Fordham Law School’s Stein Scholars Program in Public Interest Law and Ethics is designed to cultivate the next generation of public interest lawyers through academic and specialized discussion series, mentorships, and volunteer work with public interest organizations. Selected students with a demonstrated commitment to public interest participate in the academic and service program during law school to prepare for their careers as attorneys.
This spring, Fordham Law School welcomes four new first-year students to the program. The cohort of highly motivated Steins, chosen from diverse backgrounds for their demonstrated commitment to public interest law and public service, are members of the classes of 2024 (day division) and 2025 (evening division).
Sophia Singh ’24 graduated from Fordham University Rose Hill in May 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and English. During her time in the Bronx, Sophia spent a lot of time researching and writing about New York City’s housing crisis. A first-generation law student, Sophia is especially focused on the challenges faced by immigrants, refugees, and domestic violence victims in the housing system. She hopes to work in direct legal services after law school and eventually make her way into New York City housing policy.
Cameron Smith ’24 came straight to Fordham Law last fall, after graduating from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Government. Growing up low-income and openly queer in Ewing, New Jersey, Cameron has always felt a connection with the have-nots in society, and this connection is what drove him to the study of law and politics. His passion for social justice followed him throughout college, and brought him to work with his local public defender’s office, as well as working on political campaigns for progressive candidates in New York and New Jersey (including NYS Senator Jeremy Cooney). Cameron is thrilled to have been selected as one of Fordham’s Stein Scholars and hopes to use everything he learns and all of the resources he gets through the program to help achieve his dream of practicing civil rights and criminal defense litigation.
Diony Sotiropoulou ’24 is a native Brooklynite who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, where she studied Communications with a Critical Media Theory focus. She then worked as a healthcare specialist guiding low-income, mainly Spanish-speaking New Yorkers through Medicaid enrollment, where she saw the difference vigorous advocacy makes in the face of racist and hostile bureaucracies and legal systems. Her subsequent job as a paralegal at an agency providing free legal services to survivors of domestic violence inspired her to become a public interest lawyer. She aims to focus either on indigent criminal defense or housing rights/socioeconomic rights more generally, and is excited to grow alongside her public interest-focused peers at Fordham Law.
Audrey Wainwright ’25 (1LE) attended Texas State University for her undergraduate degree in Family and Child Development and the University of Texas for her graduate education in Social Work. Audrey founded a fair trade, ethical apparel company employing vulnerable women in Arusha, Tanzania and worked as a youth care specialist in Austin, Texas at both a children’s hospital and an emergency shelter for transitional age youth. During her first semester at Fordham Law, she completed a virtual trip to Jordan with the International Refugee Assistance Project, working directly with refugees on UNHCR Resettlement cases, and served as a 1L OUTLaws Representative. This summer, Audrey is looking forward to working at the Lone Star Justice Alliance, a non-profit that provides pro bono legal services to juveniles facing life sentences. She is most passionate about criminal justice reform, juvenile rights and LGBTQ+ advocacy work.