BY: Chrissy Holman | DATE: Jun 08, 2022

One of only four recipients, Sulafa Grijalva Quénard will be the first CUNY Law student to serve in Court of International Trade Judge Claire R. Kelly’s chambers.

The Customs and International Trade Bar Association (CITBA) is honored to announce the 2022 recipients of its Summer Fellowship Awards, sponsored by the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee of CITBA and the International Economic Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law (ASIL).

These fellowships provide financial support for law students from underrepresented groups to enable them to acquire summer work experience practicing international trade and economic law with a government agency, public interest organization, or international organization.

3L Sulafa Grijalva Quénard will intern with Court of International Trade Judge Claire R. Kelly.

Former co-chair of the American Society of International Law International Economic Law Interest Group Kathleen Claussen is excited to work with Sulafa during this month-long fellowship.


“We are thrilled that Sulafa is choosing to pursue an internship in international trade and that we will have the privilege of working with her in the coming month. This fellowship is designed to motivate still more students, especially from underrepresented groups, to spend some time learning about the field and the potential career opportunities. We look forward to welcoming Sulafa and the other fellowship recipients into our community.”


Sulafa Grijalva Quénard

Sulafa was born in Ecuador and partially raised there and in Canada, until deportation brought her back to Ambato, Ecuador during a time when college seemed but a pipe dream.

In a turn of events, she obtained a green card to travel to America just in time to begin college.

Her academic journey spans two elementary schools, four high schools, a community college, a university, and now a law school. With all the moving around, Sulafa has acquired a hyper-awareness about borders and the movement of people (and goods) across these social constructions.

Being an immigrant made Sulafa passionate about travel and cultures. She began learning French at 12 as a hobby during her time in Canada. Because of her dexterity for languages, as a young college student, Sulafa became curious about work opportunities where she could employ the three languages she speaks fluently: English, Spanish and French.

The WTO came up in her search and that marked the beginning of her interest in the field of international trade. She has since turned her eyes to other types of work but continues to nurture her curiosity for the mechanism that facilitates trade domestically and around the world.

I’m grateful to have had the privilege to naturalize as an American citizen just in time to take advantage of this exciting opportunity offered by Judge Kelly. I’m further thrilled to represent CUNY Law at the Court of International Trade as the first CUNY Law student in Judge Kelly’s chambers.

Shout out to the team at Neville Peterson LLP who opened its doors to me in 2017 for an undergraduate legal internship in the field of international trade and customs, for teaching me about this practice, and for always supporting my curiosity for new horizons, including applying to this fellowship.