T H E GEORGE WA SHI NGTON U N I V ER SIT Y L AW SCHOOL
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS
PROGRAM EST. 1970
Faculty Contribute to AALS Clinical Conference Success
W Law’s clinical faculty had a prominent presence among the nearly 700 faculty members who attended the 39th annual Conference on Clinical Legal Education sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Most notably, at the request of Dean Blake D. Morant, who was serving as President of AALS, Phyllis Goldfarb, Jacob Burns Foundation Professor of Clinical Law and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, chaired the Planning Committee for the 2016 conference held in Baltimore from April 30 through May 3, 2016. Associate Dean Goldfarb indicated that she responded to the Dean’s request that she chair the conference because of the need to devote efforts to sustaining the role of the annual conference in the development of clinical legal education. “Clinical education’s goals and methods were invented, explored, and refined, individually and collectively, during annual clinical gatherings, making the conference an important site for the advancement of legal education,” she observed. The AALS had selected Baltimore as the site of the 2016 conference. Dean Goldfarb noted that when the Planning Committee was appointed a year prior to the conference, the uprising in Baltimore had just begun in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death while in police custody. The Associate Dean Phyllis Goldfarb addresses Planning Committee chose to incorpothe 2016 AALS Clinical Conference as Chair rate these realities into the conference of the Planning Committee. theme, which was framed as “Clinics and Communities: Exploring Community Engagement Through Clinical Education.” Acknowledging clinical education’s roots in earlier social movements—including the civil rights movement and the anti-poverty movement—the conference program was designed to consider the relationship between clinics, communities, and community movements today and to explore various pedagogies for teaching students through community engagement. As Dean Goldfarb explained, “We tried to develop and integrate the theme throughout the conference’s many forums—keynote speeches, plenary panels, concurrent sessions, workshops, posters, working groups, receptions, works-in-progress continued on page 21
FALL 2016 ISSUE PERSPECTIVES 1, 21 VIEWPOINT 1, 23 IN MEMORIAM 2–3, 23 NEWS 4, 13 CLINIC ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT 5, 22 SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS 6–8 KUDOS 9 INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES 10–20
Notes from the Clinical Dean By Phyllis Goldfarb
ne benefit of chairing the Planning Committee for the 2016 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education is the broad perspective it provides on the state of clinical legal education today. This year, I had the valuable experience of developing that perspective and learning more about the richness of clinical legal education as it is practiced around the country. Here is an insight that was made vivid to me by the experience: Clinical education depends throughand-through on collaboration. Hundreds of clinicians designed and presented programs during the conference that were continued on page 23
In Memoriam Dr. Rosalie Burns Goldberg Devoted Supporter of the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics July 29, 1932–November 5, 2015
t the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics, we were saddened to learn that Dr. Rosalie Burns Goldberg had died after an extended illness. She passed away in Philadelphia on November 5, 2015 at the age of 83. Dr. Burns Goldberg was an accomplished neurologist. She was also a longtime and generous benefactor of GW Law and the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics. Attorney and artist Jacob Burns, JD ’24, whose self-portrait hangs in the Jacob Burns Law Library, was her father. Dr. Burns-Goldberg’s abiding interest in philanthropy was something she learned from her father’s example.
To honor her father’s memory, Dr. Burns Goldberg served as a trustee of the Jacob Burns Foundation. Although she was a physician not a lawyer, she served for many years on the Board of Advisors for GW Law. She used her influence in this position to support the law library named for her father and to promote and sustain GW’s clinical program. Due to the extent of the support that the foundation provided, the GW clinics were renamed the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics in 1991. Dr. Burns Goldberg was also a supporter of faculty and students at the law school. She and her husband of 57 years, Dr. Herbert Goldberg, a neuroradiologist, funded numerous student scholarships over the years. In 2006, with the help of Frederick Lawrence, thenDean of the law school, they established a hybrid faculty-administrator position, the Jacob Burns Foundation Professor of Clinical Law and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs. In 2007, the law school faculty appointed Professor Phyllis Goldfarb as the inaugural holder of the Burns Foundation Chair. Dean Goldfarb reports how much she enjoyed meeting and talking with Dr. Burns Goldberg. “Rosalie would tell me
Dr. Rosalie Burns Goldberg standing before a self-portrait painted by her father, Jacob Burns, JD ’24.
