John Lewis Fellowship

Legal Services Alabama (LSA) launched the John Lewis Legal Services Fellowship program in the Spring of 2019, in preparation for the 55th Anniversary of the signing of the Voting Rights Act. We understood that the forefront of this movement was a student leader from Alabama, John Lewis, whose bravery, dedication, and hard work will forever be engraved in the fabric of our country's history. Congressman John Lewis dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he called "The Beloved Community" in America.

His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. In the Spring of 2020, in Celebration of the 55th Anniversary of this life-altering event, LSA began a national search for the first John Lewis Fellows, resulting in 6 law students from across the country committed to providing free legal assistance to individuals in underserved and underrepresented communities to ensure Equal and Social Justice for all citizens in Alabama.

The initial goal of the proposal was to provide legal and social justice services to the Blackbelt and the Wiregrass citizens. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the myriad of legal issues surrounding the virus, along with the increasing social justice issues across the country, we opted to use COVID-19 funding to

combat these issues, therefore, the first year of fellows provided services and support throughout the entire state.  The goal of the John Lewis Legal Services Fellowship Program remains to train recent law graduates who have an interest in Rural Economic Justice for a career in  public interest and social justice law to provide social, economic and legal change; while working on legal issues that will improve the quality of life for low-income individuals. In addition to training the fellows, we are also providing the fellows a glimpse into the life and work of Congressman Lewis, through a speaker’s series and tours that travel in the Congressman’s footsteps in Alabama. As the country continues to mourn this giant of a man, we are humbled to honor his legacy and work through the LSA John Lewis Legal Services Fellowship Program.

Meet the 2023 - 2024 Fellows

Danielle Cassells


Kingston, Jamaica & Spartanburg, South Carolina


JD, University of South Carolina School of Law
BA, University of South Carolina

Danielle Cassells joins the LSA Huntsville office by way of South Carolina. She brings with her a wealth of law clerking experience from various entities, including the Richland County Public Defender’s Office, South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the Carolina Health Advocacy and Medicolegal Partnership (CHAMPS) Clinic. She has also volunteered her time to act as guardian ad litem for Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) in Columbia, SC. Cassells is passionate about serving marginalized people and honored to continue the legacy of Congressman Lewis in her role as a fellow.

“As a Jamaican immigrant to the United States, I can empathize with the challenge of navigating a complex legal system that is unfamiliar and often unwelcoming to infrequent litigants. I am dedicated to being an advocate who empowers my clients by helping them understand their rights and options and facilitating a more seamless interaction with the justice system.”

Kiera Johnson


Bristow, Virginia


JD, Tulane University Law School
BS, George Mason University

Kiera Johnson comes to the LSA Selma office after several years in New Orleans, where she completed her legal education. While living in New Orleans she completed an externship with the Innocence Project New Orleans and summer clerkships in the Domestic Division of the Orleans Civil District Court and at Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. She also spent an academic year serving in Tulane Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic. When not engaged in legal work, Johnson enjoys volunteering at a cat rescue and fostering adoptable cats. She is excited to support and empower clients through her fellowship.

“I have always been very passionate about helping people obtain accessible legal assistance and I could not think of a more rewarding job in the legal field.”

Zack Roman


Spanish Fort, Alabama


JD, New England Law | Boston
BA, University of South Alabama

Zachary “Zack” Roman is joining LSA as the John Lewis Fellow in the Mobile office. He has former legal experience working as a clerk at personal injury firm the Keches Law Group in Massachusetts, as well as clerking with the LSA Mobile office, at which he currently works. Roman looks forward to getting involved with his community and finding ways to contribute outside of his budding legal career. He is excited to be a part of the fellowship program and for the opportunity to champion the social justice causes to which Congressman Lewis dedicated his life and career.

“I’m passionate about providing legal aid to people. I have nothing but respect for my colleagues in the practice of law, but I couldn’t imagine doing something as impersonal as helping a billion-dollar company use the law to protect its bottom line; not when my neighbors need help.”