Will Sheehan ’20 Selected for Prestigious Immigration Fellowship

Sheehan will work with the Health Justice Program of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest on asylum and U-visa cases for individuals with serious health conditions.

Michael M. Bowden
will sheehan
Will Sheehan '20

Will Sheehan ’20 has been selected for a prestigious 2020 Immigration Summer Legal Corps Student Fellowship by Equal Justice Works. He will work with the Health Justice Program of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

“I was so excited to hear I received a spot with the fellowship and even more excited to match up with my first choice of placement,” Sheehan said. “It is such an incredible honor to be joining the company of the most passionate law graduates, who have a proven record of showing up for immigrants and want to use their law degrees to continue and develop their advocacy.  I hope to learn as much as I can about client-centered, trauma-informed lawyering, and I hope to empower my clients to feel confident and well-guided in their legal cases.”

Though he graduated from Roger Williams University School of Law in May, Sheehan qualified because he applied for the fellowship while still a student. “And because I was able to take the February 2020 bar exam, I could pursue this internship after graduation, since I didn't have to worry about studying this summer,” he said.

As one of just 20 fellows selected from 375 applications nationwide, Sheehan will be hosted at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), where he will provide support on the organization’s Health Justice Program, including completion of comprehensive immigration and health screenings. Sheehan will also work closely with NYLPI’s immigration attorney on several representation matters, including asylum and U-visas cases for individuals with serious health conditions.

“Low-income immigrant communities in New York have been hit particularly hard by coronavirus pandemic,” said Aoife Delargy Lowe, director of law school engagement and advocacy at Equal Justice Works. “We are grateful to Will for choosing to spend his summer helping immigrant New Yorkers, including undocumented and uninsured immigrants, to effectively access health care services.”

Sheehan’s alma mater is pleased as well.

“Will is a fabulous choice for the 2020 Immigration Summer Legal Corps Fellowship,” said Eliza Vorenberg, RWU Law's Director of Pro Bono & Community Partnerships and Pro Bono Collaborative Director. “He has been a consistent voice for social justice throughout his time at RWU Law, and he is truly passionate about the work he is taking on. That he was awarded this fellowship and that he is choosing to spend his post-graduate and post-bar-passage summer working on behalf of immigrants is a testament to his commitment and to his mettle.”

Vorenberg added that Sheehan has both a background and a future in the field.

“He spent last spring as a New York Pro Bono Scholar learning about immigration law at the Peter Cicchino Youth Project of the Urban Justice Center, and next fall he will begin a two-year Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship at the Safe Passage Project,” she said. “I could not be prouder to call Will one of our public interest graduates.”

The Equal Justice Works Immigration Summer Legal Corps (ISLC), is a new eight-to ten-week summer law student program that places law students at legal services organizations to respond to the critical needs of underserved and low-income immigrant communities. Participants (called "student fellows") have the unique opportunity to explore their passion for public interest while gaining valuable legal skills and experience in immigration law. ISLC provides a $5,000 stipend for completing 300 hours of service in the program. As part of the Immigration Summer Legal Corps, student fellows are hosted at legal services organizations, and spend the summer helping to expand high-quality comprehensive legal services and resources for low-income immigrants. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Student Fellows are working remotely this summer to support the efforts of their host organization.

Additional information about the program can be found here.