Past Fellows



Cristian A. Farias


Cristian A. Farias is a second-year student at the City University of New York School of Law, where he also serves as a staff member of law review. Prior to law school, Mr. Farias worked as a freelance writer and reporter, publishing upwards of 500 articles, features and reviews appearing both in nationwide and niche publications.

A native from Chile, Mr. Farias arrived in the United States at 16 and had to repeat his sophomore year of high school to take English as a second language. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies, double-majoring in Spanish Translation and Interpretation. He graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University.

After nearly six years of writing and reporting, Mr. Farias sought a career change and took a civil-service examination for aspiring probation officers. A top-ranked candidate, he was sworn in as an officer of the courts and appointed to the Criminal and Probation Divisions of the New Jersey Judiciary. Mr. Farias’ work supervising and counseling felony offenders — most of them Spanish-speaking probationers grossly underserved by the criminal justice system — fueled his desire to study law.

Over the summer, Mr. Farias worked as a legal intern at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Office of Pro Se Litigation, where he assisted in drafting orders, memoranda and opinions for district and magistrate judges involving areas such as prisoner’s rights, habeas corpus, immigration and Section 1983. Presently, Mr. Farias also volunteers as a pro bono translator for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review's Spanish Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual project.

Mr. Farias counts his marriage to Stephanie his greatest life accomplishment.


Maria Dyson

Maria Dyson, is a third year law student at CUNY School of Law. She attended St. John's University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Physics. At St. John's, she participated in a number of organizations dedicated to community service. After she graduated, she participated in the Vincentian Lay Missionary program which organized summer camps for children in slum communities in Nairobi Kenya.

Since law school, she has been actively involved in a variety of causes both on and off campus. In her first year, with the Oaxaca Delegation, Maria travelled to Oaxaca Mexico, where she provided legal services to a collective that assisted a man seeking justice for civil and human rights violations perpetrated by the government.

As a second year law student, Maria served as the President of the CUNY Black Law Student Association. That year, BLSA was the most active organization on campus, organizing panels on a variety of issues, including New York's foster care system, the criminal justice system, racial profiling, police misconduct, and the school to prison pipeline. BLSA also engaged in a vigorous fund raising campaign and provided over $9,000.00 in fellowships. That year, Maria also joined Moot Court and participated in the New York University Immigration Law Competition. Maria is the President of CUNY Law School's Moot Court organization and will be representing CUNY at the New York Bar Association's national moot court competition in the fall of 2012.

After law school, Maria hopes to be a trial lawyer and practice in the field of Civil Rights litigation and § 1983 claims. She also hopes to engage in impact litigation and policy work to combat the discriminatory effects of the criminal justice system, especially issues relating to the NYPD's "Stop & Frisk" policy.



Golden McCarthy

Golden McCarthy is a third year law student at City University of New York School of Law. She is currently in the Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic and President of CUNY Law School's Moot Court. As an advocate for migrant and immigrant rights, Ms. McCarthy has interned at Safe Horizon's Immigration Law Project and Global Workers Justice Alliance. She also participated in the Economic Justice Project where she represented CUNY undergraduates at contested welfare hearings to protect their entitlement to benefits and advance their right to pursue college educations. Ms. McCarthy work is grounded in public interest and devoted in helping and supporting marginalized communities.

As an undergraduate at Bard College, Ms. McCarthy studied Political Science. As part of her undergraduate work, she spent time in Mexico and Ghana where she studied the intersection between international aid and community social movements.

After graduating, Ms. McCarthy worked as Director for Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation's Adult Education Program. During her time she developed and managed English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, Literacy classes, and GED classes for adults in East New York. While she loved her work and the community she served, Ms. McCarthy embarked on law school in order to become a stronger advocate for immigrant communities.

Christine G. Ortiz

Christine G. Ortiz is a second-year law student at City University of New York School of Law. Currently, Ms. Ortiz serves as President of the Latin American Law Student Association and a staff member of the City University of New York Law Review.

Ms. Ortiz received her B.A. from Columbia College, Columbia University in the City of New York, with a double major in Latino Studies and International Law. While at Columbia, Ms. Ortiz organized and lead numerous student groups aimed at promoting the Latino community through outreach, community service, and awareness programming. At graduation, Ms. Ortiz was recognized as a Columbia College Senior Marshall, an honor bestowed upon graduating undergraduate students who have excelled in their academic and extracurricular activities at Columbia.

Ms. Ortiz spent the summer of 2011 as a legal intern at the New York County District Attorney's Office in the Special Victims Bureau, Child Abuse Unit. She is driven by an interest in Human Rights law — both international and domestic — with a particular focus on the rights of the Latino community and children.


Giamara Rosado

Giamara Rosado is a second-year law student at CUNY School of Law. During her time at CUNY, Ms. Rosado has volunteered with CUNY's Admissions Office and the New York State Bar Association to promote diversity in the legal profession. She is also a current member of CUNY's Latin American Law Student Association.

Ms. Rosado spent the summer of 2010 as a legal intern at STEPS to End Family Violence, a not-for-profit organization in the Spanish Harlem section of New York City, where she helped provide civil legal services to victims of domestic violence.

