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Nixon Peabody and LatinoJustice create new summer civil rights fellowship for Latinx law students


June 26th, 2020 

Contact: Elianne Ramos; Chief Communications Officer; [email protected]; 212.739.7513

New York, NY – Nixon Peabody’s pro-bono initiative has teamed up with LatinoJustice PRLDEF to create an innovative new fellowship program for Latinx law students.The Nixon Peabody Summer Civil Rights Fellowship will identify one Latinx law student each year for the next decade to participate in LatinoJustice’s ten-week summer program, a full-time legal internship that provides valuable experience working on civil rights cases involving the Latinx community. The 2020 inaugural Nixon Peabody Summer Civil Rights Fellow recipient is Jennifer Acevedo, a rising third-year law student at CUNY School of Law, who will receive a five thousand dollar summer stipend award as part of the fellowship. Jennifer is an alumnus of LatinoJustice’s LawBound® pre-law pipeline program for college students.

The fellowship stems from Nixon Peabody’s successful representation of Roxana Orellana Santos, a pro-bono client referred to the firm by LatinoJustice following Santos’s unlawful arrest by the Frederick County, Maryland Sheriff, in 2008. After ten years of litigation and favorable court decision finding Frederick County liable for the Sheriff’s unlawful arrest of Santos in violation of her Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights, the case was recently resolved via an out of court settlement. As part of the case settlement, plaintiff’s counsel were awarded legal fees. Given the fact that Nixon Peabody does not accept legal fees in pro-bono matters, the firm donated the fees to LatinoJustice as the referring nonprofit.

“Nixon Peabody’s donation is a wonderful reflection of the firm’s commitment to enhancing the pipeline and the mutual benefits of pro-bono collaboration,” said José Pérez, LatinoJustice's deputy general counsel and co-lead counsel on the Santos case. “The firm was instrumental in helping us establish a new national legal precedent and protections for our most vulnerable clients, and this donation is such a reaffirmation of all that we do, and strive for, at LatinoJustice.”

Read Nixon Peabody's announcement of the Summer Civil Rights Fellowship here