2012 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Christine Florick Nishimura
Christine Florick Nishimura
Name of Host Organization: Disability Rights Texas
City, State: Austin, Texas
Issue area: Education/Special Education, Children/Youth
Sponsors: Greenberg Traurig, LLP; Texas Access to Justice Foundation
Minority special education students are at much higher risk of entering the juvenile justice system. I aim to decrease these numbers by providing providing legal advocacy through direct representation at Arbitration, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Hearings. Also, I will train teachers and other special education attorneys about academically and culturally appropriate literacy programs to implement into children's individual education plans.
Surviving law school:
I took advantage of everything I could during law school, which allowed me to connect with students, professors, and local attorneys dedicated to public interest work. Together, I was able to start a new student organization that allowed me to connect with local schools and keep my pulse on the current educational issues. This network and foundation kept my passion for public interest alive, and provided even greater fuel to change the world.
Words to live by:
"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." John F. Kennedy