Shazzy Kamali (Berkeley Law J.D. 2021)

2nd Brian Lewinstein Fellow Chosen

In News by david.landis

Shazzy Kamali (Berkeley Law J.D. 2021)

Racism, inequality, and criminalization place youth of color at an enormous disadvantage. By connecting youth to resources and coalitions, I hope to lead systemic reform that empowers system-involved youth to speak truth to power and be their own advocates. More than ever, youth of color need allies with legal expertise. I am immensely grateful to Equal Justice for giving me the opportunity to be that ally and help forge a community where youth of color can feel safe to walk, drive, and most importantly, thrive.

– Shazzy Kamali (Berkeley Law J.D. 2021)

I first began working with disadvantaged youth during my college internship in the Juvenile Division of the Santa Clara County Public Defender. I walked away from the experience believing that the youth and families of color, homeless people, undocumented and documented immigrants, and differently abled people I interacted with every day needed a lawyer who could advocate on their behalf both inside and outside of the courtroom. Since then, I have decided to devote my career to direct services and policy advocacy to end the criminalization of poverty, with a focus on improving outcomes for youth of color.

During my time in law school, I became a clinic student at the Berkeley Law Policy Advocacy Clinic, where I worked to end the unjust imposition of fines and fees in juvenile justice systems across the country. With the generous support of Equal Justice America, I will continue to support fee reform efforts at East Bay Community Law Center as part of their Clean Slate program.

I learned how impactful and important direct services can be during my 2L summer working as a law clerk in the Work and Family program at Legal Aid at Work. There, I worked on employment law issues during the peak of the pandemic and staffed the Workers’ Rights Clinic, the Wage Claim clinic, and the Work and Family helpline. By working directly with clients, I observed how much of a difference compassionate legal representation can make in moments of uncertainty. I look forward to continuing this work by supporting Clean Slate’s clients and clinical students.

Racism, inequality, and criminalization place youth of color at an enormous disadvantage. By connecting youth to resources and coalitions, I hope to lead systemic reform that empowers system-involved youth to speak truth to power and be their own advocates. More than ever, youth of color need allies with legal expertise. I am immensely grateful to Equal Justice for giving me the opportunity to be that ally and help forge a community where youth of color can feel safe to walk, drive, and most importantly, thrive.

East Bay Community Law Center Welcomes Shazzy Kamali

"We are so grateful to Equal Justice America for their investment in the Brian Lewinstein Youth Justice Fellowship. This program enables critical work to be advanced and leads to impacts being felt at the community level." 
–Zoë Polk, Executive Director


"EBCLC is honored to be entrusted by the Lewinstein family to continue the work Brian was so deeply passionate about: justice for young people targeted by the criminal justice system. We are thrilled to welcome Shazzy Kamali as the second Brian Lewinstein Fellow." 
–Jay Kim, Co-Deputy Director


"For years, Equal Justice America (EJA) has been at the forefront of supporting emerging lawyers in their public interest careers. For us at the East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC), this shared purpose is so well represented in the Brian Lewinstein Youth Justice Fellowship, which enables a Berkeley Law graduate to pursue work in a field of law that Brian was so passionate about. EBCLC is lucky to partner with EJA and Brian Lewinstein’s family and, through this platform, serve our young clients throughout Alameda County." 
–Seema Patel, Clinical Director