2 THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
Loyal supporters Dr. Rosalie Burns Goldberg and her husband, Dr. Herbert Goldberg
she knew more about medical education than legal education,” Dean Goldfarb remembered. “I would tell her that what she knew about medical education, she could apply to clinical legal education because both of them focused on teaching students the habits of thought and action needed to operate effectively and ethically in their professions. She became very interested in clinical legal education when she learned that it had been derived— even in the use of the term ‘clinics’—from medical training.” Dean Goldfarb remarked on the pleasure it brought her to see Dr. Burns Goldberg and her husband when the Board of Advisors were visiting the law school. “I remember sitting near Rosalie and Herb during a Board of Advisors’ dinner,” Dean Goldfarb noted. “Students who had received Burns Scholarships surrounded them at the table. The two of them were beaming, clearly delighted to be meeting the students whose law school experience they had made possible, the living proof of the value of their philanthropy.” To those who knew her, Dr. Burns Goldberg was an inspirational figure. She became a doctor when few women entered the profession. But for someone as academically successful as she had been, it seemed a logical step. After graduating second in the class of 1949 continued on page 23
Stephen Del Giudice Instructor of Clinical Law April 26, 1951–December 17, 2015
tephen Joseph Del Giudice, a former professor in the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics and a Washington-area attorney and civic leader, passed away December 17, 2015, after a yearlong battle with acute myeloid leukemia. He died at home surrounded by family. Professor Del Giudice was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1974. After receiving a graduate degree in history from the University of Toledo, he came to Washington, D.C., to attend Antioch School of Law. He remained in the Washington area for the rest of his life. His career in law and government was diverse, and he made an impact in several different jurisdictions and for countless people. Professor Del Giudice’s first job out of law school was representing juvenile defendants in D.C. Superior Court. Professor Emeritus of Law Eric Sirulnik, who was then directing the clinical program, met Del Giudice in Superior Court in the early 1980s and invited him to direct and teach in the Clinics’ Advocates for Older People (AOP) program. Professor Sirulnik and clinic administrator Norma Lamont had just obtained a grant to expand the AOP
Professor Steve Del Giudice (right) with a clinic student.
program. Professor Del Giudice accepted Professor Sirulnik’s invitation and taught in the AOP program for nearly 10 years. In addition to directing the AOP, Professor Del Giudice also created and taught in the federal and appellate litigation program, which exists today as the Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Services Clinic. “Steve brought his many legal skills and enthusiasm for the law—he was fond of pointing out Del Giudice meant “of the law”—to the teaching, mentoring, and supervising of the many clinic students lucky enough to have him,” said Professor Sirulnik. Professor Del Giudice’s enthusiasm for the law and his dedication to his students, clients, and colleagues was apparent. “Steve was a positive beacon in my law school experience,” said former clinic student Glenn K. Garnes, JD ’86, currently President of the Local Marketing Alliance. “His passion was evident in everything he did, and it inspired me to pursue my endeavors in a similar fashion. I will never forget his inspiration as a professor, but it was his humanity and friendship that will always stand out most for me.” In 1985, Professor Del Giudice became Mayor Del Giudice, defeating a longtime incumbent by eight votes to become Mayor of Takoma Park, Maryland, a parttime position. He continued to teach at the law school while he served as Mayor. In 1990, he left teaching after he won a close election to the Prince George’s County Council as a write-in candidate. In that position, he is widely credited with creating the coalition that unified Takoma Park—previously split between two counties—as a jurisdiction located exclusively in Montgomery County. Professor Del Giudice also was active in the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments and the Transportation Planning Board. In 1998, he left public office, working as an environmental policy consultant. He returned to the public sector again in 2007 to work as Transit Bureau Chief for Arlington County, Virginia, where his accomplishments included promoting and expanding the county’s local transit programs.
Steve Del Giudice with his wife, Sheila Driscoll
He rejoined the GW Law family in 2008 when he married Sheila Driscoll, Director of Judicial Clerkships. “We met on an airplane flight, and we bonded over our shared ties to the law school,” Ms. Driscoll recounts. “He loved sharing with me and others his clinic ‘war stories,’ such as representing a homeless man who had been banned from the Library of Congress for being too loud. Steve learned that his client was simply hard of hearing and helped him obtain a hearing aid, restoring his client’s right to enjoy the public library once again.” Throughout all of his jobs was the constant of serving others. Professor Sirulnik remembers that among Professor Del Giudice’s “many great qualities” were “his almost constant smile, his contagious laugh, and his passion for serving the poor.” Professor Sirulnik reports that he last saw Professor Del Giudice “at a GW Law class reunion three years ago and the same smile, laughter, and passion for the clinics were all clearly evident.” Professor Del Giudice is survived by his wife Sheila Driscoll; his children Cara Lingle and Nicolas Del Giudice; his son-in-law Bryan Lingle; his grandchildren Colton and Grayson Lingle; and his brothers Peter, Dante, and Michael. His brother Joseph passed away shortly afterward. Professor Del Giudice enjoyed a magical year with his loved ones even as he bravely fought his cancer with every option he was given. His family and friends say they will honor his life by continuing to aspire to his ideals and cheering on his Washington Nationals. n
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 3
News New Friedman Fellows Join Clinics
