth in Sacramento County.


[6]Fanna Gamal is a third-year law student at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. She will be assisting Senior Attorney Michael Harris with impact litigation related to exclusionary school discipline policies and the juvenile justice system.

During law school, Fanna worked as a judicial extern in the Northern District of California. She is also active in the Youth Defender Clinical program at Berkeley Law where she represents youth in expulsion and delinquency hearings. Fanna currently serves as a research assistant to Professor john powell at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC Berkeley. Before law school Fanna served as a Campaign Associate for ColorOfChange.org — America’s largest online civil rights organization. As an Associate Fanna worked on voting rights, criminal justice, and labor campaigns. Fanna graduated form Tufts University with Honors and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Africana Studies. Her areas of interest include juvenile justice, education law and policy, women in the criminal justice system, and critical race theory.


[7]Nathan Kamps-Hughes is a third-year graduate student in the MPH/MSW program at the University of California, Berkeley. This summer Nathan is assisting Anna Johnson and the Psych-Meds team on the legislative package designed to address the over-medication of youth in the California foster care system.

During his time at Berkeley, Nathan has worked with the Kaiser Permanente Regional Health Education Department, leveraging his interest in behavioral science and health promotion to improve the organization’s policies around cultural and linguistic competency. Beginning in September 2015, he will be doing a clinical internship with the UCSF Child Trauma Research Program, providing therapy to families and children who have experienced traumatic events.

Prior to beginning his graduate study, Nathan worked as a Case Manager in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, and later went on to develop and oversee the residential services programming at three supportive housing sites. It was in this role that Nathan began his advocacy work, participating in the Single Room Occupancy Task Force, the Housing First Master Lease Committee, and the Local Homeless Coordinating Board.

Nathan graduated Phi Betta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with degrees in Psychology and Politics. While completing his undergraduate coursework Nathan worked as a counselor at a Group Home in Santa Cruz County, where he witnessed first-hand the over-medication of youth in the Child Welfare system. He is excited to be working with NYCL to address this issue.


Crys OGrady [8]Crys O’Grady is a rising third year student at the University of Washington School of Law. This summer she will be assisting Jackie Wong, Melissa San Miguel, and Attorney Atasi Uppal with FosterEd––a special project of NCYL.

At UW Law, Crys has illustrated her commitment to child welfare in her participation in Street Youth Law (SYLAW) and as a King County Family Law CASA. During her second year of law school, she served as the President of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) and Outlaws. To bolster her practical skills, she works as an intern for the Center for Children and Youth Justice and serves as a public defense advocate in the Tulalip Tribal Court.

Before law school, Crys worked for the California Youth Connection (CYC) as the Policy Coordinator. CYC is an advocacy organization for current and former foster youth in California. She supported youth in their advocacy in the Congregate Care Reform legislative mandate and the effort to retain Foster Youth Services.

Crys graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in Sociology. While at Stanford, she served as a research assistant to Ian Gotlib in the Stanford Mood and Anxiety Disorders Lab, and worked part-time at the Stanford Center for Ethics in Society.


Kailey Schwallie [9]Kailey Schwallie is a rising second-year law student at the University of Iowa College of Law. Kailey will be assisting Staff Attorneys Kate Walker and Neha Desai on various issues related to juvenile justice, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and human trafficking.

During her first year of law school, Kailey volunteered with the Kids First Law Center in Iowa City, and served as a 1L Representative for the Organization for Women Law Students and Staff. Kailey is also a member of the Citizen Lawyer Project, Pro Bono Society, and Equal Justice Foundation. Kailey decided to enroll in law school after serving a year with the Americorps program City Year, where she worked with at-risk youth in a failing high school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She is passionate about juvenile justice, racial justice, education reform, and ending the school to prison pipeline.

Kailey graduated magna cum laude from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, with a major in History and double minor in Sociology and Psychology. As an undergraduate, Kailey demonstrated her interest in social justice by volunteering with COW for Kids; conducting various sociological and psychology-based research projects on social perceptions of race, gender, and sexuality; and through her senior thesis, which examined interracial and same-sex marriage from a socio-legal perspective.


Connie Wang [10]Connie Wang is a rising senior at Yale University. This summer, she will be working with Equal Justice Works fellow Annie Lee to ensure that the the educational needs of foster youth are accounted for in the implementation of LCFF. She will also be conducting research on race and class-based disparities in the child welfare system. Connie is joining us as a recipient of the Liman Summer Fellowship, administered by the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program at Yale Law School.

Connie previously interned at the ACLU of Southern California, where she worked to implement the English Learner provisions of LCFF and advocated on behalf of inmates in the LA County Jail who were being denied their religious rights.

At Yale, Connie is pursuing a double major in psychology and political science. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in her junior year and now serves as the vice president of the Yale chapter.

Outside of the classroom, Connie explores her interest in legal issues as the Managing Editor of Amicus: Yale’s Undergraduate Law Review. She is also an intern for the Yale Law Journal, the flagship publication of Yale Law School.

Connie is the Outreach Director for No Closed Doors, a student-run case management agency where she helps indigent members of the New Haven community find jobs and housing. Connie became interested in education issues through her volunteer work at New Haven Reads, a community book bank where she tutors elementary school students who are struggling to maintain grade-level reading.

After graduating from Yale, Connie plans to apply to law school and pursue a career in public interest law.


Vivian Wong [11]Vivian Wong is a rising second year student at the UCLA School of Law in the David J. Epstein Public Interest Law & Policy Program and Critical Race Studies Program.  This summer, Vivian is assisting Hannah Benton in dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline through impact litigation strategy and advocating for equal access to education for students of color and with disabilities.

At UCLA Law, Vivian participated in the Education Rights Clinic and Public Counsel CARES Clinic to provide community-based legal services through El Centro Legal.  She will serve as the Co-Chair of the Disability Law Society and Advocacy Chair of the Criminal Justice Society, in addition to mentoring first-generation undergraduate students at UCLA.

Her passion for advocating for low-income youth with disabilities stems from her experience as a young woman with a congenital disability herself and her work in preparing at-risk high school students in San Francisco for college.  Through the Stanford Public Interest Network Fellowship, Vivian worked at two education nonprofits to reduce inequities in the intersections of education reform, disability justice, and child welfare.

Vivian graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and French.  At Stanford, she founded Power to ACT: Abilities Coming Together, an organization creating safe spaces for students with hidden and visible disabilities.  Power to ACT thrives today.