2018-19 Douglass Fellows Class Celebrated at Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C.

By: MOLLY WICKER

The Institute’s second class of Douglass Fellows completed their nine-month fellowship with a celebration dinner on April 10 at Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, D.C. The Fellows, representing seven law schools, were engaged in the Institute’s anti-trafficking work through three key components: 1) Research and Writing; 2) Advocacy; and 3) Mentorship.

“This year’s Douglass Fellows class represents some of the top law students in the country,” said Victor Boutros, Institute Founder and CEO. “They will find themselves leaders in positions of influence in law, government, policy, philanthropy, and the private sector, and we want them to see the fight against trafficking as not merely a chapter in their life story, but a theme woven throughout.”

The 2018-19 Douglass Fellows included: Alana Broe (University of Virginia Law); Meghan Poole (Boston University Law); Jasmine Dela Luna (University of Chicago Law); Emma Eastwood-Paticchio (Stanford Law); Sarah Hamill (Pepperdine Law); Whitney Kramer (Harvard Law); and Jessica Skocik (Notre Dame Law)

During the year, the Fellows conducted the following research and writing:

Each Fellow also hosted an advocacy event at their law school. The purpose of these events was to raise awareness about human trafficking; to provide accurate and compelling information to the community; and to inspire others to work to decimate the prevalence of modern slavery. This year’s events ranged from panel discussions to day-long conferences. To read more about the advocacy component of the Douglass Fellowship program, click here.

Each Fellow was also paired with a mentor, who is a leader in the field of anti-trafficking. This year’s mentors included:

  • Carl Benoit, Chief, Office of the General Counsel, Critical Incident Response Group Legal Unit, Federal Bureau of Investigations
  • Betsy Hutson, Associate at McGuire Woods
  • Benjamin J. Hawk, Deputy Director for Litigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Section, Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit
  • Christine Raino, Senior Director of Public Policy at Shared Hope International
  • Laura Rundlet, Acting Deputy Director, U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking Persons
  • Yiota G. Souras, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
  • Martina E. Vandenberg, Founder and President, The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center

“The Douglass Fellowship provides unparalleled opportunities for law school students to partner with leaders in the anti-trafficking movement and develop valuable research and scholarship,” said Betsy Hutson, mentor to Jasmine Dela Luna. “I’m thrilled to be a mentor in this program and enjoyed coming alongside Jasmine as she developed her advocacy and research projects. She, along with the rest of the fellows, are hard-working, passionate, and a delight to work with.”

“My mentorship with Betsy Hutson was an invaluable component of the fellowship,” said Fellow Jasmine Dela Luna. “She was not just my mentor but a role model. She impressed upon me the truth that private practice and public interest work are not entirely mutually exclusive. I am so grateful that the fellowship gave me the chance to be mentored by such an incredible person and attorney.”

The Douglass Fellowship was launched in September 2017 and inspired by the Institute’s consistent contact with outstanding law students across the country. In its inaugural year, the Douglass Fellowship accepted the top 10% of applicants. The Fellowship runs from September through April each year and supports the Institute’s efforts to provide clear, data-driven, thought leadership to scholars and criminal justice practitioners in the fight against human trafficking. It was named after Abolitionist Frederick Douglass, honoring his lifelong commitment to freedom, education, and advocacy.

“My experience as a Douglass Fellow was the best experience I had in law school,” said Sarah Hamill, who attends Pepperdine Law. “I met incredible practitioners in the field of anti-trafficking work and made life-long connections with law students, lawyers, and mentors from across the country. I walked away from the fellowship encouraged, empowered, and hopeful, trying to figure out how to work for the institute forever.”

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Molly Wicker

Molly Wicker

Molly is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Grove City College, where she studied English and Economics. During college, she interned for The Pittsburgh Promise and PNC Financial Services, where she honed her communications and development skills. Molly is an avid writer and her work has been published in a number of places, including The New York Times. She is currently working with Institute in D.C. as a Falls Church Anglican Fellow.