Elizabeth Zwillinger

Elizabeth Leonard sits smiling in a chair outdoors, with grass and flower behind the chairback

Past Fellows

2010-2012 Penn Law Public Interest Law Fellow

What drew you to DRA? I was interested in disability rights work because it encompasses so many aspects of the law: family, employment, education, and other fundamental civil rights, and because it can have such a profound impact on people’s lives. DRA was the clear choice in the field because of its exceptional reputation.

What were the highlights of your fellowship? We learned that AMC and Cinemark weren’t offering closed captioning in their movie theaters. I met with people within the deaf and hard of hearing community who were unable to go to the movies with their families and helped draft the complaint. We achieved a tremendously successful outcome; all of AMC and Cinemark’s theaters in California must now offer closed captioning. My fellowship at DRA gave me an amazing opportunity to learn from lawyers at the top of their field and to get some really exciting wins on behalf of our clients.

What do you see as the importance of fellowships? Fellowships are launching pads for careers. As a fellow at DRA I gained so much experience so quickly, at a level that was rare even for the public interest sector. Sitting across the table from a Cinemark executive negotiating the settlement – that was experience I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

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