(l to r): Katelyn Leyva, John Iacone, Joy Morrison, Haley Chechik

Four Touro Law Students Receive Catalyst Fellowships

May 9, 2019

Four Touro Law students were selected to receive the prestigious Catalyst Public Service Fellowships, providing stipends for their work this summer. Haley Chechik will be working at Community Legal Help Project; John Iacone will be working at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office; Katelyn Leyva will be working at Mental Hygiene Legal Service; and Joy Morrison will be at the Children's Law Bureau of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County.

Dean Harry Ballan stated, “The Touro community is proud of the four students selected as Catalyst fellows. I am sure they will make a positive difference in the lives of those they serve this summer.”

Catalyst Fellowships are funded by New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, with surplus campaign funds from her service as Westchester District Attorney. The fellowships provide funding to encourage outstanding first-year law students to take public interest and public service legal jobs that would otherwise be unpaid. 

About the Fellows:
Haley Chechik is a full-time, first-year student who resides in Deer Park but is originally from Canada. She will be working for the Community Legal Help Project with Nassau Suffolk Law Services, assisting attorneys who will be providing legal advice and assistance to members of low income communities. She stated, “Being selected for this fellowship has further confirmed my commitment to public interest. I am looking forward to gaining knowledge and experience this summer while helping people in need.”

John Iacone, a full-time, first-year student who resides in Oceanside, is honored to be a fellowship recipient and looks forward to working at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office this summer. He said, “Receiving the Catalyst Fellowship enables me to do something I am extremely passionate about while alleviating the financial burden that comes with working for an unpaid summer internship.”

Katelyn Leyva a first-year student, studying law full-time, is passionate about public interest work and aspires to have a career in politics. She will be interning at Mental Hygiene Legal Service in Central Islip, NY, a New York State agency responsible for representing, advocating and litigating on behalf of individuals receiving services for a mental disability. She stated, “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to receive a Catalyst Public Service Fellowship, because I will be able to focus on gaining hands-on legal experience, while making a positive impact on the lives of individuals with mental disabilities in our community. I hope to use the skills I develop to help change, create, and strengthen the laws that help provide protection for those who need it most.”

Joy Morrison, a Rocky Point resident, is also a full-time, first-year student. She will be working with the Children's Law Bureau of the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County. After graduation she plans to open her own firm to help people in need. She was inspired to apply for the Catalyst Fellowship to show her daughter that hard work is rewarded. She stated, “I read my daughter stories every day about being kind, stressing how being kind starts with herself. Implementing the things I teach her by doing work that helps people shows her how important it is. I am beyond thankful for being selected for the fellowship.” 


Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law is located adjacent to both a state and a federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York. Touro Law’s proximity to the courthouses, coupled with programming developed to integrate the courtroom into the classroom, provide a one-of-a kind learning experience for law students, combining a rigorous curriculum taught by expert faculty with a practical courtroom experience. Touro Law is dedicated to providing hands-on learning that enables students to gain experience while offering much-needed legal services in the community.

Touro Law, which has an alumni base of more than 6,500, offers full- and part-time J.D. programs where students can earn a degree in 2, 3 or 4 years and provides four areas of concentration Additionally, Touro offers a hybrid, four-year FlexTime Program combining online and on campus learning. Touro Law offers several dual degree programs and graduate law programs for US and foreign law graduates. Touro Law Center is part of the Touro College system.

About the Touro College and University System 
Touro is a system of non-profit institutions of higher and professional education. Touro College was chartered in 1970 primarily to enrich the Jewish heritage, and to serve the larger American and global community. Approximately 18,000 students are currently enrolled in its various schools and divisions. Touro College has 30 campuses and locations in New York, California, Nevada, Berlin, Jerusalem and Moscow. New York Medical College; Touro University California and its Nevada branch campus; Touro University Worldwide and its Touro College Los Angeles division; as well as Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Ill. are separately accredited institutions within the Touro College and University System. For further information on Touro College, please go to: http://www.touro.edu/news/.

For more info contact:
Patti Desrochers
Director of Communications
(631) 761-7062

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