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Meet Our 2019 Doctoral/Postdoctoral Fellows

Use the links on the left hand side to learn about our past fellows. More information on the ABF's doctoral/postdoctoral fellowship opportunities can be found here.


Jessica Lopez Espino, ABF/National Science Foundation Doctoral Fellow in Law and Inequality  (2019-2020)

Jessica Lopez Espino is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at New York University. Her dissertation, "Anxieties of Ethnolinguistic Disorder: Litigating the Right to Parent," analyzes the interactions between parents and court actors involved in child maltreatment hearings to determine how ideologies of parenthood shape legal evaluations of low income parents’ ability to successfully parent and maintain custody of their children. Her work draws on anthropology of law, linguistic anthropology, and critical race theory to explore the particular experiences of Spanish-dominant Latinx litigants in juvenile courts, the growing trend of Latinx involvement in child welfare, and the role of language access in litigating the rights of parents in juvenile courts. Jessica is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship for doctoral research. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Applied Language Studies from University of California, Berkeley and her MPhil in Anthropology at New York University. Prior to returning to graduate school, she worked as a college counselor and as a legal assistant for asylum cases. 


Elizabeth Bodamer, ABF/AccessLex Institute Doctoral Fellow in Legal and Higher Education (2019-2020)  

Elizabeth (Liz) Bodamer is a doctoral candidate in sociology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research focuses on inequality in the legal profession and legal education. Her dissertation, “The Balancing Act: The Experiences of Minoritized Students in Law School,” uses quantitative data to examine how experiences of bias and discrimination, diversity and support systems affect law students’ sense of belonging. Elizabeth has presented at the National Association of Law Student Affairs Professionals (NALSAP) and the Law and Society Association Annual Conference. She was also a panelist at the Indiana State Bar Association during the summer of 2018.  She received her M.A. in sociology from Indiana University, her J.D. from Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and her B.A. in sociology from the University of Notre Dame. As a Ph.D. student at Indiana, she was also the Director of Student Affairs at Indiana University Maurer School of Law for four years.


Ari Tolman, ABF/Northwestern University Doctoral Fellow (2019-2020) 

Ari Tolman is J.D./Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Northwestern University, where she is a Law and Science Fellow, a Graduate Fellow in Legal Studies, and a Mellon Foundation Graduate Fellow in Science Studies. Her research is focused on the intersection of law and health, with a particular emphasis on science and medicine in the criminal justice system. Her dissertation, “Criminal Prosecution of Prisoners with Mental Illness,” examines the scope, frequency and process by which prisoners with mental illness are charged with new crimes while in jail in the U.S. Her scholarship has been published in peer-review and law review journals, including The Lancet, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and Northwestern University Law Review. Ari received her B.A. in Sociology and Neuroscience and Behavior from Wesleyan University in 2010 and her M.A. in Sociology from Northwestern in 2015. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked as Program Director at Shining Hope for Community in Nairobi, Kenya, as a post-graduate fellow at the ACLU of Michigan, and as a research assistant at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. As a law student at Northwestern, Ari worked as a legal intern at the Uptown People’s Law Center and at theChildren and Family Justice Center of Northwestern Law’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. She also served as Editor-In-Chief of the Northwestern University Law Review from 2017-2018.

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