Immigrant Justice Corps has chosen three University of Pennsylvania Law School students to receive its prestigious Justice Fellowship: Emma Morgenstern L’19, John Peng L’19, and Emilie Raber L’19. The highly selective fellowship program is dedicated to serving the needs of immigrants who require legal assistance with issues such as seeking lawful status and citizenship, and fighting deportation. Morgenstern, Peng, and Raber were among 27 graduates of top law schools selected for 2019 fellowships, which will place them at leading legal services organizations around the country for two-year terms.
Justice Fellows are selected on the basis of their experience with and passion for immigration issues, along with their academic achievements. For Morgenstern, Peng, and Raber, their engagement with Penn Law’s renowned immigration law programming through courses, clinical work, pro bono work, and more, contributed to their significant experience.
As a Toll Public Interest Scholar at Penn Law, Morgenstern devoted a significant amount of her time to immigration-related public interest work. She was a student leader of the International Refugee Assistance Project and worked as a law student representative with the Transnational Legal Clinic. She also spent a summer with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project in Portland, Maine. Prior to attending law school, she earned an MSc degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and went on to work as an immigration paralegal. As a Justice Fellow, Morgenstern will work on a variety of migration issues at Volunteers of Legal Service in New York.
Peng served as a student leader of the International Human Rights Pro Bono Project while at Penn Law, and also worked in the Transnational Legal Clinic. Both experiences exposed him to a range of immigration cases and human rights advocacy projects. His experiences have included drafting a joint communication to various U.N. special rapporteurships documenting human rights violations at immigration detention centers in the state of Georgia, and representing a trans woman in immigration court, helping her to successfully obtain asylum in the United States. For his Justice Fellowship term, Peng will work with the Immigration Unit of the Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York. There, he will primarily provide legal services and representation to detained immigrants facing removal proceedings.
For Raber, the commitment to a career in immigration law arises in part from its impact on her own family, along with its potential to promote global equality and justice. While at Penn Law, Raber was a a student leader of the International Human Rights Pro Bono Project, represented asylum-seekers, and also worked on expunging criminal records and supporting war crimes legislation. She has also engaged in international anti-death penalty work as an intern with Reprieve, and conducted research and analysis on atrocity crimes accountability with Human Rights Watch. Before law school, Raber worked in tenant and consumer rights. As a Justice Fellow, she will work at Building One Community in Stamford, Connecticut to provide asylum and removal defense services.