John Marshall Student Awarded IABA Foundation Public Interest Fellowship

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Manpreet Teji, a rising 2L at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has been awarded the 2015 Indian American Bar Association of Chicago Foundation Public Interest Summer Fellowship.

Manpreet Teji, a rising 2L at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, has been awarded the 2015 Indian American Bar Association of Chicago Foundation (IABA Foundation) Public Interest Summer Fellowship.

The IABA Foundation selected one student this year for the prestigious fellowship. In order to be considered for the fellowship, a student must show a desire to practice in the public interest sector after graduation. In addition, the student should show exemplary dedication to the South Asian community, an interest that is particularly important to Teji.

“My decision to go to law school was guided by the post-9/11 backlash I noticed taking place towards my own Sikh and South Asian communities,” Teji said. “Through my work experience at the Sikh Coalition and South Asian Americans Leading Together, I realized that pursuing a law degree would put me in the best position to address the issues affecting various communities through the systemic process in the justice system. This solidified my reasoning to go to law school.”

This summer, Teji is interning at the esteemed Federal Defender Program in the Northern District of Illinois, an internship she learned about through the Office of Diversity Affairs at John Marshall. The Federal Defender Program is a non-for-profit private corporation which provides free legal representation to all persons accused of committing federal crimes who cannot afford to hire private counsel. By being awarded the IABA Foundation Public Interest Summer Fellowship, Teji will receive funding for this otherwise unpaid internship.    

Last year, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders selected Teji as one of its E3! Ambassadors. Teji joined 31 other young leaders who were selected because of their commitment to improving the quality of life and opportunity for young Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

“I valued my experience being selected as one of the E3! because it was a way for me, as a law student, to still stay engaged with the work I did with the Asian American community prior to law school,” Teji said. As ambassador, she provided community organizations in Chicago with education, mental health and public service materials.

After graduation, Teji would like to continue public interest work and address various issues still facing minority communities in the U.S.

For more information about Manpreet Teji or the Office of Diversity Affairs at John Marshall, please contact Christine Kraly at ckraly(at)jmls(dot)edu.

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Christine Kraly
The John Marshall Law School
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Miller McDonald

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