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DLR: Where Are They Now? - Michelle Paznokas

February 25, 2019

By Kristen Mowery, Managing Editor

Michelle Paznokas, a 2017 Kline School of Law graduate, spent her time on Drexel Law Review working diligently as Notes Editor and contributing to the journal in a variety of ways. Michelle revamped the process through which staff editors work with senior members as well as faculty advisors; created a more streamlined process through which editors write their Notes; and created a peer review portion of Note-writing. She also spent her time at the Kline School of Law on the Transactional Law Team, the Entrepreneurship Clinic, the Estate Planning Clinic, and as Professor Benforado’s Criminal Law Dean Scholar.

Michelle’s Note, titled, “More Than One Achilles’ Heel: Exploring the Weaknesses of SIJS’s Protection of Abused, Neglected, and Abandoned Immigrant Youth,” and her interest in immigration law were sparked from her time interning at HIAS Pennsylvania, where she worked on Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) cases and immigration issues. She was heavily involved with these cases, traveling to youth shelters and interview unaccompanied alien children (UACs), mostly in Spanish, to determine whether they had a viable SIJ claim or other visa opportunity. In writing her Note, Michelle faced the challenge of being preempted a number of times, given that the statute on which her Note was based was fairly new and the status of the law was in constant movement. Michelle still keeps up with immigration law, specifically in researching DACA and visa issues, and she plans to get back into pro bono work in this area and to work primarily with SIJ cases.

Since graduating the Kline School of Law, Michelle has continued working with Kline and Specter, P.C., now as an Associate. She works mostly in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury, areas in which she never saw herself practicing, but ones that she finds incredibly rewarding. Although her work cannot fix an individual’s injury, it helps people get back on their feet and cope the best they can. Michelle continues to shine as a new attorney, just as she did while at Drexel, and we could not be more proud.