n 2015-16, the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics welcomed a new class of Friedman Fellows. The Friedman Fellowships, endowed by a generous gift from Philip Friedman, Esq., bring to the clinics experienced attorneys who obtain an LLM degree while they assist in teaching and supervising clinic students. In the course of their two-year fellowships, Friedman Fellows are provided the opportunity to learn about clinical teaching and public interest lawyering through the practice of engaging in it, studying it, and receiving mentorship and support. Among the benefits that the fellows contribute to the clinics are the capacity to undertake more cases and projects, serve more students, and produce more scholarship. Upon completion of their fellowships, a number of Friedman Fellows have gone on to clinical teaching positions at other law schools, helping to extend the reach of the GW Law clinical program. Brief biographies of the 2015-17 Friedman Fellows are provided below: Katy Ramsey just completed her first fellowship year in the Neighborhood Law and Policy Clinic, directed by Professor Jessica Steinberg. Previously, she was an Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps Legal Fellow and a housing attorney at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in New York City, where she represented low-income residents of East Harlem in housing and public benefits matters and served as a supervisor and trainer of law student interns. She also served as a volunteer attorney for New York’s Safe Passage Project, representing an unaccompanied child migrant from Central America. At the University of Wisconsin Law School, she was a student-attorney in both the Neighborhood Law Clinic, where she worked for two years with low-income clients on housing and workers’ rights
issues, and in the Domestic Violence and Immigration Clinic, where she sought immigration relief for domestic violence survivors. She was Senior Managing Editor of the Wisconsin International Law Journal, President of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and the recipient of both the 2009 Public Interest Law Foundation Scholar Award and the 2009 Strasser Award for her “demonstrated concern for the needy and work to benefit society.” In addition to receiving a JD in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin Law School, she received a BA in history and Spanish in 2005 from Middlebury College, where she was on the varsity swim team, and an MA in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies from the University of Wisconsin. She is fluent in Spanish and has hiked the Camino de Santiago, the 500-mile medieval pilgrimage route through northern Spain. Erin Scheick has joined the Family Justice Litigation Clinic, directed by Professor Laurie Kohn, after several years of representing survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She has a background in international health, with a focus on the social determinants of health, international human rights, and community- and gender-based violence. Most recently, she was a National Training and Policy Attorney with the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, where she developed multi-day trainings for civil legal services attorneys on best practices in representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition, she drafted policy related to sexual and domestic violence, provided technical assistance to civil legal services attorneys throughout the country, and edited litigation-related publications on domestic violence. As a Supervising Attorney and Skadden Fellow with the former D.C.-based nonprofit WEAVE, she represented domestic and sexual violence survivors in civil protection order, family law, and immigration matters and initiated a health law partnership with a local community health center that trained community leaders to recognize these survivors of violence and
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Friedman Fellows (left to right) Etienne Toussaint, Erin Scheick, and Katy Ramsey
refer them to legal services. Previously, she was an Asylum Officer in Arlington, Virginia, worked on nationwide class action lawsuits at a plaintiff-side law firm and Baltimore-based nonprofit, and served in the Peace Corps in rural Honduras. She has lectured nationally and internationally on gender-based violence and the U.S. justice system and serves on the Board of Directors of the community-based health care clinic La Clínica del Pueblo. She received a BA in neuroscience from the Johns Hopkins University in 2000; an MS from Harvard School of Public Health in 2005; and a JD summa cum laude from American University Washington College of Law in 2008, where she participated in the International Human Rights Law Clinic and served on the American University Law Review. Etienne Toussaint joined the Small Business and Community Economic Development Clinic, directed by Professor Susan Jones. Previously, he worked as a Project Finance Associate with Norton Rose Fulbright U.S. LLP and subsequently as a Law and Policy Fellow with the Poverty and Race Research Action Council in Washington, continued on page 13
CLINIC ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
Clinic Alumni Spotlight Michele Blackwell, JD ’12
ichele Blackwell currently serves as Chief of Staff to Elissa Silverman of the D.C. Council. As a third-year law student, Ms. Blackwell participated in the yearlong Federal, Criminal, and Appellate Clinic (recently renamed the Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Services Clinic) taught by Professor Anne Olesen and 2011-13 Friedman Fellow Wyatt Feeler. After graduation, she accepted a position as Legislative Counsel to D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh, also a GW Law professor. In 2015, Ms. Blackwell transitioned to the position of Legislative Director for Councilmember Brandon Todd before assuming the Chief of Staff position for Councilmember Silverman this spring. What follows is an edited excerpt from an interview about her work, her clinic experiences, and her perspectives on law school. Why did you want to attend law school?
I first became interested in attending law school after the 2000 presidential election. Bush v. Gore represented the first election I was eligible to vote in, and
because I was raised in a family where voting is considered to be an important civic responsibility, I watched the election with great interest. I followed every news story and watched every debate. By the end of the election, I realized that I wanted to work in politics and believed that law school could help me develop the skills I needed. Additionally, because the Supreme Court ultimately decided the election, I became fascinated by how politics and law intersect, and I wanted to learn more about it. Where has your career taken you since graduation? Has the path been what you expected?
