Bertha SJI - Legal Fellowship Program

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Bertha Justice Fellowships at CCR

The Bertha Fellowship is for emerging lawyers (0-2 years out of law school) who are interested in gaining both practical experience working on CCR cases and a theoretical understanding of how legal advocacy can create social change. CCR hosts three Bertha Fellows, one to work alongside attorneys in each of our three docket areas: Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative, Government Misconduct/Racial Justice, and International Human Rights.

The Bertha Fellowship at CCR is sponsored by the Bertha Foundation which hosts emerging lawyers at several legal organizations across the world. In addition to gaining legal experience on CCR cases, Bertha Fellows at CCR will have opportunities to attend regional and international meetings, network with lawyers from around the world, and receive mentoring and non-traditional training in leadership, management, media and advocacy, activism and movement building.

Docket Descriptions

Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative (GGJI): GGJI attorneys are at the forefront in challenging extrajudicial detention, torture and abuse in Guantánamo and related domestic and international outposts of the executive branch’s “war on terror.” The Bertha Fellow assigned to this docket will work with CCR staff to continue and broaden CCR’s efforts – through litigation and advocacy – to challenge executive branch practices premised on expansive conceptions of wartime executive authority, as well as long-standing racism and xenophobia, including indefinite and preventive detention, military commissions, targeted killings and abusive interrogations.
International Human Rights (IHR) The IHR team focuses on litigation and advocacy in U.S. courts, foreign courts, and international fora to press the U.S. government, foreign government officials, corporations and other private actors to abide by international human rights and humanitarian law. Their work also includes providing support to international human rights activists.
Government Misconduct/Racial Justice (GMRJ): GMRJ attorneys develop creative litigation and advocacy projects in areas such as: racial justice; economic and social rights; the government’s criminalization of dissent; mass incarceration; immigrant justice; policing; national security; environmental justice; gender equality and LGBTQ rights.

Current Fellows at the SJI

Susan Hu
Susan HuSusan graduated in 2011 from NYU School of Law, where she participated in the International Human Rights Clinic and worked for the ACLU of Southern California, the Federal Defenders of San Diego, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Prior to becoming a Be Just Fellow at Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Susan had been a paralegal for the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at CCR from 2006-2008 and later worked as a Legal Fellow at the Center for Appellate Litigation, where she litigated criminal appeals and related post-conviction proceedings.

Susan is the Bertha Fellow for the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative. Her work focuses on challenging the detention of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other post-9/11 government abuses emerging from the "war on terror."

Jessica Lee
Jessica Lee Jessica graduated with a B.A in Political Science from Virginia Commonwealth University and completed her law degree at the University of Virginia Law School in 2012. While attending law school, Jessica worked at the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Virginia Capital Conviction Resource Center, where she focused on domestic human rights issues and the death penalty. She also participated in the International Human Rights Clinic and the Innocence Project Clinic.

Prior to law school and becoming a Be Just Fellow at Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), Jessica had worked as the Virginia Climate Coordinator for the League of Conservation Voters.

Jessica is the Bertha Fellow in International Human Rights at CCR.

Chauniqua Young
Chauniqua Young Chauniqua received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2012. During law school, she interned at the International Commission for Labor Rights, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, and for plaintiff-side labor and employment law firms. Chauniqua was also an advocate in the Suspension Representation Project, a mediator in the Cardozo Mediation Clinic and worked in the Cardozo International Human Rights and Genocide Prevention Clinic. Upon graduation, she received the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for her work in the Human Rights Clinic and as president of the Cardozo Black Law Students Association.

Chauniqua is the Be Just Fellow for the Government Misconduct/Racial Justice Docket at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). Her work focuses on challenging unconstitutional government practices and racial discrimination. She recently acted in CCR's historic stop and frisk litigation, Floyd v New York City.

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