Attorneys Add Capacity for High Impact Cases in Government Offices During Two-Year Fellowships

OAKLAND, CALIF. (Sept. 3, 2019)Today Public Rights Project announced the newest cohort of its Public Rights Project Fellowship, a national program that adds capacity and expertise to state and local governments to protect their residents’ legal and civil rights. New legal fellows will be working alongside elected leaders in the offices of Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker, and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul. Fellows begin their program with a three-day orientation and training in San Francisco from Sept. 4-6, 2019.

“Public Rights Project believes that communities are safer and healthier when the laws written to protect the most vulnerable among us are faithfully and equitably enforced,” said Jill Habig, Founder and President of Public Rights Project. “We recently released national research that shows the majority of Americans report they’ve been cheated on their wages, victimized by predatory landlords, preyed upon by lenders or suffered health effects from corporate pollution. State and local government offices have the power to enforce laws that combat these harms and protect our ability to take out a mortgage, access housing or work, invest in our education, drink clean water, and breathe clean air. We’re thrilled to partner with Oakland, Detroit, Cook County, and Wisconsin to support their efforts to protect their communities.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with the Public Rights Project as our office continues to explore ways to protect the rights of County residents through affirmative litigation,” said Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan added, “We are committed to protecting the rights of all Detroit residents, and to ensuring that all Detroiters have an opportunity to thrive. We are excited to begin this partnership with the Public Rights Project.”

The 2019 Public Rights Project Fellows are:

Nicholas DeFiesta Oakland City Attorney’s Office

Lauren Miller Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Hallam Stanton Detroit Mayor’s Office

Colin Stroud Wisconsin Department of Justice

Karun Tilak Oakland City Attorney’s Office 

Public Rights Project’s 2018 Fellows, who are continuing the second year of their fellowships, are:

David Ureña Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office

Callie Wilson Oakland City Attorney’s Office 

“Colin will help the Wisconsin Department of Justice enforce laws that protect Wisconsinites,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “We’re excited that he’ll be working with our team.”

The fellows hold law degrees from Fordham University School of Law, New York University School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, Stanford Law School, and Yale Law School. They each graduated with honors from their undergraduate universities, which include American University, Barnard College, Colorado College, University of Leeds, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, and Yale College. They hail from five states -- Illinois, Oklahoma, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin -- and the United Kingdom. And they collectively speak five languages in addition to English. Each fellow brings prior litigation experience to the cases they will now pursue on behalf of their host offices. More information about the 2018 and 2019 fellows is available at

"On behalf of the City of Oakland, I am honored and proud to continue our partnership with Public Rights Project for a second year,” said Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker. “Our fellows provide critical talent and capacity to help us protect the economic, environmental and civil rights of Oakland residents, workers and consumers.”

Public Rights Project is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)(3) nonpartisan nonprofit organization. It runs two fellowship programs and provides other services to state and local governments focused on its mission of bridging the gap between the values expressed in our laws and the lived reality of our most vulnerable communities. Offices interested in hosting a Public Rights Project Fellow in the future can apply now to become a host office by completing the application on Public Rights Project’s website.


About Public Rights Project

Public Rights Project is a national organization that bridges the gap between the laws on the books, what’s happening on the ground and the lack of investment and commitment by the current Federal administration on civil rights. PRP leverages untapped opportunities in state and local law offices, including City Attorneys, District Attorneys, and Attorneys General and provides critical start up capital to help these offices increase capacity and enforcement. 



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Media Contacts:

Debbie Mesloh,, 415-867-2243

Rachel Tobin,, 404-276-5930