New York Lawyers for the Public Interest has chosen its first lawyer for the new Michael Rothenberg Fellowship, named for the nonprofit's longtime executive director who died last year. As the first Rothenberg fellow, civil rights lawyer Veronica Jung, a staff attorney who has been with NYLPI since June 2011, will focus on litigation to integrate people with disabilities into the community, an area of civil rights advocacy of particular importance to Rothenberg.
Jung was selected because of her past work serving as the NYLPI's lead attorney on such litigation. She also has represented individuals with disabilities placed in overly restrictive institutional settings. "Veronica's passion, experience, and proven dedication to disability justice were critical to her selection as the Michael Rothenberg Fellow," McGregor Smyth, NYLPI's executive director, said in a press release.
The fellowship is expected to last three years. NYLPI said it hopes to continue the position in the future with the help of fellowship-specific fundraising. Before joining NYLPI, Jung, a graduate of Boston University School of Law, was a trial attorney in the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division.