When I accepted the Legislative Counsel position with Councilmember Mary Cheh, she was chairing the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, which oversees a wide range of issues that affect the day-to-day lives of D.C. residents. During my time in Councilmember Cheh’s office, I served as an advisor and subject matter expert on policies related to solid waste management, recycling, water quality, affordable housing, school modernization, and landlord-tenant disputes. Additionally, I worked closely with Councilmember Cheh on legislation that relaxed the District’s rigid law on assaulting a police officer and legislation
that improved police practices related to civil asset forfeiture. When I became Legislative Director for Councilmember Brandon Todd, I managed his entire legislative portfolio and served as his senior advisor on policies related to education, transportation and infrastructure, wage and labor, the environment, and aging-in-place. All of these experiences enabled me to become Chief of Staff for Councilmember Elissa Silverman. Although I was initially interested in national politics, working in local government has given me a tremendous opportunity to work on a variety of policies and issues. In this field, I’m known as a “generalist” and because of this I’m able to work on many interesting things. What is a typical day at the office like?
A typical day in my office depends on what is happening at the Council. Members meet at least twice a month to discuss and vote on legislation. During these times, I typically spend the entire day working with my councilmember, reviewing legislation, and discussing how to vote on each bill. Other times, the Council may be holding hearings on various bills. On those days, I will usually attend a hearing and listen to testimony being provided by advocates and government witnesses. This is essential because both groups provide valuable insight into how a bill could possibly affect the city. When I’m not attending a legislative meeting or hearing, I spend the day reviewing bills that are coming through the Council, conduct legal research for new bills, or draft legislation to address a particular issue that is important to my councilmember. How do you spend your time outside of work?
Michele Blackwell, JD ’12
I believe that political activism is in my genes. In the 1950s and ’60s, my grandparents owned a taxicab company in Baltimore and used their fleet every Election Day to drive people to the polls. This has always inspired me to be actively involved in my community, so a lot of my time is split between friends, family, and advocacy work. Since graduating from GW Law, I’ve been a member of the Women’s Information Network and continued on page 22
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 5
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
Selected Presentations and Publications Professor Jessica Steinberg’s article “Adversary Breakdown and Judicial Role Confusion in ‘Small Case’ Civil Justice” will be published in a 2016 issue of the Brigham Young University (BYU) Law Review. Her article “Informal, Inquisitorial, and Accurate: An Empirical Look at a Problem-Solving Housing Court” will appear in a 2016 issue of an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Law & Social Inquiry. Professor Steinberg presented a draft of the BYU Law Review article to the Mid-Atlantic Clinical Theory Workshop in December 2015 and a draft of the Law & Social Inquiry article to the SelfRepresented Litigant Network in March 2016 and to the Hastings-Stanford Access to Justice Conference in November 2015. In February 2016, she spoke on a plenary panel at the Poverty Law Conference in Seattle on the topic of empiricism and advocacy. She also participated in a roundtable called “Hot Topics in Access to Justice” at the July 2015 conference of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS). In May 2016, Professor Steinberg spoke on a panel titled “Empirical Scholarship and Community Engagement” at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore. Also in May 2016, she co-moderated the panel “Federal Clemency: What’s Next?” at a conference on clemency hosted by the
Professor Susan Jones exploring an issue during a fall 2015 clinic supervision session.
Catholic University of America. In addition, she discussed executive clemency in a November 2015 presentation to the GW Law faculty. In honor of National Pro Bono Week in October 2015, she served on a law school panel with her clinic’s client, who had received Presidential clemency, and with the client’s student-attorney on a program titled “A Second Chance for Mr. Norris: A Presidential Commutation After More Than 20 Years in Prison.”
In May 2016, Professor Susan Jones presented “Social and Economic Justice in Action: Community Collaboration
(Pictured from left to right) Courtney Francik, JD ‘15, Rudolph Norris, Assistant Dean David Johnson, and Professor Jessica Steinberg speaking on a panel during GW Law’s Pro Bono Week.
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and Engagement Through an Action Research Project on Entrepreneurship for Returning Citizens” on a panel at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education. At a May 2016 conference titled “Legal Issues in Impact Investing—U.S. and Abroad,” she facilitated a discussion on law school innovations titled “Educating the Next Generation of Lawyers About Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship.” At the AALS annual meeting in January 2016, Professor Jones moderated a panel on “Teaching Transactional Skills Using Interactive Methods in Doctrinal Classrooms,” a program sponsored by the AALS Section on Transactional Law and Skills. Professor Jones served on the Section’s Executive Committee. In October 2015, Professor Jones moderated a panel, “Laying Down the Law: Lawyers Turned Entrepreneurs,” featuring GW Law alumni-entrepreneurs. Also in October, at a conference of the European Network for Clinical Education, she co-presented a paper (with Professor Janet Thompson Jackson) titled “Comparing the U.S. and European Experience in Business Law Clinics that Promote Social and Economic Justice.” Professor Jones’s article “Representing Returning Citizen Entrepreneurs” will be published in the ABA’s Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law.
