Students Selected for the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Fellowship Program

Last year, the Boston Bar Association announced its new Diversity & Inclusion Summer Fellowship Program, which gave two outstanding law students access to critical work experience through paid summer internships. This year, three fellowship positions were made available through generous support of the Boston Bar Foundation.

These internships provide practical experience in developing legal research and writing skills, expanding professional networks, and access to programming at the BBA. In addition, the three fellows will be paired with a mentor from the BBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Section.

This year’s summer interns are Rosa Kim, a second-year student from Boston College Law School, who will be interning at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Farnaz Daneshvaran, a second-year student from New England Law | Boston, who will be interning at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and Donald Slater, a second-year student from Suffolk University Law School, who will be interning at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Massachusetts.

During Rosa Kim’s undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, she championed the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women as the Philanthropy Chair. This helped fuel her desire for public advocacy and to bring awareness to this underground crime. Her philanthropic nature is also demonstrated by her volunteer work for the Lawyer’s Clearinghouse Clinic where she interviewed clients to assist them with finding the legal help they need for a variety of topics, including public benefits and access to subsidized housing. In her application, Rosa notes, “It is my goal to use my voice on behalf of those who do not have one. As a woman of color, in the legal field, I hope to be a fierce advocate of those who might not have the resources, the means, or the education to advocate for themselves”.

During her undergraduate studies at George Mason University, Farnaz Daneshvaran pursued a degree in Criminology and Psychology with a concentration in Law and Society. Prior to law school, Farnaz worked at a wellness clinic where she assisted in group therapy for children, refugees & asylum seekers. In addition, volunteers with New England Law’s Boston CORI initiative. She notes in her application, “With a legal degree, I can create lasting change in my clients’ lives. The invaluable experience I would obtain at MCAD would propel me to advance in this field”. Farnaz speaks four languages, and further notes, “all of my life experiences introduced me to differing perspectives that increased my awareness. They have encouraged me to lead a life that promotes inclusivity and fairness.”

During his undergrad at University of Connecticut, Donald was initially a computer science major, but transitioned to Political Science to further develop his analysis, research, and writing skills. During this, he grew drawn to finance and started an internship at Trinity College as an operations and logistics manager where he became further interested in business, contracts, and negotiations. His skills and experience in these areas has led him to be interested in bankruptcy law. In his application, Donald notes, “This is the perfect opportunity for me to gain valuable experience and exposure in fields I am interested in as well as fields completely foreign to me. This fellowship will undoubtedly develop me into a more versatile legal scholar and professional.”  Donald also notes about the opportunity to work in the courtroom in Judge Frank J. Bailey’s Chambers, “I aim to learn the intricacies of the legal process from within the courtroom and experience the critical thinking skills of a judge to understand what it takes to represent either side of a legal dispute in my field.”

These fellowships advance the mission of the BBA’s longstanding summer internship program, which has previously provided unpaid legal internships for law students from diverse backgrounds to work in courts and government offices across the Commonwealth for nearly a decade. More than 130 promising law students have participated in the program, gaining critical work experience through this unique opportunity.

Funding for these three positions has been provided by the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF). A generous donation provided to the BBF will provide a $5,000 stipend to the intern at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Funding for a second $5,000 stipend for the intern working in the judges’ chambers of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has been provided by the BBF’s Charles P. Normandin Fund. Funding for the third position at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination was made possible by the law firm Pierce Atwood.

Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, all three fellows will be trained and working remotely.