If/When/How’s Quick Question series highlights the work of our Reproductive Justice Fellows, introducing our network to the incredible advocates who are dedicating their lives to the movement to lawyer for reproductive justice. We’re so proud of the work they’re doing at placement organizations across the country to ensure that everyone can safely decide if, when, and how to create and sustain their families and actualize sexual and reproductive well-being on their own terms. But we can’t support them without you: Please donate $10 to help us give aspiring and new lawyers the resources they need to thrive. And if you can’t give — share!
Kate Doyle (Rutgers Law School, Camden’ 22) is a first-generation student from Richmond, Virginia. Growing up one of five children in a blended family headed by a young mother and an immigrant stepfather informed Kate’s interest in reproductive justice from a young age. Thanks to Pell grant funding, Kate graduated in 2012 from Christopher Newport University with a B.A. in English.
Prior to law school, Kate worked at the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, where her participation in TRAP inspections exposed her to the magnitude at which state-imposed policing affects people’s reproductive liberties. Once at law school, she founded Rutgers-Camden’s If/When/How chapter. During her time on the chapter’s board, Kate’s organizer spirit lent itself to a number of small- and large-scale events, including the chapter’s travels from New Jersey to D.C. for both the June Medical and Dobbs SCOTUS hearings. For If/When/How’s 2021 annual leadership conference, Kate served as a panelist on the campus organizing session. In January 2022 – due in part to Kate’s efforts – New Jersey became the sixteenth state to pass legislation prohibiting the practice of nonconsensual, invasive exams in medical school learning. In addition to co-authoring amendments to the proposed bill, Kate provided research-based and storytelling testimony before the New Jersey Senate and Assembly Health Committees.
She has interned with the Philly-based Women’s Law Project, with Community Legal Services’ Health & Independence Unit, and in the chambers of the Honorable Richard Hoffman, a New Jersey Appellate Division Presiding Judge. During her final semester of law school, she served as a Legal Writing and Research fellow and a Politics of Reproduction teaching assistant.
The amateur seamstress is hyped to part ways with her “sad girl winter jacket” and to serve in a fellowship so close to her Georgia-based family at SisterLove, Inc. in Atlanta this August.
If/When/How: Who are you, and where are you from?
Kate Doyle: My name is Kate Doyle, and while I predominantly use she/her pronouns, I’m also comfortable with they/them pronouns. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and was in the tidewater part of the state briefly for undergrad. Ten years later, I’m graduating from Rutgers Law School in Camden, New Jersey.
If/When/How: Where are you going (literally or existentially)?
KD: Literally, I am going to SisterLove in Atlanta, Georgia! I’m hyped to learn from and contribute to the first HIV/AIDS and RJ organization in the southeastern U.S.
In less literal, albeit still very real terms, I am pushing and pulling daily towards a future in which we are all able to thrive, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, etc.
If/When/How: What do you want to change about what it means to be a lawyer?
KD: Law school professors and administrators generally craft this narrative that there are only two lawyering paths: straight into the judiciary or big law. To me, pushing students into these rigid pipelines creates an access to justice issue. Lawyers can, and should, be lawyering in mass movements and policy spaces–anywhere there’s an opportunity to be in community with the folks for whom we’re advocating. Now that is access to justice; lawyers getting in a position to share their legal knowledge with community members, who can, in turn, continue sharing it. I hope I’ve begun shifting this narrative among students: you can be a lawyer-organizer, a lawyer-mutual aid supplier, lawyer-protester.
If/When/How: When you are not lawyering, what do you get up to?
KD: I’m an amateur seamstress! I also try (and mostly fail ☹ ) to keep my plant babies alive.
If you’re as excited as we are to see Kate succeed, donate $10 to help If/When/How support new lawyers like her.