Three Chicago-Kent College of Law Students Named 2017 Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Summer Fellows

Chicago-Kent College of Law students Aima E. Mori ’19, Stephen I. Spector ’19 and David Zumba ’19 have been awarded 2017 Justice John Paul Stevens Public Interest Summer Fellowships. The students have received $7,000 each to support their public interest work this summer. This year’s announcement of the three new Stevens Fellows was made on Justice Stevens’ birthday. He just turned 97.


From left: David Zumba, Stephen I. Spector, Nancy Marder, and Aima E. Mori

“The fellowship seeks to promote the public interest and social justice values that have characterized Justice Stevens’ work throughout his long career,” said Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Nancy S. Marder, who clerked for the justice from 1990 to 1992.

Marder explained that when Justice Stevens retired from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010, his law clerks decided to expand the number of schools offering Stevens Fellowships. Chicago-Kent was one of the first schools to participate in that expansion. When Justice Stevens gave a lecture at Chicago-Kent in 2012, he was able to meet the Stevens Fellows and hear about their work. Since 2011, 14 Chicago-Kent students have been selected as Stevens Fellows. Justice Stevens has already received an update on who the 2017 Stevens Fellows are and where they will work this summer.

Stevens Fellowships are open to first- and second-year Chicago-Kent students who have secured public interest legal positions at either not-for-profit organizations or governmental entities for the summer. Stevens Fellows are selected based on their commitment to public service and their potential for excellence throughout their legal careers.

Mori will be a legal intern with the civil rights team at Equip for Equality, a not-for-profit that provides free legal advocacy for people with disabilities in Illinois. At Chicago-Kent, she is a member of the National Lawyers Guild and the Society of Women in Law and volunteers at the Self-Help Web Center at the Daley Center. She completed her bachelor’s degree in German and political science at Wayne State University.

Spector will work in the Special Prosecutions Bureau at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, where he’ll assist attorneys who handle long-term proactive investigations into criminal enterprises, public corruption, and white-collar crime. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism. Before law school, he was deputy press secretary for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (2015 to 2016) and for Vice President Joe Biden (2014 to 2015).

Zumba will work on all phases of criminal defense and mitigation work at the Federal Defender Program, a not-for-profit that provides free legal representation to federal criminal defendants who are unable to retain private counsel. At Chicago-Kent, he is a student representative in the Criminal Law Society and Hispanic-Latino Law Students Association and volunteers at the Self-Help Web Center at the Daley Center. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations at Carleton College in Minnesota.