UCI Law Alumni Establish Post-Graduate Racial Equity Fellowship


IRVINE, Calif. (Oct. 27, 2022) — The University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) is pleased to announce that a group of UCI Law alumni has generously established the Alumni Racial Equity Fellowship at UCI Law (REF), open to 3L students graduating in 2023. The fellowship will support one graduate pursuing racial justice work at eligible host organizations including nonprofits, legal aid, public defender offices and other organizations engaged in racial justice work across any substantive legal area. The fellowship provides a fully funded position in the year following graduation. UCI Law alumni founded this fellowship to empower change and combat systems of racism, anti-Blackness and white supremacy.

“UCI Law’s alumni have long championed support in opening pathways for talented students, and an extraordinary commitment to racial justice work,” said UCI Law Dean Austen Parrish. “We are particularly grateful to Crystal Adams ’15 (Senior Attorney at the National Center for Youth Law in Washington, D.C.) and Ariela Rutbeck-Goldman ’16 (Staff Attorney at Legal Services of Northwest Jersey), who, in conjunction with other UCI Law alumni, had the vision and leadership to make this fellowship a reality. We’re very grateful to all the UCI Law alumni who contributed to this important initiative.”

“The Alumni Racial Equity Fellowship was born out of a simple, yet powerful principle: that UCI Law alumni should and can have a meaningful role in leading transformative efforts at the school and in our community,” said REF co-founders Adams and Rutbeck-Goldman. “A diverse group of alumni, from members of the inaugural class to some of our most recent graduates, believed in this cause from its inception. Public interest students need more opportunities to pursue their desired career paths without worrying about being able to sustain themselves financially. We thank every alum and donor who helped us reach our $65,000 goal and set a new bar for funding postgraduate public interest fellowships.”

“UCI Law alumni have been key participants in the development of equity initiatives at the Law School,” said Sameer Ashar, Clinical Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Equity Initiatives at UCI Law. “This fellowship is a result of our ongoing collaboration. We truly appreciate their deep engagement and bold vision for our extended learning and practice community.”  

“We thank the law school for partnering with alumni to strengthen its ongoing and essential commitment to racial equity,” said Adams and Rutbeck-Goldman. “We hope that this initiative will inspire other alums to reconnect with UCI Law and launch other innovative projects.”

For more information about the UCI Law Racial Equity Fellowship, please contact Assistant Dean for Career Development Jasminder Deol.

About the University of California, Irvine School of Law 

The University of California, Irvine School of Law is a top, visionary law school that provides an innovative and comprehensive curriculum, prioritizes public service, and demonstrates a commitment to equity within the legal profession. UCI Law students have completed more than 135,000 hours of pro bono work since 2009. Forty-eight percent of UCI Law’s J.D. graduates are people of color. At UCI Law, we are driven to improve our local, national, and global communities by grappling with critical issues as scholars, as practitioners and as teachers who are preparing the next generation of leaders. The collaborative and interdisciplinary community at UCI Law includes extraordinary students, world-renowned faculty, dedicated staff, engaged alumni and enthusiastic supporters. More information on UCI Law is available here. Please follow us on Twitter @UCILaw and Facebook @UCIrvineLaw and Instagram @ucilaw.

Media Contact:
Colleen Taricani
Assistant Dean for Communications