Sher Kung Summer Fellowship

About the Fellowship

Since its founding, QLaw Foundation of Washington has committed to providing meaningful opportunities to law students seeking to serve the legal needs of LGBTQ2S+ and HIV positive communities. Beginning in 2007, QLaw Foundation offered grants to support law students who obtained unpaid summer internships with various LGBTQ2s+ civil rights organizations. In 2016, QLaw Foundation pivoted toward funding host organizations to offer their own paid summer internships. This change in practice served important equity needs by allowing law students the certainty of applying for summer jobs knowing they could afford to do the work that matters most to them.

As QLaw Foundation has grown and taken on staff, we can now support the Sher Kung Summer Fellow in-house, offering law students opportunities to learn client-centered lawyering and community advocacy skills through the LGBTQ2S+ Legal Clinic and Family Matters Clinic.

2022: Katy Daley (Seattle University, ‘23) worked with QLaw Foundation supporting legal research needs regarding access to fair immigration proceedings and policy research for legal name changes in Washington

2021: Christian Santana (University of Washington, ‘22) worked with QLaw Foundation supporting the mental health needs of clients and volunteer attorneys

2020: Roxanneh Mousavi (Seattle University, ‘22) worked with QLaw Foundation supporting our LGBTQ2S+ Legal Clinic and writing a Know Your Rights guide on being arrested during the COVID-19 crisis and racial justice uprising

2019: Tommy Statkiewicz for work with the Trans In Prison Project through Disability Rights Washington

2018: Riley Moos for work with Oasis Youth Center and Team Child

2017: Stephen Vanderhoef for work with the Center for Children & Youth Justice, and Evelyn Batista for work with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project

2016: Maria Vega for work with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project

2015: Taylor Markey for work with Legal Voice and Taylor Ruggieri for work with Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

2014: Michael Gerbec for work with Seattle Community Law Center

2013: Jennifer Goldstein for work with the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and Kelsey Rylandfor work at Legal Voice

2012: Chelsey Heindel for work with the Snohomish County Public Defender’s Office, Darcy Kues for work with the Center for HIV Law & Policy in NYC, and Perry McCall for work with Lambda Legal in NYC

2011: Michelle Gonzalez for work with HIV Law Project and Alex West for work with Sylvia Rivera Law Project

2010: Marek Falk for work with the ACLU of Washington Foundation and Elliott Kennedyfor work with the Transgender Law Project

2009: Adrien Leavitt for work with QLaw Foundation Legal Clinic and Ashland Johnson for work with Lambda Legal

2008: Sarah White for work with Legal Voice

2007:  Melissa Nystrom for work with the GLBT Community Center

image of sher kung smiling and looking off camera

Sher Kung served on the board of directors of both QLaw Foundation and the QLaw Association from 2011-2013. She was a leader on both boards, but her desire to help underserved communities reached beyond a single-issue area and, sadly, beyond the time she was allotted on this earth.

Sher was killed on August 29, 2014, when she was struck by a vehicle while cycling to her job as an attorney at Perkins Coie. She is survived by her beloved partner Christine Sanders, also a QLaw leader, and their beautiful daughter Bryn.

In her mere 31 years of life, Sher built a rich legacy as a community leader and attorney. A graduate of Brown University and U.C. Hastings College of Law, she made an enormous difference in the lives of so many people through her legal work, community activities, and warmth and generosity.

Sher served as counsel in the ground-breaking case of Witt v. U.S. Dep’t of Air Force, in which a federal court struck down the discharge of Major Margaret Witt under the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. She devoted a significant portion of her legal practice to pro bono work, including advocacy on behalf of domestic abuse survivors at the Eastside Legal Assistance Program.

Sher also made a difference through her incredible openness and generosity of spirit. She was a great friend to many, and always sought to build community and connections between people — both new friends and old.

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