Ms. Rosado was raised in the Bronx, NY and received her B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Communication Arts and Sciences with a concentration in Spanish and International Studies. While matriculating at Penn State, Ms. Rosado received a grant from the Alumni Association Undergraduate International Education Endowment, which made it possible for her to participate in an international program at La Universidad de Sevilla. There, she immersed herself in Spanish culture while studying advanced Spanish and the roles of Spanish women. Upon graduating from Penn State, Ms. Rosado was a paralegal at a top law firm in New York City, where she worked on fund formation and private equity transactions with domestic and international clients.

Ms. Rosado has an interest in immigration rights, women's rights and community development. With her law degree, Ms. Rosado plans to empower women as well as the Latino community.

Gabriela Lopez

Gabriela Lopez is a second year law student at City University of New York School of Law. Ms. Lopez is the Street Law Team coordinator for the NYC Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. As the coordinator she trains facilitators who bring Know Your Rights workshops to high schools, alternative site/suspension schools, after school programs, peer educator groups, tenants' associations, arts/activist organizations, and summer youth programs. Ms. Lopez's work with the National Lawyers Guild is the result of her desire to become an advocate for youth of color affected by the criminal justice system. Ms. Lopez hopes to bring to light the negative impact constant police interactions has on youth in marginalized communities of color.

As an undergraduate at the University of California Santa Cruz Ms. Lopez studied Chinese History and International Politics. As part of her undergraduate studies Ms. Lopez spent a semester abroad in Salvador de Bahia and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where she studied Portuguese and the Afro Brazilian culture.

After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Ms. Lopez worked for the labor union UNITE HERE as an organizer in the San Francisco Bay Area for low wage cafeteria workers. During her time at UNITE HERE she helped promote the passage of a Responsible Food Service Code of Conduct in the city of Sunnyvale, which among other things advocated worker retention and a living wage for subcontracted workers in the Silicon Valley. Additionally, Ms. Lopez successfully organized and unionized concession workers at the San Francisco International Airport.


Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan

Ms. Bannan has spent more than a decade in the public and non-profit sectors working passionately on issues affecting women and communities of color. Most recently she served as Manager of Multicultural Initiatives at the national headquarters for Girl Scouts of the USA in New York. She sits on the board of World Pulse, a global media organization dedicated to broadcasting the untapped voices of women worldwide, as well as the Red Tent Women's Project, a dynamic community of women who are catalysts for social change in New York City.

Ms. Bannan is involved with numerous organizations dedicated to empowering women, including Las Comadres Para Las Americas and the National Hispana Leadership Institute, the premier leadership program for Latinas of which she was chosen for a fellowship as part of the class of 2006. She is a certified Empowerment Trainer through the Empowerment Institute and is the recipient of the Peace, Health and Justice Award from Casa Atabex Ache, an organization in the South Bronx facilitating collective transformation and social change for women of color.

She is a fellow at the Center for Latino and Latina Rights and Equality at the City University of New York School of Law, where she is currently a student focusing on International Women's Human Rights. She is the President of the Latin American Law Students Association and is Co-Chair of CUNY's Contemplative Urban Lawyering Program. She has been a research assistant to Professor Rhonda Copelon on the issue of femicide in Guatemala. Ms. Bannan has received an M.P.A. from New York University and a B.A. from Georgia State University. She is a graduate of Harvard University's JFK School of Government's Executive Education program and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Katie Meyers

Katie is a third year student at CUNY School of Law and is in the Equality Concentration which has placed her with LatinoJustice PRLDEF. While in undergraduate school at New York University, Katie studied Contemporary Race Relations and Human Rights in the Gallatin School of Individualized Studies. As a Martin Luther King Scholar, she participated in seminars, community service, and traveled to places such as Rio de Janiero and El Salvador de Bahia, Brazil and New Orleans to learn about local culture and communities in relation to social justice initiatives. After completing her B.A., Katie worked with not-for-profit organizations on issues of financial governance and compliance with proposed auditing standards before returning to school at CUNY School of Law, where she is focused on discrimination, and particularly impact litigation. Katie plans use her legal education to address the myriad of issues facing minority and marginalized communities, domestically and abroad.


Rachel Seger

Rachel Seger is a third-year student at CUNY School of Law. She is currently in the Immigration and Refugee Rights Clinic, and a member of the New York City Law Review. She received a B.A. in Social Thought and Political Economy and Spanish from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Before attending law school, she was a delegate on the Amherst-La Paz Centro Sister City Project in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua. She also facilitated a parent support group for Latina mothers and a youth empowerment program at Gerena Community School in Springfield, Massachusetts. During law school, she clerked for the judges of the Hampden Juvenile Court in Springfield, Massachusetts and worked at the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project in Flushing, New York. Honored to receive a Charles Revson Public Interest Fellowship Grant in 2008, Rachel worked at Queens Legal Services, representing low-income clients in disability and unemployment hearings, researching housing and consumer cases, and attending immigration community events.

Raul Pinto

Raul Pinto is currently a second-year law student at CUNY School of Law and resides in Queens, New York. He was born in Santiago, Chile and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1992, finding a home in Dover, New Jersey. In 2003, Raul received his B.A. from Rutgers University, majoring in History and Sociology while concentrating in Latin American History. Upon graduating from Rutgers, Raul worked as a real estate paralegal at a law firm in Morristown, New Jersey until the summer of 2007 when he became a member of CUNY Law School's Class of 2010. He spent the summer of 2008 as an intern at American Friends Service Committee's Immigrant Rights Program, directly working on immigration cases and policy affecting undocumented immigrants. Upon earning his law degree, Raul plans to practice law on issues affecting the Latino community in the United States.