American Civil Liberties Union-Columbia Law School Leadership
William Leo is a 1L with a passionate interest in democratic process, the impacts of economic disparity, and the implications of climate change. He studied philosophy and English literature at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C, where he volunteered as political theory editor for an undergraduate journal. Before attending law school, Will was an assistant on Capitol Hill and then worked in local electoral politics. His experiences instilled in him a deep interest in the progressive policymaking, constitutional governance, and ecological practice. Will was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, and the Willamette Valley, and spent his first year of college at the University of Oregon.
My name is Valeria and I am originally from Puerto Rico, where I majored in psychology at the University of Puerto Rico and received my degree this year. During my undergraduate studies, I had several jobs such as being a Youth Advisor for the Puerto Rico Department of Health and completed the SEO Law Fellowship before starting at Columbia. At Columbia, I am a 1L staffer for the Journal of Gender and Law, participant in the LaLSA Asylum and Refugee Law Moot Court, and a 1L Events Representative for ACLU-CLS. Although I am interested in litigation and civil rights, I do keep an open mind as to potential areas of interest as I navigate law school. I also am a photographer and enjoy exercising and exploring NYC's restaurant scene.
Originally from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Pichrotanak graduated from Royal University of Law and Economics with a law degree in English and another law degree in Khmer. Before joining Columbia Law School, Pichrotanak was a fourth-year associate at Tilleke & Gibbins, a regional law firm in Southeast Asia, where his main practice area was Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT). At Columbia, Pichrotanak is a staffer at Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. Pichrotanak is passionate about laws governing the Internet and technology, including data privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, online speech, social media, and other online platforms.
Nicole is originally from Rochester, NY, where she also attended college at the University of Rochester. She graduated with B.A.s in political science and environmental studies. She is interested in the areas of sustainability, environmental justice, civil rights, and human rights. At Columbia, she is also involved with the Environmental Law Society. In her free time, she enjoys playing the piano, cooking, and reading.
Lucas hails originally from Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Psychology. Before law school, Lucas worked in market research, primarily in the healthcare and finance industries, and was a spin instructor around New York City. At Columbia, he is the Vice President of Advocacy for the Columbia ACLU, Events Chair for the Criminal Justice Action Network, a staff editor on the Journal of Gender & Law, and a Peer Mentor. He spent his first summer at Lambda Legal, doing impact litigation on issues related to the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the US. His work focused particularly on discrimination in the workplace, education, and healthcare. Lucas is most interested in civil liberties issues impacting the LGBTQ+ community, the criminal justice system, and voting rights. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and reliving all of Britney’s greatest VMA performances.
Kyle is originally from Edison, New Jersey. He earned his B.A. in Politics from New York University in 2020. As an undergraduate, he interned with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Senator Cory Booker, and New Jersey Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak. At CLS, Kyle teaches constitutional law to high school students through the High School Law Institute. As an Eagle Scout, he is passionate about pursuing servant leadership, and he maintains an interest in campaign finance reform, voting rights, and economic policy. Outside of class, Kyle enjoys exploring New York City’s landmarks and restaurants, playing volleyball, and backpacking.
Josceline is a 1L with an Associate's degree in Business Administration from Miami-Dade College and a BA in Accounting from the University of Miami. Prior to law school, I worked in Assurance and Advisory at a regional public accounting firm in South Florida. I obtained my Certified Public Accountant License from the Florida Board of Accountancy in 2020. I'm committed to criminal legal reform but am also interested in prison litigation and the development of human rights. For several years I worked with a non-profit reentry organization that assists in finding employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated persons. My responsibilities varied but were usually related to mitigating the socio-economic strain of a criminal record post-incarceration. In my very limited off-time, I enjoy watching Turkish drama series, and exploring nearby sights.
