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Two Rutgers Students Win Equal Justice Works Fellowships for Post-Graduate Projects with Foster Youth

Both honed lawyering skills as students in Child Advocacy Clinic

January 22, 2007 – 

Emily K. Berger and Alice Rosenthal, third-year students at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, have each been awarded a coveted Equal Justice Works Fellowship for proposing sustainable, community-based projects designed to help adolescents successfully transition from foster care. Their projects – one of which will be carried out in Los Angeles and the other in New York City – combine legal representation, advocacy, and community education efforts to address the needs of youth who have aged out or are about to age out of the foster care system.

The EJW Fellowship program, the nation’s largest postgraduate legal fellowship program, places new lawyers from law schools across the country in two-year assignments at public interest organizations. Starting in September 2007, Berger will implement her project as a Fellow at the Alliance for Children’s Rights in Los Angeles and Rosenthal as a Fellow at Advocates for Children of New York.

“Educating lawyers committed to advocating on behalf of the underrepresented is an integral part of the history and mission of Rutgers School of Law-Newark,” said Dean Stuart L. Deutsch. “Emily Berger and Alice Rosenthal – as students in our Child Advocacy Clinic (CAC), during internships, and through numerous volunteer activities – have clearly shown their dedication to serving the public interest.”

The two students credit their winning Equal Justice Works Fellowships to the strong Rutgers commitment to both academic excellence and public service. According to Berger, “Rutgers-Newark law school has provided not only a tremendous opportunity to gain real-world legal experience in the Child Advocacy Clinic, but also two inspiring faculty mentors in CAC Director Randi Mandelbaum and Professor Twila Perry.”

Berger, who holds a B.A. from Barnard College, expects to receive two degrees from Rutgers in May – a J.D. from the School of Law–Newark and a M.S.W. from the School of Social Work. She is an editor of Rutgers Race and the Law Review, and the recipient of a Dan Bradley Fellowship, Jean Robertson Women Lawyers Scholarship, University of Michigan Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship, Austin Scott Scholarship, and Charles H. Revson Law Student Public Interest (LSPIN) Fellowship. Outside the law school, she mentors urban adolescent girls through Girls Write Now and is board president of the Reproductive Health Access Project.

Rosenthal, who holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is the recipient of a Dean’s Merit Scholarship, LSPIN Fellowship, Marsha Wenk Fellowship, University of Michigan Bergstrom Child Welfare Law Fellowship, and Equal Justice America Fellowship. She has worked at a dropout prevention program for middle school students in Brooklyn, on the Family Treatment Court project at New York’s Center for Court Innovation, and as a parent advocate at Advocates for Children in New York.