2011 Summer Grant Recipients
Alex West, Seattle University School of Law
The Sylvia Rivera Law Project
Alex West, a 2L at Seattle University Law School, will spend the summer as the legal intern with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP). The SRLP is based in New York City and was founded by Seattle University Professor Dean Spade. The organization works to increase the political voice and visibility of low-income and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. The SRLP has a unique non-hierarchical management structure, including a small unit of dedicated legal services attorneys.
Mr. West will help staff legal drop-in clinics, develop supporting legal materials, and attend community meetings. He will work on public benefits work, immigration issues, and legal matters confronted by persons living with HIV/AIDS. Mr. West will also assist in the SRLP’s work to address prison reform in New York State to address disparities in treat of trans people.
Mr. West graduated from Clark University in 2005, with a B.A. in Sociology. At Seattle University School of Law, Mr. Leavitt has served as the Co-President and board member of OutLaws, the law school’s GLBT student organization. He is an articles editor for the Seattle Journal for Social Justice and has co-chaired the law school’s social justice week. Mr. West is particularly interested in trying to bring back what he learns about the SRLP’s organizational structure and work with other attorneys to develop a similar organization here in Washington State.
Matching funds for Mr. West’s grant are generously being provided by Seattle University School of Law.
Michelle Gonzalez, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
HIV Law Project
Ms. Gonzalez, a 1L from the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, spent the summer at HIV Law Project in New York City. The HIV Law Project handles approximately 1000 cases each year addressing legal and social service issues of its clientele. The HIV Law Project provides free legal services to underserved low-income people living with HIV/AIDS, particularly women & families, people of color, undocumented and recent immigrants, the LGBT community, and the homeless. Ms. Gonzalez’ project focused, in particular, on serving Spanish speaking clientele and helping them secure public assistance and with immigration-related concerns.
After attending Florida International University for two years, Ms. Gonzalez graduated from New York University in 2009 with a B.A. in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Since high school, she has been actively involved in community service projects benefiting numerous LGBT and HIV/AIDS organizations in Florida and New York. Ms. Gonzalez has served on the boards of LGBT organizations at each stage in her college career. Ms. Gonzalez is the first member of her family to attend college and law school and she intends to focus her legal career on LGBT and immigration issues.
More about the Grant Program
The QLaw Foundation Summer Public Interest Grant Program funds innovative public interest projects that benefit the gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) community and/or people living with HIV/AIDS. The program helps ensure that unmet legal needs are recognized and prioritized on an on-going basis and that the next generation of legal advocates for GLBT rights develops the critical skills necessary to develop careers in the public interest.
If you are a student interested in applying for the grant in 2012, or are an attorney or organization interested in serving as a project sponsor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Save the Date! The QLaw Foundation’s Summer Grant fundraiser is held each fall (our fabulous FallTacular party). Donations are accepted year-round at http://www.q-law.org/donatetothefoundation.