Sofia Calleja is a member of the Class of 2020 at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated with a dual bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Kentucky. She received her MSSW from Kent School of Social Work in May 2019. Prior to coming to law school, Sofia worked as a legal assistant with a non-profit immigration law clinic in Lexington, providing legal services to low-income immigrants as well as outreach events to educate the community. This is one of her passions, and she is currently on the executive board of a new non-profit immigration clinic, Neighbors Immigration Clinic, forming in Lexington. Sofia's interests focus on children, families and immigrants through family and immigration law.
Ryan Cannon is a 1L at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. He graduated from Indiana University Southeast with a double major in French and International Studies. As an undergraduate student, Ryan interned for the legal services office of Kentucky Refugee Ministries where he worked as a legal assistant and interpreter. After finishing his studies, Ryan relocated to France where he taught English in both Dunkirk and Lyon. Before applying to law school, Ryan participated in the Fulbright Program, focusing on English Language Learning in Thiès, Senegal. Through his participation in the Human Rights Advocacy Program, Ryan hopes to facilitate connections between local professionals in the legal and health-services sectors and Louisville’s immigrant and refugee communities.
Katie Davidson is a 3L at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated from Centre College in 2018 with degrees in philosophy and history and a minor in international studies. During her undergraduate career, Katie studied religion and politics in the United Kingdom where she engaged with various diaspora communities living in London. With experience in immigration law, health care law, and an intern for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, Katie is excited to begin her career as a public servant. In her spare time, Katie enjoys reading, travel and spending time with friends and family.
Alexa Elder is a 1L at the Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated from the University of Louisville in 2014 with a major in communications and a minor in gender studies. During college, Alexa coached the Walden Middle School Dance Team and volunteered for the Society of the Prevention of Aggression and Violence among Adolescents (JCPS), receiving the Volunteer of the Year award. During her junior year, Alexa spent a semester in Madrid, Spain, studying the Spanish language and culture. She has lived in Louisville most of her life and is committed to making positive contributions to the greater Louisville community. She has always known that she wanted to be an attorney and is particularly interested in championing the rights of people whose social or economic opportunities are lacking, either in the criminal justice system or for a public interest organization or firm.
Brian Fields is a member of the Class of 2022 at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. He graduated with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in political science and minors in history and Islamic/Middle Eastern studies. During his undergraduate career, Brian was heavily involved in political organizing, with a focus on turning out the vote in groups that have historically faced disenfranchisement. While at UNC he was co-director of Carolina United, a program that fosters a curriculum of discourse and cross-cultural engagement among a diverse group of college students in order to create a more inclusive campus environment for students of all backgrounds. Brian is interested in the intersection of social, economic and environmental justice and hopes that the Human Rights Advocacy Program will equip him with the skills to fight the vast array of human rights violations occurring across the country, with a focus on rural communities in the American South.
Brittany Greenwell is a member of the Class of 2021 at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law with aspirations to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney upon graduation. She hopes to one day work for the Southern Poverty Law Center to combat human/civil rights violations in the South. Her interests in law and social justice are focused primarily on criminal justice reform and increasing the incorporation of public service and pro bono work into the practice of law. In addition to being an HRAP Fellow, Brittany currently holds the position of Public Service Chair on the Student Bar Association and is also Vice President of LAMBDA Law. She has experience working for the Department of Public Advocacy, as well as a local criminal defense attorney, and has volunteered with several organizations in the Louisville community throughout her time as an undergraduate and graduate at UofL. In her free time Brittany enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, trying new restaurants and coffee shops and going to flea markets and thrift stores.
Ha Nguyen, Class of 2022, graduated from the University of Louisville in 2017 with a BA in psychology. During undergrad, she was able to complete an honors thesis focusing on face-matching trials, which opened the door to her interest in law and helping others. She has helped tutor refugees at Kentucky Refugee Ministries and spent some time teaching after graduating. Born and raised in Louisville, she loves this city and how welcoming it is for the immigrant and refugee community. She intends to pursue a legal career helping those in need get the legal aid they deserve while also helping people start businesses. In her free time, she loves to play tennis, walk her dogs and hang out with her family.