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
Global Internet Access” at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He also co-organized and spoke at a workshop, “Zerorating and Net Neutrality: Lessons from Theory and Practice,” held at GW Law in October 2015.
Professor Arturo Carrillo
Professor Arturo Carrillo’s article “Having Your Cake and Eating It Too? Net Neutrality, Zero-rating, and International Law” will appear in the Stanford Technology Law Review in 2016. His article (with Professor Dawn C. Nunziato) “The Price of Paid Prioritization: The International and Domestic Consequences of the Failure to Protect Net Neutrality in the United States” appeared in summer 2015 in the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs–Cyber V. In April 2016, Professor Carrillo organized and moderated a panel titled “The Human Rights Response to Zerorating” at the Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference (RightsCon) in San Francisco. In March 2016, he was an invited expert for the program “Zerorating and Beyond: The Role of Telcos, ISPs, and Tech Companies in Expanding
Professors Joan Meier and Laurie Kohn
Professor Laurie Kohn will publish “Dangerous Illusions: The False Promise of Custody in Domestic Violence Protection Orders” in DePaul Law Review (forthcoming 2016). She also published a book review of Jill Elaine Hasday’s Family Law Unfettered, Family Law Reimagined (Harvard University Press, 2014) in 3 Barry Child & Family Law Journal 1 (2015). In June 2015, she presented her DePaul Law Review paper on custody provisions in domestic violence protection orders at a panel on “Family Law and Family Violence” at the AALS Family Law Workshop in Orlando. In June 2016, Professor Kohn spoke on celebrity domestic violence on a panel presented at the Family Law Scholars and Teachers Conference in New Orleans. In May 2016, she spoke on teaching empathy on a panel presented at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore. In June 2015, Professor Kohn participated in a roundtable on access to justice at the SEALS Conference in Florida.
Professor Joan Meier published a chapter titled “Differentiating Domestic Violence Types: Profound Paradigm Shift or Old Wine in New Bottles?” in Domestic Violence, Abuse and Child Custody: Legal Strategies and Policies Vol. II (2016). Her article “Teaching Lawyering with Heart in the GW Domestic Violence Project” was published in a symposium on domestic violence teaching in a 2016 issue of the journal Violence Against Women. Professor Meier also published “Response, Ohio v. Clark” in the GW Law Review’s On the Docket (www.gwlr. org/ohio-v-clark/) and “Supreme Court Protects Negligent Defendants but Declines to Constitutionalize Overt Threats” in Domestic Violence Report, Vol. 20, No. 6 (September 2015). In April 2016, Professor Meier gave a plenary presentation, “Real-Life Outcomes from Domestic Violence Cases and the Family Court System,” at the Inaugural Research Symposium of the Sojourner Center Institute located at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in Arizona. She spoke on “Framing Your Case: Domestic Violence and Family Law Pleadings” during a February 2016 teleconference hosted by the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. In February 2016, she also spoke at a Congressional briefing on gender-based violence and employment. She presented “Adjudicating Custody in Cases with Adult and Child Abuse Allegations” at the Hawaii Family Court in Honolulu, Hawaii, in September 2015 and “Johnson’s Differentiation Theory— Is it Really Empirically Supported?” on a June 2015 panel at the AALS Family Law Workshop in Orlando. In April 2016, Professor Meier presented “Finding a Career in Women’s Empowerment” at a symposium hosted by GW’s Global Women’s Institute. In March 2016, she conducted workshops titled “When Is It More Than Stress? Negotiating the Impact of Working with Trauma” at Oberlin College. Also in March 2016, Professor Meier discussed the Supreme Court case Ohio v. Clark at a conference on child abuse sponsored by continued on page 8
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 7
SELECTED PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLICATIONS
Selected Presentations and Publications from page 7
the Cleveland State’s Attorney’s Office. In August 2015, she gave two presentations about the Supreme Court case Elonis v. U.S. The first was a webinar for prosecutors titled “Keep Calm and Understand Elonis v. U.S.,” and the second was a presentation for the D.C. Bar titled “U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling on Elonis, How Does It Affect You?”
