Program in Law and Public Service
Meet some of the fellows in the Program in Law and Public Service.
Maggie Birkel ’18
Maggie Birkel, from Washington, D.C., graduated from Northwestern University in 2012. Prior to law school, Birkel worked as the director of operations at Eden House, a New Orleans residential recovery facility for women leaving sex work and sex trafficking. Last summer she worked at the Orleans Public Defenders office.
Interests: Public defense, restorative justice, prisoners’ rights, women’s rights, criminal justice reform, mental health law
Suzy Deuster ’20
Milwaukee native Suzy Deuster graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 with degrees in legal studies and criminal justice. Prior to law school, Deuster worked as an investigation assistant with the Wisconsin Department of Justice and as a paralegal in the Wisconsin Office of the Solicitor General, where she researched state criminal law issues and wrote federal habeas briefs.
Interests: Criminal law, artificial intelligence forensic science, criminal defense, criminal justice system policy
Amy Fly ’19
Before starting law school, Baltimore native Amy Fly worked at various nonprofits specializing in defending those facing the death penalty, including the London-based charity Amicus, Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty and the Arizona Capital Representation Project. She also volunteered at, and now serves on the Board of Directors for, The Sunny Center, a nonprofit based in Ireland that supports those recently released after wrongful incarceration. At UVA, Fly is involved in the Virginia Innocence Project and is working with Professor George Rutherglen on a civil rights case involving prison conditions. Additionally, she is the co-president of the Virginia Law in Prison Project, and on the student boards of both the Program in Law and Public Service and the Public Interest Law Association. Fly completed an Alternative Spring Break trip at D.C. Public Defender Services and her 1L summer at the Louisiana Capital Assistance Center in New Orleans.
Interests: Death penalty, public defense, prison conditions
Courtney Koelbel ’19
Courtney Koelbel, from Phoenix, graduated in 2015 from Cornell University, where she majored in environmental engineering and minored in music. After graduation, she stayed at Cornell to work for Facilities Engineering and the Campus Sustainability Office. This past summer, she interned at the regional office of the Environmental Protection Agency in New York City.
Interests: Environmental law, human rights, government
Josh Myers ’18
Josh Myers spent this past summer in the Washington, D.C., office of Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough. A native of Little Mountain, South Carolina, he served as social chair of the Black Law Students Association and alumni co-chair with the Program in Law and Public Service. He is also the development editor of the Virginia Law & Business Review and a member of the Prosecution Clinic. He has served as a law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina. His pro bono activities include work for the South Carolina House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee. He graduated magna cum laude with bachelor's degrees in music (in cello performance) and political science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He will clerk for Judge Michelle Childs for the District of South Carolina for the 2018-19 term.
Interests: Government, prosecution, employment law
Spencer Ryan ’19
Spencer Ryan, student from Mamaroneck, New York, graduated from Princeton University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. This past summer, Spencer interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. At UVA, he is involved with the Virginia Innocence Project, serves on the student board of the Law and Public Service Program, and is a Peer Advisor.
Interests: Criminal law, criminal justice reform
Gina Sato ’19
California Bay Area native Gina Sato graduated from Brown University with degrees in international relations and religious studies. While at UVA, she has done pro bono work with the Legal Aid Justice Center, the Innocence Project Clinic and the Council for Children’s Rights in North Carolina. During her 1L summer she worked on housing litigation for indigent tenants in New York City with the Goddard Riverside Law Project. She serves on the executive boards of the National Lawyers Guild, the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association and the Virginia Law in Prison Project.
Interests: Juvenile justice, civil legal aid, impact litigation