Marisa O’Toole
Human Rights Scholar

Marisa O’Toole is a first-year J.D. candidate at NYU aspiring to pursue public interest law. She works with Rebecca Riddell and Bassam Khawaja on the Human Rights and Privatization Project, which expands upon the work of Philip Alston during his position as UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. Marisa supports the team’s research into the human rights implications of privatization across key sectors and services and its particular effects on individuals experiencing poverty. In addition to the Human Rights Scholars Program, Marisa works on the Project Team at NYU Law’s Chapter of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) as an immigration court monitor, serves on the board of NYU’s American Constitution Society, volunteers at the New Sanctuary Coalition’s Pro Se Clinic for friends seeking support with their immigration and asylum cases, and works as a volunteer and manager on the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s Voter Assistance Hotline.

Prior to NYU Law, Marisa lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for three years, first as a paralegal at a small qui tam public interest law firm and then as a philanthropic consultant for progressive social causes. While in D.C. she volunteered as a mentor with the local Big Brothers Big Sisters of America chapter and played on various athletic teams. Marisa graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017 with Highest Honors in Government & Legal Studies and a minor in Education, where she completed a thesis focused on the historic and contemporary relationship between the International Criminal Court and African countries, played varsity softball, and participated in a variety of campus extracurricular groups. A native Mainer, she is always looking for some green space and her next outdoor adventure.


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