Associate Dean Phyllis Goldfarb has two forthcoming publications, “Matters of Strata: Structures of Bias in Capital Cases,” an article in the Washington & Lee Law Review; and a book chapter in The Feminist Judgments Project (Cambridge University Press) that provides a feminist revision of the landmark Supreme Court case Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 130 (1873). In 2015-16, she also published two case responses in the GW Law Review’s On the Docket. Titled “E-Racing the White Jury’s Constitutional Veneer” (May 27, 2016) (www.gwlr.org/fosterv-chatman/) and “Gross Imagery: Fracturing Legally Over Injecting Lethally” ( July 3, 2015) ( www.gwlr.org/ glossip-v-gross/), the articles concern Foster v. Chatman and Glossip v. Gross, two Supreme Court death penalty precedents. In May 2016, Dean Goldfarb presented “New Forms of Experiential Education: Which Opportunities for Students to Work in the Community Should We Adopt?” at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore. In March 2016, she gave a plenary presentation at “Building on Common Ground,” the eighth Externships Conference held at
Associate Dean Phyllis Goldfarb
Cleveland-Marshall Law School. In February 2016, she presented “Matters of Strata: Race, Gender, and Class Structures in Capital Cases” at the Washington & Lee Law Review symposium in Lexington, Virginia. Dean Goldfarb gave a presentation on “Collaboration as a Feminist Model for Creative Scholarship” at the Joint Scholars and Scholarship Workshop held at Fordham Law School in January 2016. She presented “Evaluating New Forms of Experiential Education” at the Southern Clinical Conference held at the University of Memphis Law School in October 2015. She spoke on clinical faculty and curricular change to an October 2015 clinical faculty workshop at Boston College Law School. In July 2015, she presented “Teaching Students Readiness for Future Change” during the conference of the Global Alliance for Justice Education at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey.
“Incarceration to Incorporation: Economic Empowerment for Returning Citizens Through Social Impact Bonds” by Friedman Fellow Etienne Toussaint will appear in the ABA’s Journal of Affordable Housing and Community Development Law in 2016. He published a related article, “From Incarceration to Incorporation: D.C.’s Bold Plan for Improved Economic Mobility,” in the February 16, 2016 issue of Empower magazine. In the March 9, 2016 issue of Empower magazine, he published “The Silenced Minority: On Selma, Voting Rights, and the Clinton You Never Heard About.” In May 2016, Professor Toussaint co-presented “Social and Economic Justice in Action: Community Collaboration and Engagement Through an Action Research Project on Entrepreneurship for Returning Citizens” with Professor Jones on a panel at the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in Baltimore. He also presented “On Critical Race Theory, Design Thinking, and the Future of Transactional Legal Education” at the 15th Annual Transactional Clinical
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Friedman Fellow Etienne Toussaint
Conference at the University of Baltimore in April 2016. In May 2016, he gave a keynote speech, “Fueling Transformation: Agents of Change at MIT,” at the 4th Annual MIT Multicultural Awards Banquet.
Friedman Fellow Katy Ramsey presented a draft of her paper “CrimeFree Rental Housing Ordinances: Troubling Questions about Evictions for ‘Criminal Activity’ in Private-Market Rental Housing” at the works-in-progress session of the May 2016 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education. At the conference, she also presented a poster, “The Clinician’s Helping Hand Project: Mentoring Program,” for the AALS Clinical Section’s Committee on Membership, Outreach, and Training on which she serves.
Jonathan Bialosky, JD ’10, attorney-supervisor in the Immigration Clinic, published “Regional Protection of the Right to a Nationality” in 24 Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law 153 (2015). n
Kudos In 2016, GW Law promoted Professor Laurie Kohn to Associate Professor of Clinical Law with tenure. She was awarded tenure after the faculty evaluated her accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, and service over the past six years. In May 2016, Professor Kohn attended GW’s Course Design Institute, a week-long program for redesigning a course that a faculty member is teaching.
In April 2016, Professor Susan Jones was named to the roster of the Fulbright Specialist Program, making her eligible to consult in her areas of expertise (business, nonprofit, social enterprise, community
economic development, and clinical legal education) with overseas academic institutions that participate in the Fulbright program. In November 2015, Professor Jones organized and hosted “Entrepreneurship for Returning Citizens Convening,” which was attended by government officials, reentry advocates, law students, and returning citizens to explore entrepreneurship opportunities for citizens returning to D.C. communities after periods of incarceration. Friedman Fellow Etienne Toussaint helped to plan the event.
In 2015-16, Professor Arturo Carrillo continued to co-direct (with Professor Dawn Nunziato) GW Law’s Global Internet Freedom Project.
Professor Joan Meier currently serves as Legal Director of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), a nonprofit that she founded. Based on this experience, she spoke on creative paths in law teaching at the GW Law Faculty Retreat in September 2015.
Professor Susan Jones
Chapter 1 of Professor Alberto Benitez’s casebook An Introduction to the United States Legal System: Cases and Comments (2006) is one of the 10 most frequently downloaded items in Scholarly Commons, an online repository of faculty scholarship for GW Law.
In 2015-16, Dean Phyllis Goldfarb served as Chairperson of the Planning Committee of the 2016 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education. She also served as a member of the AALS Committee on Clinical Legal Education, which advises the AALS Executive Committee. In 2015-16, Dean Goldfarb continued to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the Clinical Law Review. She also co-organized and co-facilitated the Clinical Law Review’s 2015 Clinical Writer’s Workshop. In addition, she co-organized the Clinical Law Review’s Rebellious Lawyering symposium held in May 2016 during the AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education. Dean Goldfarb participated in a retreat for Deans of Experiential Learning and Clinical Education held in November 2015 at Vermont Law School. She spoke on assessment, accreditation, and the law school curriculum at the GW Law Faculty Retreat in September 2015.
