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USC Gould students selected for public interest law fellowships

Friday, January 15, 2021

Mirelle Raza, Carson Scott, Simone Rudolf-Dib and Sarah Taranto were selected for public interest law fellowships.

From left to right: Carson Scott, Mirelle Raza, Sarah Taranto and Simon Rudolf-Dib.

Four USC Gould students were named to prestigious fellowships, helping them advance their careers in public interest law.

Mirelle Raza, Class of 2021, is the first Gould student named as a Douglass Fellow at the Human Trafficking Institute, a nonprofit agency located in Virginia primarily focused on combating international human trafficking.

The Douglass Fellowship, which honors social reformer, abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass’ commitment to freedom, communication and advocacy, enables fellows to advocate, research and write on issues pertaining to human trafficking. Each fellow is paired with a mentor.

Raza’s interest in human trafficking prevention started while an undergraduate sociology and women’s and gender studies major at Santa Clara University, bolstered by an internship in the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy.

Carson Scott (JD 2020) was named this year’s Irmas Fellow, and is now working on the Immigrant Defenders Law Center litigation and advocacy team to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. border. The fellowship supports a Gould graduate for a full year in the area of public interest law. Fellows are chosen based on a commitment to a career in public interest law and how well their project provides legal services to low-income, underrepresented or disenfranchised groups and individuals. The fellow is selected by Gould’s Barbara F. Bice Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF).

As part of a new five-year partnership, two USC Gould students were selected for fellowships with the John Paul Stevens Foundation, working full-time summer internships in public interest law. Fellows are selected based on their strong interest in public interest and social justice law, as well as academic achievement. Simone Rudolf-Dib and Sarah Taranto, both Class of 2021, were selected for this year’s fellowships.

Rudolf-Dib worked at the Habeas Corpus Resource Center. At Gould, Rudolf-Dib has dedicated her time to the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, served as a law student clinician for the Post-Conviction Justice Project, and has been active in PILF.

Taranto, also an active member in PILF, was a student in the USC Gould Immigration Clinic, where she defended clients in removal proceedings. She has also done pro bono work for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Bet Tzedek. Taranto’s fellowship was at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, where she worked the previous summer. 

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