NEW YORK – May 27, 2021 – In the fall of 2021, seven new Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works Fellows will commence their two-year fellowships tackling racial, economic, and social justice issues in underserved communities, many in their hometowns. These public interest law fellows join eight from the 2020 class who are entering their second and final year in the program.
The new Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Works Fellows will work to provide needed legal services to low-income communities by:
- Providing low-income entrepreneurs of color with financial and legal tools to help build a more equitable small business economy
- Addressing holistically the array of legal needs required by the rural veteran population
- Offering identity-affirming legal services, outreach, and education for low-income LGBT survivors of domestic violence
- Delivering transactional legal services and resources to underserved small business owners in low-income communities
- Addressing harms suffered on behalf of asylum-seeking families subjected to family separation
- Defending low-income Black families against aggressive child protective services
- Providing legal services to address health and education disparities facing Black and Latinx children disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
“Every year the new class of Equal Justice Works fellows inspires us with their passion and commitment to addressing the most pressing legal needs faced by the communities in which they chose to work. Greenberg Traurig is proud to continue our longstanding tradition of support for Equal Justice Works and looks forward to partnering with them on providing pro bono services,” said Caroline J. Heller, Litigation Practice shareholder and chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Global Pro Bono Program.
Greenberg Traurig, through its Holly Skolnick Fellowship Foundation, is the largest law firm sponsor of Equal Justice Works in the United States. Since 1999, the firm has invested more than $13 million to fund in part or whole more than 170 Equal Justice Works Fellows, in more than 100 nonprofit host organizations. Nationwide, the Equal Justice Works 2021 class has 77 fellows selected from 446 applications. View a complete list of the 2021 Equal Justice Works Fellows, their projects and sponsors.
The 2021 Greenberg Traurig Equal Justice Fellows are part of the firm’s $5 million commitment over five years to support programs that address the causes and effects of systemic racism and seek to provide impoverished communities and individuals with economic and social rights. The fellows are:
Juan Espinoza Muñoz: Equipping low-income entrepreneurs of color with financial and legal tools for growth
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Espinoza Muñoz will work with Public Counsel in his native Los Angeles to equip low-income entrepreneurs and community-based organizations with the legal and financial tools to help build a more equitable small business economy. A son of Mexican working-class immigrants, Espinoza Muñoz will also engage in policy advocacy through narrative and visual arts platforms.
Janeille McPhail: Advocating for the rural veteran population
A graduate of University of Florida Levin College of Law, McPhail will work with Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida to advocate for the rural veteran population in and around Marion County, Florida. She will offer accessible and holistic legal services, education, and partnerships that focus on helping veterans access benefits and address challenges related to housing insecurity, family instability, reemployment ventures, military sexual trauma, and other civil law issues. McPhail’s fellowship is co-sponsored with The Florida Bar Foundation.
Joey Carrillo: Providing legal services to the LGBT community
A graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and the Illinois Institute of Technology, Carrillo will work with Legal Aid Chicago’s LGBT Anti-Violence and Safety Project (LASP) to provide identity-affirming legal services, outreach and education for low-income LGBT survivors of domestic violence, focusing on the youth population. Carrillo, a gay Latino, will also conduct outreach to, and community building with, LGBT youth and survivors living in poverty. His fellowship is co-sponsored with Discover Financial Services.
Kevin Perry: Helping low-income owners of small businesses with legal needs
A graduate of Albany Law School, Perry will work with Volunteers of Legal Service’s Northeast Brooklyn Legal Project to provide transactional legal services to small business owners in the area’s low-income communities. Perry is a Brooklyn native who grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. He will conduct a legal needs assessment within each of the project’s target areas to determine community needs, facilitate training, and establish a network of minority-owned small business owners.
Gabi Nava: Advocate on behalf of asylum-seeking families
A graduate of Seattle University School of Law, Nava will work with Aldea - The People’s Justice Center to advocate on behalf of asylum-seeking families who were subjected to forced separation and other civil and human rights violations. Nava, who grew up in a Mexican American family, will focus on serving clients of the Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania.
Leila Blatt: Defending low-income Black families
A graduate of Yale Law School, Blatt will work with Texas RioGrande Legal Aid to defend low-income Black families in the greater Austin area against aggressive child protective services interventions. She will represent parents and caregivers before a petition for removal and parental rights termination has been filed. Additionally, she will collaborate with local groups and host Know-Your-Rights meetings. Blatt’s fellowship is co-sponsored with the Texas Access to Justice Foundation.
Maryam Emory: Addressing health and education disparities facing Black and Latinx children
A graduate of Howard University School of Law, Emory will work with Children’s Law Center to provide direct legal services and outreach to bridge health and education disparity gaps facing Black and Latinx children in her native Washington, D.C. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Emory will help families navigate public benefits, obtain timely education evaluations, access mental health services, and improve their housing conditions. Emory’s fellowship is co-sponsored with Steptoe & Johnson LLP.
About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT), has approximately 2200 attorneys in 40 locations in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. GT has been recognized for its philanthropic giving, diversity, and innovation, and is consistently among the largest firms in the U.S. on the Law 360 400 and among the Top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. The firm is net carbon neutral with respect to its office energy usage and Mansfield Rule 3.0 Certified. Web: www.gtlaw.com Twitter: @GT_Law.
About Equal Justice Works: Equal Justice Works is the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law. Following their Fellowships, more than 85% of their Fellows remain in public service positions, continuing to pursue equal justice for underserved communities across the country. Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For additional information about Equal Justice Works, please visit www.equaljusticeworks.org