Current BLSPI Fellows
Kyleen Breslin '19 – National Labor Relations Board
Kyleen is a rising 2L and excited about serving as the BLSPI Auction Co-Chair. This summer, Kyleen is interning at the National Labor Relations Board. Her interest in employment and labor law started early on in her career. After graduating from Colorado College, Kyleen worked as a political organizer in Berkeley, CA. She ran campaigns on behalf of progressive non-profits such as the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center. Prior to attending law school, Kyleen was the managing director of a recruiting agency in San Francisco. In this position, Kyleen developed an interest in labor and employment law that fueled her desire to go to law school. She is thankful that BLSPI provided her with the opportunity to work in a public interest position this summer.
Mario Fitzgerald '19 -- Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Mario Fitzgerald completed his undergraduate education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012. Subsequently, he worked as a corps member of City Year Washington D.C. during the 2012-13 school year teaching math and reading to 1st and 2nd graders. Upon returning to his hometown of Charlotte, NC, Mario worked as a K – 3 Teacher Assistant at Lebanon Road Elementary School during the 2013-14 school year, and, during the following two school years, he worked simultaneously as a Pre-K Teacher Assistant at Lebanon Road Elementary School and as a Library Aide in the children’s department of ImaginOn: The Joe and Joan Martin Center. Mario decided to pursue a legal education due to the Shelby County v. Holder decision on a national level, and the passage of laws in North Carolina restricting voting rights, LGBTQ rights, and workers’ rights on a state and local level. His goal is to be a zealous advocate for marginalized communities and to work at the intersections of racial justice, LGBTQ justice, and economic justice. This summer he will be working for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, an organization which organizes and advocates for transgender, gender non-conforming, and intersex communities.
Elizabeth Ildefonso '19 -- Brooklyn Legal Services
Elizabeth Ildefonso is very grateful for the opportunities and community BLSPI offers. She came to BLS to pursue a career in public interest and to serve the borough she grew up in—Brooklyn! She volunteered at Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project in her 1L Spring year and looks forward to working at Brooklyn Legal Services this summer.
John Jozkowski -- Safe Passage Project
John came to Brooklyn Law School knowing that he wanted to help immigrants and refugees in vulnerable and underfunded communities. After graduating from SUNY Binghamton with degrees in Spanish and Environmental Studies with a concentration in ecosystems, John worked as a biologist conducting field research and studying threatened and endangered tortoise and turtle species with The National Park Service and The US Geological Survey. Later John worked teaching English in The Republic of Georgia and Argentina. After traveling and working abroad for several years, becoming fluent in Spanish and seeing the hostile politics surrounding immigration and refugee policy in the United States, he decided that a degree in law would be an asset in helping immigrants in New York City. This summer, John is excited to work with Safe Passage Project, an organization assisting indigent immigrant youth in New York.
Kelsey Laing '19-- Federal Defenders of New York
Kelsey graduated from Syracuse University in 2016. During her undergraduate studies, she worked as an intern at the District Attorney's Office. Throughout this internship, she saw how important the role played by a public defender is. Recognizing that clients from indigent backgrounds often face unfair outcomes, she developed a passion for helping defendants have a voice. This summer, Kelsey will intern in the Eastern Division of the Federal Defenders of New York.
Christina Rhode ‘18 -– New York Civil Liberties Union
Christina Rhode is deeply honored to have been selected to join the BLSPI Fellowship community. She has always been passionate about pursuing women’s rights and came to law school to gain the knowledge and skills to effectively fight for positive change in this country. In college, she organized productions of the Vagina Monologues in her home state of Texas to raise money for the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center and other non-profits supporting sexually abused women. She led the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at Texas Tech University and worked at the Planned Parenthood of Lubbock as a fundraiser immediately after graduation. She then served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in her hometown of Corpus Christi, investigating and representing the best interests of disadvantaged and abused children. In law school, she has participated in the Disability and Civil Rights and LGBT clinics and has loved learning to help clients face to face as well as directly impacting their lives for the better. This summer, she will be interning at the New York Civil Liberties Union, where she will continue to learn how to advocate for women’s rights and civil rights and use the legal system to fight for marginalized communities and social justice.
Emily Musson ’18 –- Mental Hygiene Legal Service
Hailing originally from small-town Indiana, Emily has been setting roots in Brooklyn since in 2009. During her time working as a paralegal and finishing her Bachelor's in Gender Studies, she decided to further pursue her passion for social justice and mental health advocacy in law school. Emily spent her 1L summer in Washington D.C. working as a Public Policy Associate at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and in the spring of her 2L year, she worked in the Health Care Bureau of the New York State Attorney General's Office. As a BLSPI Fellow, Emily is devoting her time and energy to Mental Hygiene Legal Service 1st Department Guardianship Division. Going forward, she hopes to continue broadening her perspective on mental health legislation and reform as well as the practical and legal realities of people suffering from mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities. She is thrilled to have had such a diverse set of experiences and plans to continue in her legal career to focus on mental health advocacy and policy.
Vanessa Pompeu Robinson
Vanessa came to Brooklyn Law with an interest in employment law and environmental law. After college, she was initially interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in immunology. However, after three years working at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center as a research study assistant, she recognized that her values and personality would be better served by a law school education. She currently serves as a Co-Chair on the Pro Bono Committee within BLSPI.
Allison Broad ’18 –- Federal Defenders (Atlanta)
Allison Broad is honored and excited to join this year’s fellowship class. Allison completed a BA in Media Law & Policy at Penn State University and an MSc in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Bristol in England. After graduating, Allison served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Coney Island doing post-Sandy relief work, performed legal intake at the New York Civil Liberties Union, and spent eight months working in a former orphanage in the jungle of eastern Guatemala. Since starting at Brooklyn Law, Allison has volunteered with the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and Suspension Representation Project. She serves as co-chair of the BLS chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. For her 1L summer, Allison was an Elder Law Intern in the New York Legal Assistance Group’s Public Benefits Unit. During her second year, she participated in the BLS Disability and Civil Rights Clinic, and interned at the New York County Defender Services. She will be spending her fellowship summer in Atlanta with the Federal Defenders Program.