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Student Scholars 2017-2018

USC Gould School of Law
The Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics supports wide-ranging research by the Saks Institute Student Scholars. The institute educates these future legal, medical and public policy leaders to employ cutting-edge research methodology and to serve the larger cause of social justice. The Scholars conduct research on the institute's topic of the year and present work that is published in academic journals. To date, 25 student papers have been published in three journals.

Nicole Boisvert

Nicole Boisvert is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law and is honored to be involved with the Saks Institute. At Gould, Boisvert has been a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program and will travel this year as part of the National Moot Court team. She interns at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles and helps small businesses as a student in the Small Business Clinic. Boisvert appreciates the opportunity to bring awareness to important causes and hopes to accomplish that as a Saks Scholar.


Adria Harris

Adria Harris is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. She earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee. At USC, Harris has held leadership roles as a peer mentor and President of the Black Law Students Association. She currently serves as the national organization's Regional Director of Corporate Relations. As a certified law student for the Post-Conviction Justice Project, she has also worked in prisons to help rehabilitate inmates and prepare them for parole hearings. As a Saks Scholar, Harris hopes to examine the intersection of children's mental health and policy, as related to involuntary civil commitment.


Diana Maltz

Diana Maltz is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. She received her B.A. degree in English from the University of San Diego. Maltz previously worked at the Lanterman Regional Center Legal Clinic, where she provided direct representation for children and young adults with developmental disabilities. She currently works a law firm specializing in special education law. As a Saks Scholar, Maltz is interested in examining conservatorship of young adults affected by mental illness and developmental disability.


Beatrice Rabkin

Beatrice Rabkin is a third-year psychiatry resident at USC Keck School of Medicine. She graduated from Rice University with a B.A. degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked at the Stanford Prevention Research Center with primary investigator Joel Killen exploring the role of extended cognitive behavior therapy in smoking cessation for adolescents. Rabkin went on to receive her M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine. Her professional and research interests include mental health law, particularly surrounding involuntary detention, psychosomatic medicine, geriatric psychiatry and physician wellness. As a Saks Scholar, she is eager to explore the relationship between civil commitment and clinical practice.


Jessica Snyder

Jessica Snyder is a second-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. degree in Accounting, and minor in Philosophy, from Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business. Prior to entering law school, she worked as an assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Silicon Valley where she also earned her CPA license. This past summer she has worked as an intern in the Post-Conviction Justice Project at USC where she helped clients through the parole process as well as getting sentences reduced by the court or commuted by the governor. As a Saks Scholar, Snyder is excited about advocating for reforms to the criminal justice system's treatment of the mentally ill and alleviating the stigma associated with mental health issues.


Blake Walker

Blake Walker is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. She graduated magna cum laude with a M.A. degree from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She was then one of ten journalism students selected nationwide for the prestigious CBS Meredith-Cronkite fellowship. Walker received her B.A. degree in journalism from Pepperdine University. While there, she founded an organization called Women of Color that focused on empowering and mentoring women in the Los Angeles community. Walker has worked for the Phoenix Suns as Basketball Communications Assistant and later as Public Relations Liaison under the Vice President of Basketball Communications. In law school, Walker has worked in the legal department at NBCUniversal. At USC, she was appointed Director of Communications for the National Black Law Students Association, Western, and President of Project Envision Mentorship, an organization of USC students mentoring at-risk elementary school students. Walker has been a certified law student in the Post-Conviction Justice Project and had the opportunity to visit San Quentin to talk with inmates about their experiences in the criminal justice system. Walker continues to visit San Quentin with Aim 4 the HeArt foundation and hopes to be a voice to those in the system that need to be heard. As a Saks Scholar, Walker hopes to be an advocate and a communicator to those who are dealing with mental health and criminal justice challenges and is very much looking forward to gaining a deeper understanding of law, mental health and ethics.


Oscar Wang Jr.

Oscar Wang Jr. is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law. He is a native of Hong Kong and received his M.Sc. degree in Law, Anthropology and Society from the London School of Economics. At USC, he is the Editor-In-Chief of the Business Law Advisor, and has held leadership positions in the International Law and Relations Organization. As a research assistant at USC, his research focuses on technological innovation in the practice of law. He was recently a summer associate at Ropes & Gray LLP, where he worked on a broad range of transactional matters. As a Saks Scholar, Wang is interested in proposing an alternative legal standard for civil commitment based on improving the design of mental health institutions.


Gloria Yi

Gloria Yi is a third-year law student at USC Gould School of Law, and earned her B.A. from Harvard University. As a law student, she has engaged in advocacy for the disabled at the Alliance for Children's Rights and at the Lanterman Regional Center. As a Saks Scholar, Yi hopes to continue her work with the disabled by exploring the efficacy of short-term civil commitments of the non-dangerous mentally ill.