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Sumon Dantiki ’09, Sara Edelstein ’10, Ben Gross ’10, Karen Kudelko ’10, Ashley Leonczyk ’10, Ben Lindy ’10, and Ana Muñoz ’10 Awarded Public Interest Fellowships

Yale Law School has announced the 2010-2011 recipients of the Yale Law School Public Interest Fellowship, which supports recent Yale Law graduates for full-time public interest work for one year. The 2010-2011 fellows are Sumon Dantiki ’09, who will serve in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; Sara Edelstein ’10, who will work at the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender; Ben Gross ’10, who will work with the City of New Haven’s Livable Cities Initiative; Karen Kudelko ’10, who will work for Lakeshore Legal Aid; Ashley Leonczyk ’10, who will work in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Special Assistant to Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa; Ben Lindy ’10, who will work with the District of Columbia Public Schools; and Ana Muñoz ’10, who will work with the Bronx Defenders and a coalition of community groups in New York City.

Sumon Dantiki is a 2009 graduate of the Yale Law School. He studied international law as a J. William Fulbright Scholar after graduating from the University of Michigan with highest honors in Political Science. As a Yale Public Interest Fellow, Sumon will serve in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In this role, he will assist senior Justice Department officials in the oversight and development of national security operations, policies and laws.

Sara Edelstein is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010. Following her graduation from Swarthmore College in Sociology & Anthropology, Sara worked as a legal assistant at the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition, a legal services program serving immigrant detainees in Virginia and Maryland. During her fellowship year, Sara will work at the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, focusing on improving the representation of noncitizen clients in order to mitigate or avoid the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.

Ben Gross is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010. Ben graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Philosophy. He attended the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, where he received an MPhil in criminology. Ben will spend his fellowship year working with the City of New Haven's Livable Cities Initiative to design and develop a citywide housing data platform that will provide previously unavailable information and analytics to policymakers, advocates, and scholars, as well as the citizens of New Haven. In collaboration with LCI and other local advocacy groups, Ben hopes to develop a system to assist in identifying problems in the New Haven housing market.

Karen Kudelko is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010. She earned her B.A., magna cum laude, in History and International Relations from Brown University. The fellowship will support Karen's work as a remote attorney for Lakeshore Legal Aid, an organization specializing in family law and domestic violence matters, based in Port Huron, Michigan. Karen will provide holistic civil legal services for survivors of domestic violence in the three counties of Michigan's rural "thumb" area. In addition to counseling clients, she will collaborate with local law enforcement and judicial authorities to tackle systemic obstacles faced by survivors in this rural setting.

Ashley Leonczyk is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010. She holds a B.A., magna cum laude, and an M.A. in African Studies, both from Yale. During her fellowship year, Ashley will work in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Special Assistant to Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa. In this position, Ashley will assist and advise Ambassador Huddleston and other senior defense officials as they manage U.S. defense relationships with African countries, work to improve peacekeeping and conflict prevention on the continent, and oversee the Defense Department's role in interagency projects relating to African security.

Ben Lindy is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010. He graduated magna cum laude from Yale College with a major in History. Before coming to law school, Ben taught middle school social studies in rural North Carolina with Teach For America and with the KIPP charter school network. As a Yale Public Interest Fellow, Ben will work with the District of Columbia Public Schools in their system-wide efforts to improve teaching quality for high-poverty students, particularly the implementation of a new teacher evaluation system utilizing both student performance gains and direct observation of classrooms.

Ana Muñoz is a member of the Yale Law School class of 2010 and a 2008 recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. After receiving her degree, with distinction in History, from Yale College, Ana worked with the Brennan Center for Justice in New York as the field director of a national campaign to end felon disenfranchisement. As a Yale Public Interest Fellow, Ana will work with the Bronx Defenders and a coalition of community groups to address problems with interrogations of immigrants in pre-trial detention in New York City jails. Ana will focus on community education as well as client counseling and representation.