The Top 10 Stories of 2020

2020 has been an unprecedented year, and it’s not one we will soon forget. As we look forward to a brighter 2021, check out some of the top stories and highlights from around the NYLS community in 2020. 

  1. NYLS and Venable LLP Announce Innovative Summer Associate Simulation Program: This summer, NYLS and Venable LLP partnered on an innovative simulation program, modeled on a Big Law summer associate experience, to provide NYLS students with opportunities to work through real-world legal challenges related to COVID-19.  
  2. NYLS Announces Winner and Finalists of “HackNYLS 2020” Student App Development Competition: Meet the winner and finalists of NYLS’s first virtual hackathon competition, which encouraged competing NYLS students to design and build software applications to meet the challenges of corporate legal operations and compliance.
  3. NYLS Rises to the Challenge: Dr. Sassan Naderi ’18: As the nation responded to COVID-19, Dr. Naderi worked on the front lines as an Attending Physician of Emergency Medicine at Coney Island Hospital. 
  4. Professor Kirk Burkhalter ’04 Is a Leading Voice on Police Education: Following the tragic death of George Floyd this summer, Professor Burkhalter brought his experience and expertise as a retired NYPD Detective, First Grade and a criminal law scholar to the national conversation on police reform and accountability.
  5. NYLS Rises to the Challenge: Kacia Wilson 1L: For years, Wilson, now a 2L, balanced full-time school with a part-time job in Lenox Hill Hospital Emergency Room. Throughout the pandemic, she continued her essential work, even as hospitals across New York City faced staffing and equipment shortages. 
  6. Claire R. Thomas ’11 Wins Fulbright Award to Research Solutions for Asylum Seekers in Mexico: The Director of NYLS’s Asylum Clinic, Adjunct Professor Claire Thomas received a Fulbright award to research long-term solutions for asylum seekers from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East who become stranded in Mexico due to U.S. immigration restrictions. 
  7. NYLS Student and Alumna Named to City & State’s “40 Under 40”: Leni Morrison Cummins ’08 and Konstantine Tettonis 1L Evening were named as rising stars on City & State New York’s prestigious 2020 list, which spotlights “unsung heroes who are influencing policies on a number of fronts, whether it’s the coronavirus pandemic, the recession, police brutality, or climate change.”
  8. NYLS Rises to the Challenge: Danney Salvatierra ’19: As a Legal Advocate at African Services Committee, Salvatierra helped the human rights agency find creative solutions for effective outreach to their immigrant, refugee, and asylee clients during the pandemic.
  9. Camille Mackler ’06 Launches Immigration Advocacy Nonprofit: This fall, Mackler showed how a legal education and a career in law can make real change as she launched a new immigration advocacy nonprofit—the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative. 
  10. NYLS Racial Justice Project Celebrates Key Win in Case Seeking Judicial Inquiry into Eric Garner’s Death: On September 24, 2020, the courts made a major ruling in Carr v. de Blasio, paving the way for a judicial inquiry into the alleged violations and neglect of duties in connection with the death of Eric Garner in 2014.