In 2015-16, Dean Goldfarb and Professor Anne Olesen served respectively as Advisors in the Cardozo and O’Connor Inns of Court. Professors Olesen, Meier, and Kohn, along with Professor Emeritus Peter Meyers and Dean Goldfarb, taught a session on learning through experiential education to all of the first-year Inns. Friedman Fellows Erin Scheick and Katy Ramsey also participated in these Inns’ sessions. n
Professor Benitez and Jonathan Bialosky were co-coaches of the GW Law team that competed in the 2016 NYU National Immigration Law Competition. Fanny Wong, who will participate in the Immigration Clinic in fall 2016, and Vincent Rivas-Flores, an Immigration Clinic alumnus, advanced to the quarterfinals and received the highest oral advocacy score of all 13 teams in the preliminary rounds.
Professor Alberto Benitez
Professor Anne Olesen speaking to a prospective clinic student. JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 9
INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Insight: Clinic Profiles Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Services Clinic
(Pictured from left): Professor Anne Olesen, Ariel Glickman, JD ‘16, Laura Ferguson, JD ‘16, and Adjunct Professor Wyatt Feeler stand outside courthouse after the students presented their oral argument to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.
tudents in the Criminal Appeals and Post-Conviction Services (CAPS) Clinic (formerly known as the Federal, Criminal, and Appellate Clinic) represent clients in criminal appeals before the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Taught and supervised by Professor Anne Olesen and Adjunct Professor Wyatt Feeler, LLM ’13, CAPS students litigated 10 cases in 2015-16, and Professors Olesen and Feeler continued to litigate a 2014-15 clinic case when the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari. In the first CAPS victory of the year, Joshua Labat, JD ’16, and Douglas Strauss, JD ’16, won reversal of their client’s convictions because the trial court had failed to poll the jury as required by the Sixth Amendment. The clinic achieved another victory when Mr. Labat and
Caitlin O’Donnell, JD ’16, persuaded the court to reverse their client’s conviction because the prosecution had not disclosed pre-trial an oral statement that they attributed to the defendant and admitted into evidence against him. In a case of first impression, Jennifer Hose, JD ’16, and Mark Formichelli, JD ’16, argued that Maryland’s mandatory breath test law is unconstitutional as applied to criminal cases because it creates a per se exception to the warrant requirement where alcohol is suspected in cases involving life-threatening accidents. In the context of blood alcohol testing, the U.S. Supreme Court had found in 2013 that the natural metabolism over time of alcohol in the body does not create a per se exigency that justifies an exception to the warrant requirement. The students argued that the Maryland
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statute violates this holding because it allows warrantless breath testing without a case-specific exigency analysis. In another case of constitutional significance, Ariel Glickman, JD ’16, and Ejaz Baluch, JD ’16, argued that their client’s Fifth Amendment rights were violated when a detective testified before a jury that the defendant had invoked his right to counsel and remained silent when the detective attempted to interview him. Other clinic cases raised issues such as insufficiency of evidence (O’Donnell and Yaniv Nahon, JD ’16), prosecutorial misconduct during closing argument (Strauss and Hose), an erroneous jury instruction that failed to define an element of the crime (Glickman and Laura Ferguson, JD ’16), improper lay witness narration of a surveillance video (Ferguson and Stephanie Williamson, JD ’16), the erroneous admission of documents containing highly prejudicial evidence of other crimes (Baluch and Williamson), and the trial court’s failure to adequately address potential jury bias after a juror asked police witnesses about employment opportunities at the police department (Formichelli and Nahon). In late 2015, the Maryland Court of Appeals granted certiorari in a 2014-15 clinic case where the Court of Special Appeals had upheld a frisk of the defendant during a consensual search of the car in which he was riding. A dissenting judge had found that the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated because the police had no reason to suspect that he was armed and dangerous other than he was riding late at night through what they viewed as a high-crime area and that he appeared nervous when he saw the police. In the spring semester, Professors Olesen and Feeler filed briefs in the Court of Appeals, and on August 24 they received notice that they had won the case and that the client’s conviction would be overturned. n
INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Domestic Violence Project
n 2015-16, students in the Domestic Violence Project (DVP), directed by Professor Joan Meier, worked in a number of domestic violence legal organizations in the D.C. area. In these work settings, students were given a variety of responsibilities, including representing clients, prosecuting domestic violence cases, formulating policy positions, and researching and writing briefs. In their classes, small-group discussions, and guided reflections, students considered these experiences of domestic violence law, lawyering, and policy and connected them to their own professional development. Hoping to get trial experience, Aleksandra Pinkhasova, JD ’16, enrolled in DVP and was certified as a student-prosecutor in the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office. She reported that the experience taught her not just about trial work but also about ways that the system sometimes fails victims. Focusing on what she could do personally to improve the system, she began to emphasize the development of her interpersonal and counseling skills so that she could better counsel victims. Due to these efforts, she exceeded the norms of her workplace in reaching out to victims and developing rapport with them. “Although I did not tell the victim what she must do,” Ms. Pinkhasova stated, “I did provide options for the victim to help her decide what is best for her.” In the process, she developed important counseling skills and said that she learned how much she enjoyed helping others. Candice Shang, JD ’16, worked at the Legal Aid Society in spring 2016. Handling civil cases for victims of domestic violence, Ms. Shang reported that she “connected with clients, prepared their cases for court, sat with children while their mothers were being
Professor Joan Meier speaks to a prospective student at a Clinics’ Open House.