Melvi Paul is a 1L at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. During her undergraduate career she volunteered at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) in San Antonio, Texas. RAICES assigned her to work at the Karnes Detention Center in Karnes, Texas, where migrant women and their children are detained. Melvi performed intakes of new detainees, Credible and Reasonable Fear Interviews and Release Charlas (talks) to inform released women of available aid and legal resources. Melvi also volunteered at Hand-in-Hand Multicultural Center, a non-profit in Springfield, Missouri, helping candidates for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) apply and renew their permits. Melvi is interested in immigration law and is passionate about human rights and hopes the Human Rights Advocacy Program will further her commitment towards helping marginalized and underrepresented communities. Outside of her studies and volunteer commitments, Melvi enjoys camping, traveling and spending time with her friends and family.
Emily Pinerola is a member of the Class of 2020 at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. Emily graduated with honors from Samford University where she majored in Spanish and psychology. During her undergraduate career, she studied in both Spain and Costa Rica and was an active member of many organizations centered around racial justice and cultural competency. Emily is in the dual degree MSSW/JD program and graduated with her Master of Science in Social Work in May 2019. Last year, she served as a social work intern at the ACLU of Kentucky. She spent her law school summers as a legal fellow at Harvard Law School at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice and as a law clerk at the US Attorney’s Office. Emily considers it both her duty and passion to represent those who are marginalized and underrepresented. She is interested in prison reform and juvenile justice. She plans to be a public defender.
Robert Ranney is a part-time first-year student at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. He graduated cum laude from Bellarmine University with majors in political science and theology. As an undergraduate student, Robert interned for Judge A.C. McKay Chauvin in Jefferson County Circuit Court Division 8 and the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, where he now works in the Domestic Violence Intake Center. During the summer of 2018, Robert studied the history, politics and religious traditions of the Middle East while in Jerusalem, Israel and Cairo, Egypt. Through his participation in the Human Rights Advocacy Program, Robert plans to establish a local legal clinic for undocumented immigrants who have been victims of crimes. The clinic will help qualified undocumented victims seeking U Nonimmigrant Status Visas to increase rates of prosecution of crimes in which the victim is undocumented, as well as assist undocumented victims of domestic violence in submitting VAWA self-petitions to attain lawful permanent resident status. In his little free time, Robert enjoys spending time with his fiancée and attending Mass as frequently as possible.
Kaylee Raymer is a 1L who is passionate about criminal justice reform, indigent defense, due process for immigrants, restorative justice initiatives and a host of other social justice issues. Kaylee holds a bachelor's degree in Peace and Social Justice from Berea College. While at Berea, Kaylee served as a Bonner Scholar and worked in the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS). At CELTS, Kaylee assisted in the planning and execution of campus-wide awareness programs. Kaylee was responsible for taking students on volunteer trips to local non-profits and organized the daily events for the 2016 National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Kaylee also spent six months serving as an Attorney Case Support Intern at public defender offices in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Richmond, Kentucky. In her free time, Kaylee enjoys Zumba, kayaking and reading.
Courtney Arthur is a member of the Class of 2022 at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She graduated with honors and a double major in political science and English from Augustana University. Born and raised in South Dakota, Courtney wrote her honors thesis on empathy and the representation of Native Americans in film. Before coming to Louisville, Courtney worked in Jerusalem, living alongside a Palestinian community and teaching English in a Palestinian school on the Mount of Olives. Through her involvement in the Human Rights Advocacy Program, Courtney seeks experiences that will strengthen skills necessary for her to draw attention to both local and global human rights issues. In her practice of law, Courtney intends to foster connection and communication between public advocacy for human rights issues and the larger legal community.