OUR TEAM

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MIRIAM AZIZI

Editor-in-Chief

Miriam Azizi is a third-year law student at Cardozo. Her interest in human rights and the study of power and inequality inspired her to be a CJERSJ staff editor during her second year of law school.

 

Prior to law school, Miriam earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UCLA. The fascinating interplay of law and the social institutions which shape society led Miriam to apply to law school.

 

Outside of law school, Miriam enjoys running, playing tennis, and trying new restaurants.

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MICHELE ROZIER

Managing Editor

Michele T. Rozier is a third-year student at the Cardozo School of Law. In her first year of law school, Michele was elected as a 1L Senator for Cardozo’s Student Government Legislature (“Student Bar Association”), where she worked diligently to make a difference in the Cardozo community and emerged as a leader among her peers. In her second year of law school, Michele was elected as the treasurer of Cardozo’s Women’s Law Initiative, where she helped budget the resources for campus events geared towards women. Michele’s passion for pursuing equality and justice inspired her to run as CJERSJ’s Managing Editor.

 

Throughout law school, Michele has acquired experience working for government agencies, conducting investigative and litigation work. Prior to law school, Michele attended Boston College, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.

 

Michele is a fluent French and Creole speaker. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga and discovering trendy jazz spots.

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SOPHIA TEMIS

Executive Editor

Sophia Temis is a third-year law student at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. Sophia is studying to pursue a career in Health Care Law. Throughout her time at law school, Sophia has participated in the Suspension Representation Project, has been a team member of the Cardozo Trial Team, trained as a mediator for the New York Peace Institute as part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic, and has been the Executive Editor for the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice for the 2019-2020 academic year. As a rising 2L, Sophia interned for the LegalHealth unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group. As a rising 3L, Sophia interned for the Office of General Counsel for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

 

Prior to law school, Sophia completed her undergraduate degree at Hunter College, where she studied behavioral neuroscience. Following her undergraduate degree, Sophia went on to receive a Master Degree in Public Administration specializing in Healthcare Policy and Management from the NYU Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. While obtaining her Masters Degree, Sophia worked on a Capstone Project for the NYC Health and Hospitals which included a proposal to help standardize processes to prevent 30-day emergency room readmissions. Following her graduation, Sophia interned for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Survey and Certification Department.

 

Sophia is fluent in Russian. In addition to pursuing her legal career, Sophia is the co-founder and co-owner of a baking business, Caking Around NYC.

JENNY LAM

Senior Articles Editor

Jenny Lam is a 3L. She entered law school with the goal of pursuing international human rights but was discouraged by both her parents and her advisor, who told her that she “wouldn’t find a job.” Determined to still pursue public interest law, she then represented low-income students at their suspension hearings through the Suspension Representation Project and workers who were wrongfully terminated by their employers at the Unemployment Action Center. Jenny strengthened her belief in public interest law and discovered interest in litigation through writing briefs, examining witnesses, and visiting the homes of low-income elderly and disabled persons at Bet Tzedek Civil Litigation Clinic.

While Jenny is now interested in plaintiff’s side labor and employment law, she hopes to explore the intersection between international labor law and human rights (“The Original Dream ‘Plus’ ™”). Through writing and publishing her Note with the Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice, she became interested in the effects of outsourcing and neoliberal capitalism on the labor conditions of garment factories in Bangladesh. As a law clerk for Levy Ratner, P.C., a prominent labor law firm that represents unions and individual workers, she furthered her knowledge in U.S. labor organizing, arbitration, and litigation. Additionally, she continued to represent dozens of workers at their unemployment insurance hearings as a Peggy Browning Fellow with the Worker’s Defense League.

In her spare time, Jenny likes to eat, go gallery hopping, shopping, and spend her parents’ hard-earned money at the Brooklyn Cat Café. she hopes that she can start her career in fine art after law school and is looking to get an M.F.A. In addition, Jenny plans to get an apartment with her boyfriend and adopt cats so that she does not have to venture outside of her home to pet them.

KARA NOWAKOWSKI

Senior Notes Editor

Kara Nowakowski is a 3L at Cardozo.  Outside of their role as Senior Notes Editor, Kara has enjoyed participating in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic during their 2L and 3L years.  They look forward to continuing to work in removal defense after graduation as a staff attorney in the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP). 

 

Kara graduated from Iona College in 2013, earning Bachelor’s degrees in both English and Spanish literature.  In between Iona and Cardozo, they worked as a door-to-door fundraiser for organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, as an online class builder for YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and as a manager at Two Boots Pizza in Brooklyn.  They still use Two Boots’ dough whenever they make pizza at home. 

