New York Law School (NYLS) students bring to the School their own set of unique experiences and hopes for the future. In this month’s edition of Humans of NYLS, we sat down with four engaging law students, nominated by their peers, and got to know them as people—both inside and outside of the legal profession.
Stacey Chung ’25 Evening
Stacey Chung ’25 Evening is a 2L Evening Division student interested in intellectual property (IP). Prior to entering NYLS, she completed a B.S. in general biotechnology at Rutgers University and a Ph. D. in nutrition at Case Western Reserve University. She was a postdoctoral scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center researching treatments for breast cancer and then entered the field of IP after interning and consulting with CURE Pharmaceutical. In 2020, she joined Haley Guilinao LLP, an IP law firm, as a technical advisor and is currently working at the firm as a licensed patent agent in the life sciences.
Arielle Edelheit ’26 Evening
Arielle Edelheit ’26 Evening is a 1L Evening Division student at NYLS. She was born and raised in Oyster Bay, New York—a small, historic town on the north shore of Long Island. In 2015, Edelheit graduated manga cum laude from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts with a B.S. in psychology and dual minors in criminal justice and law/public policy.
After college, Edelheit dedicated herself to the mental health professions, primarily as an art and recreation therapist for a variety of populations. More recently, she worked in a tier-one domestic violence shelter, providing group and individual art therapy to survivors of domestic violence under the supervision of clinicians at Good Shepherd Services. She has also volunteered with East End Hospice, providing art therapy to children grieving the death of a parent or sibling, and with Artistic Noise, an organization that supports and collaborates with formerly incarcerated adolescents who identify as artists.
Edelheit is currently employed as a paralegal at a boutique matrimonial firm litigating complex custody and financial disputes. She brings to the field of family law unique insight into the psychological undercurrents of contested matrimonial actions. When she is not working or studying, she enjoys group fitness classes, seeing Broadway shows, and spending time with her Husky mix and two kittens.
Ian Leighton ’25
Ian Leighton ’25 received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut, where he studied political science and sociology. Prior to law school, he worked as a paralegal for a criminal appellate public defender and taught at Holland Hill Elementary School in his hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut. He served as Editorial Chair for the Fairfield Equity Coalition and led a 50-member team of writers, data analysts, and graphic designers to complete the coalition’s report on promoting anti-racism and racial equity in Fairfield Public Schools. Leighton is a Wilf Impact Public Interest Scholar at NYLS, and his love of teaching and working with children has led him to pursue a career at the intersection of public defense and child advocacy.
Emma Ratti ’24
Emma Ratti ’24 was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she attended the University of Pittsburgh where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in sociology and three minors. She’s known since high school that she wanted to become a public defender.
Currently, she is part of the Advocacy of Criminal Cases Clinic and works at a personal injury firm in Manhattan. At NYLS, Ratti is a junior editor for the Family Law Quarterly, a Wilf Impact Center for Public Interest Affiliate, and a Student Ambassador. Last summer, she interned with the Tenants’ Rights Coalition at Brooklyn Legal Services. There, she worked on several cases, including one for which she wrote a brief for a client who was wrongfully accused of a criminal matter and was facing eviction due to the wrongful accusation.
This past semester, Ratti was part of the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic, where she worked on both investigating their client’s innocence claim and helping him prepare his parole package. After going before the Parole Board for the first time and maintaining his innocence, he is coming home at the end of March and will be able to see his family, something she is much looking forward to for the client.
Her goal in coming to law school is to gain as much knowledge about the criminal legal system as she can to help others. This summer, she will be interning in the Criminal Defense Practice with the Bronx Defenders.
If you’d like to meet more of our “Humans of NYLS,” check out the December feature!