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Press Release - Seventh class of Krantz Fellows joins DLA Piper

6 November 2017

DLA Piper is pleased to announce that Nicole Daya and Cary Kotcher have joined the firm as its seventh class of Krantz Fellows.

As part of the DLA Piper/Krantz Fellowship Program, two new associates are selected each year to spend their first year at DLA Piper dedicated exclusively to pro bono work. The program was created in honor of Sheldon Krantz, a former director of New Perimeter, DLA Piper's nonprofit affiliate that provides long-term pro bono legal assistance in under-served regions around the world.

"The fellowship program has proven to be a successful means of providing valuable experience and professional development skills to new associates, while bolstering our pro bono efforts in the US and abroad," said Lisa Dewey, director of New Perimeter and US pro bono partner for DLA Piper. "We are thrilled to welcome Nicole and Cary as Krantz Fellows and look forward to their many contributions to our signature pro bono projects."

Based in the firm's New York office, Kotcher will focus on pro bono work across the US, including improving educational outcomes for children, representing individuals in asylum proceedings and providing legal services to veterans. As a summer associate with DLA Piper, he was involved in a variety of pro bono matters, including participating in workshops focused on small business and family law issues and researching civil rights laws.

"Having experienced first-hand the significant impact of DLA Piper's pro bono efforts, as well as how personally rewarding and intellectually challenging pro bono work can be, I'm excited to immerse myself in it during my first year at DLA Piper," Kotcher said. "I especially look forward to applying my professional background in education management to support children and parents as part of the firm's signature project Advancing Education's Promise." 

Daya will be based in the firm's Baltimore office and will split time between pro bono efforts in the US and New Perimeter projects, including improving access to justice, combating domestic and gender-based violence, and representing tenants in landlord/tenant disputes and eviction cases. As a summer law clerk with DLA Piper, she assisted in drafting motions and preparing clients for hearings in pro bono cases involving intimate partner violence.

"I have always been passionate about advocating for those facing inequity who are unable to vindicate their rights and aspire to use my legal skills, cultural background and academic experiences to combat the injustices I've seen in my travels abroad," Daya said. "DLA Piper's deep commitment to improving access to justice and legal advancement worldwide is incredibly admirable and I'm honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the firm's efforts to bring about positive change around the world."

Since the Krantz Fellowship's inception in 2011, several associates have completed the program, including Christine Bass (Chicago), Jennifer Eldridge (Chicago), Maureen Howard (Washington, DC), Katherine Jahnke Dale (Chicago), Jesse Medlong (San Francisco) and Olga Slobodyanyuk (Silicon Valley).

After completing the fellowship, Krantz Fellows transition into traditional associate roles within their respective practice groups, while remaining active in pro bono initiatives. Their work includes providing legal services and other support to veterans, survivors of domestic violence, and families in danger of losing their homes, as well as participating in New Perimeter projects in Africa and supporting the growth of pro bono in Latin America. 

Daya received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Maryland. During law school, she participated in the University of Maryland's Clinical Law Program, which provides free legal services to low-income individuals and communities in Baltimore. Daya also completed a legal externship for Project HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, and Law) at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, which provides legal services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. She is proficient in Arabic and has participated in volunteer service trips in Mexico, New Orleans and Guatemala.

Kotcher received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, his LL.M. in French and European Business Law from Université Paris-Sorbonne, his M.A. in International Education Management from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, and his B.A. from Williams College. Fluent in French and highly proficient in Portuguese, Kotcher has completed study abroad programs and internships in France, South Africa, Denmark and Brazil.