Lany Villalobos ’14 is the recipient of a 2014 Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship. Beginning in the fall, Villalobos will work with the Pennsylvania Farmworker Project, a division of Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA). Her fellowship project is designed to expand tax services to Spanish-speaking, low-income migrant and seasonal farmworkers in rural Pennsylvania.
“Lany Villalobos will address the routine practice of employers to improperly classify workers as independent contractors. Her project is intended to raise awareness among the immigrant worker community of their taxpayer responsibilities and to alleviate the financial and legal complications resulting from the unfair application of tax laws,” said Anita Santos-Singh, Executive Director of PLA. “Ensuring the fair application of tax laws promotes the meaningful participation of immigrant workers in American society and helps them become stakeholders in the American Dream.”
Villalobos will be one of only two young lawyers to receive this prestigious fellowship for 2014. The ABA Section of Taxation developed the Public Service Fellowship program in 2008 to address the need for tax legal assistance, and to foster an interest in tax-related public service among those individuals who participate. In 2013, the Public Service Fellowship was re-named the Christine A. Brunswick Public Service Fellowship in honor of the late Christine A. Brunswick, the Section’s former Executive Director for over 20 years.
Villalobos is a Public Interest Scholar at Villanova Law. She came to Villanova after completing a two-year fellowship in the Refugee and Anti-Trafficking Services Program at Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. During her time in law school, she has actively engaged in public interest opportunities - participating in the Farmworker Legal Aid Clinic and the Federal Tax Clinic as well as holding externships at Community Legal Aid Society, Inc., and Philadelphia Legal Assistance. Her interest in public interest tax work was sparked after volunteering during 1L and 2L with Ceiba in North Philadelphia, where she assisted low-income taxpayers in filing tax returns. Villalobos was a 2012 Summer Fellow of the Walter Lucas Public Interest Fellowship Program.