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Two Wayne Law students honored by Women Lawyers Association
Wayne State University Law School second-year students Farah Al-Khersan of Northville and Shahar Ben-Josef of Detroit were among 10 named Outstanding Women Law Students 2014 by the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation.
The students were awarded scholarships Wednesday, March 26, in Ferndale at the organization’s 2014 Honors Reception for Education and Community Leadership.
The foundation chooses the winning students on the basis of leadership, community service and potential for advancing the position of women in society.
Al-Khersan earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from the University of Michigan, where she worked as a legal intern and interpreter for the U of M Law School Pediatric Advocacy Initiative, helping Spanish- and Arabic-speaking immigrants gain public benefits.
At Wayne Law, she has worked as a student attorney with the Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic and with the Asylum and Immigration Law Clinic. She hopes to have a career in immigration law. The struggles her own family faced when immigrating to the United States heightened her awareness of issues faced and fueled her desire to work with these types of clients, she said.
Ben-Josef earned her bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern and north African studies from the University of Michigan. She spent a year after graduation interning at the Interfaith Council for Peace and Social Justice in Ann Arbor. She also spent a summer with the International Conflict Resolution Program in Geneva and London and worked as a volunteer for Freedom House in Detroit.
She lived for one summer with her grandparents in Israel and volunteered there with an organization helping Sudanese refugees. “This experience ignited my passion to work with refugee women and children and has had a strong role in directing my career path,” Ben-Josef said. “My future aspirations are to work in the realm of public international law.”
While she’s attending law school, she’s also pursuing a master’s degree in dispute resolution at Wayne State and a graduate certificate in peace and security studies from the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. She works as a law clerk at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, helping file asylum applications for Syrian refugees, and as senior editor for Michigan International Lawyer, a publication of the Michigan State Bar. Her work with the council is through a Wayne Law Public Interest Law Fellowship.