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2019 MNUDL Fellowship: Inspiring Thoughtful New Talent Like Ifrah

“After this experience, I don’t see myself doing anything else.” 

Ifrah stands in front of the Gray Plant Mooty sign.
Ifrah of Washburn High School enjoyed the 2019 MNUDL Summer Fellowship at Gray Plant Mooty.

Ifrah, senior at Washburn High School, is eager to pursue law after her first hands-on exposure at Gray Plant Mooty. 

Through the 2019 MNUDL Summer Fellowship, Ifrah earned 3 weeks of experiential learning, a $1,000 stipend, and tuition to attend 3 weeks of debate camp. “My favorite part about camp was getting to know other debaters,” says Ifrah. 

At Gray Plant Mooty, Ifrah’s days were spent learning firsthand from a range of law firm employees. Her debate skills fit nicely into the new environment. One major project required her to research country conditions in Ecuador for an asylum case. “The asylum research was easy because it was a lot like the research we do for debate,” says Ifrah. Debate develops many talented lawyers, and Ifrah observes this isn’t a surprise: “In both debate and law, you have to formulate arguments and articulate them well. The structure of debate like addressing the judge and cross examination are similar, too.” 

Ifrah entered the fellowship with a critical eye on the justice system, having followed cases related to protest, housing, and school segregation. “I’m really interested in the important work lawyers do in that area,” says Ifrah. She observed proceedings for Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota, discussed the case with lawyers on the plaintiff’s side, and had the opportunity to“watch, listen, and ask questions.”

Ifrah will return to Washburn High School with more than just professional skills gained in the law firm environment. “I’ll take home with me the things I saw at housing court and the mediation for the segregation case. Those two experiences definitely shaped how I see the justice system,” she says. 

Most exciting – the fellowship sparked her future inspiration. Ifrah’s now excited to pursue a career in law: “After this experience, I don’t see myself doing anything else.” 

Connect with upcoming talent like Ifrah. Host the MNUDL Summer Fellowship at your workplace in 2020. Contact Amy Cram Helwich at cramhe@augsburg.edu or (612) 359-6467 for more information.