Stein Scholar Luna Garzón-Montano ’21 has been selected as a fellow in the E. Barrett Prettyman and Stuart Stiller Fellowship Program at Georgetown Law. She will be Fordham Law School’s first Prettyman Fellow.
Upon accepting the offer, Garzón-Montano thanked Fordham Law’s Aisha Baruni, Leah Horowitz, and Criminal Defense Clinic supervisors, as well as her mentors at Southern Center for Human Rights (where she interned her 1L summer) and Federal Defenders of New York, for their unwavering support.
“I’m excited to begin my career representing people who can’t afford lawyers in our criminal legal system and to do it with the benefit of experienced supervisors and brilliant colleagues,” Garzón-Montano said. “The opportunity to learn from the program’s directors and to supervise students is a unique combination that will prepare me to work at any public defender office in the future.”
The goal of the fellowship is to provide high-quality representation to adults and adolescents accused of crimes and provide recent law school graduates with rigorous training in criminal trial advocacy and clinical teaching. Under close faculty supervision in the Georgetown criminal clinics, Garzón-Montano will be a lawyer in D.C. Superior Court during her first year as a fellow—representing clients charged with misdemeanors and, later, felonies. During her second year, she will carry a reduced caseload and will supervise third-year Georgetown clinic students.
Fordham Law Director of Public Interest Scholars and Fellowships Aisha Baruni explained how Garzón-Montano continues to stay in touch with some of her former clients and has helped family members see their loved ones on death row.
“Luna’s commitment is bone-deep and she has the talent and hard work to put that commitment into action,” Baruni said.
In the same vein, Assistant Dean for Public Interest and Social Justice Initiatives Leah Horowitz ’06 spoke of the Stein Scholar’s leadership inside and outside the classroom.
“Luna is a force and will be an unbelievable public defender and leader in the community,” Horowitz said. “She has been a tremendous leader here at Fordham Law, particularly in our public interest community.”
This spring, Garzón-Montano will continue serving as co-president of Fordham Law Defenders (FLD), a student organization for law students interested in pursuing careers in public defense (either criminal or family defense). In March, FLD and several other student groups will co-sponsor Student Week Against Mass Incarceration—a full week of programming around issues that surround mass incarceration and its collateral consequences.