May 19, 2017, San Francisco, CA - Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) and the California-based Foundation for Advocacy Inclusion and Resources (FAIR) today announced the selection of Saima Ali as the fourth FAIR Fellowship recipient (formerly the Sanford Heisler Public Interest Diversity Fellowship).
Ms. Ali graduated from University of California Riverside in 2012 and the University of California Hastings College of the Law in May 2017.
The FAIR Fellowship attracted numerous highly qualified applicants from across the country this year. Giselle Olmedo, of San Francisco, a 2013 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, was selected as the inaugural Fellow in May 2014, Amelia Alvarez of University of California, Irvine School of Law was selected as the second Fellow in May 2015, and Allyssa Villanueva of Hastings College of Law was selected as the third Fellow in May 2016.
Ms. Ali demonstrates a steadfast commitment to labor and employment law, including serving as an Advocate for the General Assistance Advocacy Project at Hastings, and working in Hastings’ Center for Work Life Law as a research assistant. She also worked as a law clerk at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Victim’s Assistance Program at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
“I am dedicated to empowering and upholding the rights of workers. Coming from a diverse, multiethnic background, my personal and professional experiences have shown me the pervasiveness of employment discrimination in all types of industries,” said Ali. “My goal is to use the law to ensure that employment discrimination on the arbitrary basis of race, sex, gender, religion or national origin is not allowed to hold back the careers of any other individual. I am thrilled to be learning from the attorneys at Legal Aid at Work and the attorneys from the CELA network. The FAIR Fellowship will allow me to take my first step in building my career and achieving my goal.”
FAIR will provide Ms. Ali’s salary and benefits for the first six months of the year-long fellowship, when she will be with Legal Aid at Work. “We are hugely grateful to FAIR for making this special fellowship possible,” said Joan Graff, president of LAAW. “It gives us a unique opportunity to participate in the training of talented attorneys like Saima who wish to pursue a career in civil and employment rights law. And we get to benefit from their fresh thinking and exceptional work.”
“FAIR congratulates and welcomes Saima Ali as its 2017 FAIR Fellow,” added Supreeta Sampath, FAIR’s President. “While FAIR is in its fourth year of providing this exciting fellowship opportunity, this is the first year the fellowship moves forward as 'The FAIR Fellowship'. In these especially challenging times for immigrants, communities of color and persons of diverse faiths and backgrounds, we are confident Saima will bring her unique personal experiences, perspectives, passion and talent to vigorously advocate for California's workers."
FAIR is a California non-profit created by CELA leaders in 2009 to increase diversity in the plaintiffs' employment Bar and to raise public consciousness about workers' rights.
About Legal Aid at Work
Legal Aid at Work (formerly Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center), founded in 1916, protects the rights and economic self-sufficiency of working poor people by providing a wide range of free legal services and by engaging in policy advocacy, public education, and technical assistance on behalf of low-income workers and their communities. LAAA addresses the full spectrum of employment-related issues for its clients, such as unpaid wages; denial of family and medical leave; denial of disability accommodations; and discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, immigration status, language, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
For more information, contact:
FAIR Executive Director
(818) 703-0587 or firstname.lastname@example.org