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P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

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Yahonnes Cleary, 2007

Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Yahonnes Cleary is the child of immigrants from Jamaica

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at Yale University

YAHONNES CLEARY is a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York.

Yahonnes was born in 1979 in Lynn, MA, to parents who emigrated from Jamaica. He grew up in the Bronx, where his mother still lives.

Yahonnes received his JD from Yale University in 2009 and clerked for Hon. Barrington D. Parker, Jr. for the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York. After receiving a BA, summa cum laude, with election to Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University in 2000, Yahonnes earned an MSc from Oxford University in modern history in 2002, where he was a Marshall Scholar.

While at Columbia University, Yahonnes interned at the New York City Parks Department, and the office of Congressman Charles Rangel. Yahonnes also spent a semester abroad in Zimbabwe studying micro-credit and grassroots development. Upon returning to New York, he worked with a micro-enterprise organization in Harlem. As a Truman scholar, Yahonnes interned in the Mayor's office in Washington, DC, supporting the city's economic development initiatives.

After completing his MSc, Yahonnes worked as a Program Associate at the Ford Foundation supporting asset-building initiatives. Later he was a Lowenstein Community Development Fellow at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, working on affordable housing and prisoner re-entry initiative. In particular, he coordinated efforts to expand access to affordable home improvement financing for low-income New Jersey homeowners.

Work History
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Partner | December 2017
  • Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Litigation Associate | December 2017