Chaka Laguerre, JD '14, graduated with honors from Amherst College, with a BA in English and Theatre and Dance (2008), and was a visiting student at Columbia University (2006). After earning her JD, she earned an MA in Legal and Political Theory, with the highest distinction, from University College London (2015). Her dissertation, "Epistemic Injustice: Interactive Spaces between Silenced Testimonies and Hermeneutical Silences," was awarded the "MA in Legal and Political Theory Dissertation Prize" for the best dissertation written in legal and political theory in 2014-15. She is currently completing an MPhil in History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science, Technology, and Medicine at the University of Cambridge, where her research focuses on epistemology and power, and philosophy, ethics, and politics of science. She is the recipient of the Sterling P. Lamprecht Fellowship in Philosophy and Forris Jewett Moore Fellowship in Philosophy of Science (Amherst, 2014 & 2015). Her areas of interest are epistemology, human rights, and legal and political philosophy, and she is currently presenting her work on epistemology and human rights at international conferences.
Prior to attending Michigan Law, Laguerre served as an ambassador to Jamaica and the U.S. in her role as Miss Jamaica U.S. 2007 and honoree of the Consul General of Jamaica, and worked on several humanitarian projects. At Michigan Law, she served as a research assistant to Profs. Kristina Daugirdas and Julian Mortenson, working on the Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law section of the American Journal of International Law. She also served as an Articles Editor for the Michigan Journal of Gender and Law, a student attorney in the Michigan Civil-Criminal Litigation Clinic helping asylum seekers from Africa and Latin America file claims and appeal decisions by U.S. immigration authorities, Co-Chair to Human Rights Advocates, and a leader of Wolverine Street Law's education program at Parnall Correctional Facility in Michigan. During law school, she interned at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa, where her work focused on gender, education, and constitutional and human rights law. She also participated in the London externship program at the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe ("AIRE") Centre, drafting legal advices for individuals and developing materials for judicial training programs on UK, EU, and ECtHR law. Laguerre received the Michigan Law Clara Belfield and Henry Bates Fellowship and served as a trainee to the UNHCR Representative to the European Institutions in Strasbourg, drafting reports and recommendations to Council of Europe bodies on international human rights and refugee law matters. She also received the University of Michigan International Institute Fellowship to conduct research in South Africa on the legal barriers to social and economic development affecting girls and women living in rural environments. Upon graduating from Michigan Law, Laguerre received the Hessel E. Yntema Award for distinction in international and comparative law.
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