Natalie Fulk and Gabrielle Juers, members of Notre Dame Law School’s Class of 2021, have been named this year’s Bank of America Foundation Fellows.
The Bank of America public interest fellowship covers salary and benefits for two Notre Dame Law graduates to work for two years at a city agency or nonprofit organization of their choice. The fellows’ work must advance community sustainability and provide legal services to low-income or other underrepresented populations. The fellows select the organizations where they want to work and design the projects they will complete.
Natalie Fulk, Legal Aid Chicago
Fulk will work at Legal Aid Chicago where her fellowship project will focus on improving housing conditions in the city. She will collaborate with tenants’ organizations to find clients who have repair issues with their rental units and need legal advocacy. She will then represent those clients through mediation, negotiation, and affirmative litigation to enforce their landlords’ obligations to maintain their properties in a habitable condition.
“Rental repairs is an area of housing law that does not get much attention with legal aid. Tenants usually don't seek legal help until they are dealing with the prospect of losing their housing. However, it is very important to ensure that tenants are living in habitable conditions and having their basic needs met,” she said.
Through her experiences during law school, she developed a passion for housing law and representing tenants facing difficult housing situations. Fulk took part in the Law School’s Economic Justice Clinic, where she helped represent clients facing housing and consumer law issues.
While at Notre Dame, she served as the executive editor for the Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy, and was a research assistant for Professor Christian Burset and Professor Judith Fox, who directs the Economic Justice Clinic.
Fulk worked at Legal Services of South Central Michigan during the summer after her first year of law school, and during her second-year summer she researched contact tracing and COVID-19, artificial intelligence, and consumer credit with Kristin Johnson, the McGlinchey Stafford professor of law at Tulane University School of Law. Fulk received her undergraduate degree in Spanish, history, and political science from Hope College in Holland, Michigan.
Gabrielle Juers, Catholic Charities Fort Worth
Juers will be a Bank of America Fellow at Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, Texas, providing immigration services to survivors of domestic abuse and other violent crimes. She will also assist with detention and deportation proceedings.
Similar to Fulk, Juers pursued this fellowship as a result of experiences she had at the Law School. Participating in the National Immigrant Justice Center Externship during her second year substantially shaped her career path. “My externship showed me the impact of work in this area and what a huge effect it has on the lives of immigrants,” said Juers.
“I decided to narrow my focus to survivors of domestic abuse due to the specific challenges this population faces. Domestic abusers tend to hold immigration status against their partners as a weapon to keep them from speaking out or leaving the situation,” said Juers. “Survivors of domestic abuse may also find themselves in a tough place if their immigration status is dependent on their abuser’s immigration status.”
Juers was involved with the Law School’s Journal of International and Comparative Law, the LGBT Law Forum, and the Women’s Legal Forum, serving as the vice president of community service. She regularly volunteered at the YWCA of North Central Indiana and helped to establish an expungement clinic for the women living there. She also participated in the Economic Justice Clinic in the fall of 2020.
During her first-year summer, she interned at the New York State Office of General Services in Albany, New York. She worked in the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve during her second-year summer. Juers earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo.
The Bank of America Foundation Fellowship was launched at Notre Dame Law School in 2015. Past fellows have completed projects in cities including Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Read about last year's class of fellows here.