Nina Gurak, ’19, has received a Reproductive Justice Fellowship from If/When/How, an advocacy organization that promotes reproductive freedom.
The fellowship will support Gurak’s work for a year at Healthy and Free Tennessee, a coalition in Nashville that promotes sexual health and reproductive freedom.
Gurak completed internships with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania and the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and represented the New York City Bar Association as their human rights legal observer during the Military Commission proceedings at Guantanamo Bay, through Drexel’s International Human Rights Clinic.
She served as president of the law school chapter of If/When/How (the successor to the Lawyers for Reproductive Justice organization) and has served on the executive board of the law school chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
In addition, she served as a Dean’s Scholar in Contracts and Criminal Law.
Gurak’s interest in reproductive rights predates her application to law school. She said in an interview published by If/When/How that she began volunteering as a clinic escort as a first-year student in college and has gained pro bono experience doing so as a law student.
“We’re in a tough time where protestors have increased outside my local clinic,” Gurak said. “It’s really nice to feel like you’re making a real and tangible impact in someone’s daily life.”
Gurak said her broader aim is to help redefine the role of a lawyer.
“There are certain things that lawyers can do that others cannot, not by virtue of a non-lawyer’s inability to learn, but because of the way the system is currently set up,” she said. “Part of what it means to be a successful lawyer for me is to take responsibility for healing some of the legal trauma people experience: trauma relating to the criminal-legal system, the court system and the various ways the law has ensnared and made folks feel powerless.”