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JULIA WALD

Articles Editor

Julia Wald is a 3L at Cardozo, focusing on human rights lawyering and advocacy. She is the president of the Cardozo Students for Human Rights Club and an alumna of the Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic. She is currently spending her 3L fall semester at Central European University in a Masters in Human Rights program.

 

Prior to law school, Julia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History, with a minor in French, from Trinity College. She was the founder of the Pre-Law Society and the campus representative for the Half the Sky Organization.

 

In her spare time, Julia enjoys reading novels, playing golf, and traveling. After graduation, she hopes to work at a human rights NGO internationally.

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ASHLEY DYLENSKI

Articles Editor

Ashley is a 3L at Cardozo.  She is interested in the intersection of criminal justice, civil rights, and immigration law.  Her note about the #abolishICE movement is set to be published in this year’s edition of CJERSJ.  

 

Currently Ashley has an externship with the New York State Office of the Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau, where she has worked on housing and voting issues.  She has also interned with the Safe Passage Project, where she advocated for unaccompanied minors in Immigration Court. 

 

Prior to law school, Ashley taught middle school English and ESL for eight years in NYC public schools.  She earned her MS of Teaching at Pace University. She graduated magna cum laude from Ohio State University with a BA in International Relations, during which time she studied abroad in Mexico. 

 

Ashley is most proud of her little family: her husband, Aaron; her toddler, Jack the Nugget; and her dog, Lois.

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BRIGETTE MERZEL

Notes Editor

Brigette is a 3L at Cardozo. Throughout law school, Brigette has been dedicated to child welfare and juvenile justice. She has participated in Cardozo’s Family Defense Clinic, the Uncontested Divorce Project, and is the Coordinator of the Courtroom Advocates Project. Brigette is currently externing at Sanctuary for Families’ Family Law Project.

 

Brigette graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2017 and went straight to law school. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, watching trash tv & Disney movies, baking, and reading novels.

JOHNNY THACH

Submissions & Online Editor

Johnny is a third-year law student at Cardozo who committed all his life to public service advocating for justice and the civil rights of underrepresented and vulnerable individuals, including low-income immigrants, older adults, and people with disabilities. For years, he’s worked to address discrimination and abuse in clinical, externship, and internship positions with the Bet Tzedek Civil Litigation Clinic, Legal Services NYC, Mobilization for Justice, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He volunteers his time to address social justice issues and inequality with the Asian American Bar Association, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Courtroom Advocates Project, and Parole Preparation Project.

 

Prior to law school, he completed undergraduate and graduate studies at Binghamton University and CUNY Graduate Center where he studied and wrote about immigration and social movements. He was a community organizer with the MinKwon Center for Community Action supporting comprehensive immigration reform, led programs at the Museum of Chinese in America about immigration history, served two years with AmeriCorps and worked in NYC government to increase services that meet the significant unmet needs of the elderly.

 

His forthcoming note focuses on reforming the criminal justice and prison system that incarcerates an alarmingly increasing number of elderly people in prison. As such, he advocates for deinstitutionalization and fundamental change towards realizing each person’s humanity rather than perpetuating the longstanding broken cycle of punishment, abuse, and exploitation.

SAMANTHA BALAVENSKY

Annotations Editor

Samantha is a  3L at Cardozo. Throughout her undergraduate career at the University of Michigan, she volunteered at Washtenaw County Jail and worked with criminal justice reform advocates, where her interest  in social justice originated. Continuing this pursuit throughout law school, she has worked with the innocence project and witness to innocence, organizations helping those who have been wrongfully incarcerated. 

 

Although extremely passionate about social justice and criminal justice reform, Samantha has additionally spent her summer internships working with in the entertainment industry and additionally, working in Real Estate. Next year, she will be taking a position with Abrams Fensterman working with their real estate legal team. 

 

In her free time, Samantha enjoys  playing tennis, working out and eating her way through NYC!

CLAIRE MOONEY

Symposium Editor

Claire is a 3L at Cardozo and a Pro Bono Scholar at Sanctuary for Families in 2020. While at Cardozo, she has focused on consumer law and advocacy for survivors of trauma, including through participation in the Consumer Rights Clinic, the Human Rights and Atrocity Prevention Clinic, the Uncontested Divorce Project, and the Courtroom Advocates Project.

 

Prior to law school, Claire worked at Cleary Gottlieb, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Starr Companies. In each of these roles she assisted with project coordination, legal and regulatory research, and drafting filings. She graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Political Science and a Paralegal Certificate.

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EMILY INGALL

Business Editor

Emily is a third-year law student at Cardozo, studying to pursue a career in Family Law. She has focused her experience in both divorce, as well as adoption, working at Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children for the past three years while in law school. Her forthcoming note focuses on reforming adoption laws to allow adoptee’s to receive information about their family and background.

 

Prior to law school, Emily graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a major in Communications and a concentration in Family Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends and her puppy, Phoebe.