Henry Goldberg is a 1L from Dallas, Texas. Before coming to Columbia Law School, he attended Vanderbilt University, graduating in May 2020, where he picked up a passion for voting rights as well as immigration policy, focusing in particular on refugee law. As a first-year student there in Fall 2016, frustrated with the school’s ineffective voter registration efforts, he researched state laws to create a spreadsheet to help his fellow students register to vote and request their absentee ballots. The online resource racked up hundreds of views, and he used it in-person to help over fifty people. Also during college, he took multiple classes on refugee law and performed research on it, earning a spot in the acknowledgments section of a forthcoming journal article. At Columbia Law, in addition to his work with ACLU-CLS, he is excited to be a part of the LaLSA Moot Court and the SIRR Presidential Team and to be helping with refugee casework through IRAP.
Originally from Newport Beach, CA, Desiree graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in creative writing. During her undergraduate years, she researched for the Human Rights Investigations Lab at Berkeley Law, worked as a film production intern under the former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich producing videos on income inequality, and interned at the California Innocence Project. As an aspiring judge, Desiree’s legal interests are diverse but stem from the goal of making the US a more equitable place. Desiree is also a 1L Representative for ACS and in her free time, she enjoys writing, cooking, and creating Spotify playlists.
David Ratnoff is a 1L from Houston, TX. He graduated from Rice University in 2018 with a B.A. cum laude in History and Political Science, and a minor in Politics, Law, and Social Thought. The recipient of the Michael Bloomberg Commencement Speaker Award for Passionate Community Impact, Innovative Thinking and Entrepreneurial Spirit, David was recognized for his campus leadership roles, including as President of the Baker Institute Student Forum and Founder of the Houston Centered Policy challenge. Before law school, David worked as a paralegal and interned at the American Civil Liberties Union Washington Legislative Office, where he focused on voting rights policy research. His work has been published by ABC-CLIO and the Rice Historical Review. At Columbia, David is also involved with the Gastronomy Society. In his spare time, David enjoys making bagels, brewing coffee, and taking the ferry to Greenpoint.
Cailin is a 1L from San Diego, CA. She attended the University of California, San Diego where she received a B.S. in Cognitive Science, specializing in Human Cognition. Cailin is interested in consumer protection and product liability law, and hopes to put her law degree to use at a government agency or nonprofit. At Columbia, Cailin is involved with the Columbia Health Law Association, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and the Suspension Representation project. In her free time, Cailin enjoys walking around the city and exploring all the restaurants, local shops, and museums NYC has to offer.
Ben is a 1L from Philadelphia. He graduated from Tufts University in 2019 with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. After that, he earned a master’s degree in Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute, where he studied technology regulation and privacy issues relating to facial recognition and work from home. At Columbia, Ben is a volunteer debate coach with Mentoring Youth through Legal Education (MYLE), a staff editor for the Columbia Journal of Race and Law, and is a member of the AIPLA Moot Court. Ben enjoys crossword puzzles, reading and listening to jazz.
Alec is a 2L from the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to serving as President of ACLU-CLS, Alec is staff editor for the Columbia Law Review and a teaching fellow for Professor Justin McCrary’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation class. Last summer, Alec worked as a summer clerk at the Federal Trade Commission, where he challenged anticompetitive mergers. Before attending law school, Alec held positions with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Service Employees International Union. Alec graduated with his bachelor’s degree in history and political science (summa cum laude) from UC San Diego in 2016 and received Thurgood Marshall College’s Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement upon graduation. In his spare time, Alec likes watching movies, listening to jazz, and backpacking.
Aaron Jacobs (he/him) is a 2L from the Philadelphia area. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017, where he majored in Government as well as Public Policy. Before starting law school, Aaron served as an AmeriCorps Member in Birmingham, Alabama, worked as the field director for a 2018 congressional campaign in rural Virginia, and prepared free tax returns for low-income families in Philadelphia. Aaron spent his 1L summer as an intern in the Foreclosure Prevention Unit of the New York Legal Assistance Group. At CLS, he is on the boards of the ACLU, the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), the Environmental Law Society (ELS), and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF). Aaron competed as a member of the NALSA Moot Court team at its competition in Berkeley, CA in February (just before COVID) and is a staff editor for the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. In his free time, Aaron enjoys classical music, cooking vegan meals, and re-watching The Office.