June 2013 E-Newsletter

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Celebrating 20 Years of Fellowships

Wolinsky Fellowship

Meet Past Fellows

DRA’s 20th Anniversary Gala

Larry Paradis, DRA Co-Founder, Executive Director and Co-Director of Litigation

Celebrating 20 Years of Fellowships

As DRA approaches our 20th Anniversary, we pay special tribute to our legal fellows—talented young men and women who fuel DRA’s legal advocacy and represent the future of public interest law!

Since our inception, DRA has trained 33 two-year legal fellows, most of whom, have gone on to pursue careers in furthering the public interest.

I’m happy to share with you the stories of two outstanding law graduates. To learn more about all 33 fellows and the commitment DRA is making to establish a permanent fellowship in Sid Wolinsky’s honor, please consider joining us at our 20th Anniversary Gala on October 23rd at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Thank you for your support of DRA,


Sid Wolinsky, DRA Founder and Director of Litigation Wolinsky Fellowship

In DRA’s 20th year, we are launching a campaign to establish a permanent two-year Wolinsky Fellowship to train the next cohort of civil rights leaders. Strong preference for fellowships will be given to lawyers with disabilities. Learn more about the Wolinsky Fellowship campaign and Sid’s commitment to training the next generation of legal change-makers.

Rhoda Benedetti, joined DRA from 1998-2000 as a NAPIl/Cotchett-Furth Fellow

Meet Past Fellows

What made you interested in disability right work?

My daughter, who was born with a disability, was bused to a segregated school an hour away because Walnut Creek, CA didn’t “do disability.” When I went to meetings to fight for her armed with federal education laws, school officials wrote me off, saying “We’re the professionals. You’re just a mom.” Those were fighting words. I became a caregiver by day and a law student by night. Read more

Rowena Gargalicana joined DRA from 2000-2002 as a William Brockett FellowWhat was a highlight of your time at DRA?

A month and a half into my fellowship, we went to trial against Macy’s. I’m hard of hearing, and DRA got me a captioner so the whole Macy’s trial was captioned for me. Going to trial against a huge corporation just out of law school was an incredible experience, and I don’t know if I would have developed my confidence and maturity as a litigator otherwise. Read more 

 DRA’s 20th Anniversary Gala

Join us at DRA’s Gala on October 23rd from 6:00 – 9:15 pm at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, with special guests Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court and Thelton Henderson, US District Court Judge. Proceeds from DRA’s Gala will fund the Wolinsky Fellowship.