Rebecca Azhdam is a 2017 graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a Public Interest Honoree, a Davis Polk & Wardwell Fellow, and recipient of the 2017 Emil Schlesinger Labor Law Prize, awarded annually to the student most proficient in the subject of labor law. During law school, Rebecca was an articles editor of A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, a staff editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and a peer mentor for the Student Public Interest Network. She served as student director of the City Bar Justice Center Legal Clinic for the Homeless, where she helped homeless clients access public benefits and navigate employment and immigration issues, and participated in the Davis Polk & Wardwell Asylum Project, where she worked with pro bono attorneys to prepare the factual record for a complex asylum case. Rebecca spent four semesters as a student consultant for the Center for Public Research and Leadership, where she provided recommendations for a Newark, New Jersey-based education nonprofit’s policy work and collaborated with a state department of education to develop a plan for increasing minority teacher recruitment. She also worked with a Columbia-based team to research the voluntariness of juvenile confessions and waivers of Miranda rights during police interrogations for a new Restatement on children and the law.
During her law school summers, Rebecca represented incarcerated children and adolescents in institutional disciplinary hearings at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, and worked to secure housing for youth aging out of foster care at Lawyers for Children.
Before law school, Rebecca spent two years as a legal assistant at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, where she worked on issues including indigent defense reform, collateral consequences of incarceration, prison conditions, immigrant rights, voting rights, reproductive rights, and freedom of speech.
Rebecca graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2011 with a degree in International Relations.