interviewed, and saw a part of a city that I had only heard about on the news.” Through this experience, she found that she had a knack for connecting with clients. “You cannot always provide a fix for your clients,” she said, “but you can try to be the best advocate by showing them that you’re always on their side.” In the fall semester, Glenna Grinnell, JD ’16, worked at Break the Cycle, where she assisted in preparing victims of domestic violence for court and reviewing the evidence to be presented. In one case, she was deeply affected by hearing an abuser’s threatening voicemails to the client, remarking that “the amount of hatred that came from the respondent’s mouth is something I will not soon forget....The things he said, bragging about her getting hurt, threatening to hurt her again and threatening her family, I cannot imagine saying those things to my worst enemy no less the mother of my infant child. For me, hearing these recordings shed a new light on the dangers victims of domestic violence
really do face when they decide enough is enough.” In fall 2015, Jessica Sparano, JD ’17, worked for the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP), the nonprofit organization founded by Professor Meier. When a case handled by DV LEAP exposed a particular loophole in D.C.’s sexual assault laws, Ms. Sparano researched and drafted a white paper for the D.C. Council advocating for a proposed change in the law. Her specific recommendation, incorporated into a broader set of reforms proposed in a bill to aid sexual assault victims, is being considered for adoption. n
“Although I did not tell the
victim what she must do, I
did provide options to help her decide what is best for her.”
—Aleksandra Pinkhasova, JD ’16
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Family Justice Litigation Clinic
Professor Laurie Kohn and Friedman Fellow Erin Scheick leading clinic class.
tudents in the Family Justice Litigation Clinic, directed by Professor Laurie Kohn and Friedman Fellow Erin Scheick, represented a number of clients in a variety of family law and domestic violence matters. Students in the clinic assist clients in seeking civil protection orders, obtaining custody, and pursuing other legal claims and remedies involving family law and domestic violence issues. In fall 2015, Kristen Ferretti, JD ’16, and Jennifer Junger, JD ’16, prepared a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition on behalf of an immigrant client who had suffered the emotional and physical cruelty of her husband, a U.S. citizen. The students presented a narrative of the client’s circumstances and a legal argument that, under VAWA, these experiences established the client’s eligibility to independently file for lawful permanent resident status and a work authorization. The students reported that working with the client to change her immigration status on the basis of the abuse she had suffered was both “academically stimulating” and “emotionally rewarding” and that they tried to create legal documents that “honored her story.” In June 2016, the students and client received the good news that the client’s petition had been granted. In the fall semester, students represented several clients who sought custody of children. Danielle Robinson, JD ’16, and Holdyn Brand, JD ’17, represented a
client who filed for custody of her fiveyear-old grandson. The students engaged in extensive negotiations that secured custody for their client. Over the course of the year, student-attorneys Marie Hayreptian, JD ’16, Olajumoke Obayanju, JD ’16, Jennifer Grobe, JD ’16, and Ashley Carter, JD ’17, represented a mother who sought custody and financial support for her four daughters. After many settlement discussions with the father of the children, the students secured an extensive mediated settlement that included detailed visitation provisions and specific payments to support the children. In spring 2016, Lisa Havilland, JD ’16, and Saniya Ahmed, JD ’16, helped their client, a young non-English-speaking man who had been stalked and abused by his partner, to obtain a civil protection order. At the conclusion of a related criminal
case against the ex-partner, the students negotiated a civil protection order in lieu of a trial. The students indicated that they were gratified to have been able to help the client in a meaningful way to move forward in his life. During the course of the year, Jennifer Junger, JD ’16, Kristen Ferretti, JD ’16, Sarah Gelfand, JD ’16, and Iran Garcia Domenech, JD ’17, piloted a new legal resource and advocacy project, the Cyber-Violence Project (CVP). With Professor Arturo Carrillo and students from the International Human Rights Clinic, the students developed the CVP by conducting background research, building coalitions, and beginning to take cyber-violence cases. In the upcoming year, the CVP will continue to grow as a collaboration of the two GW clinics. n
(Pictured from left): Students Marie Hayrapetian, JD ‘16, Olajumoke Obayanju, JD ‘16, and Danielle Robinson, JD ‘16, discussing issues during their weekly clinic class.
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Health Rights Law Clinic
n the Health Rights Law Clinic, taught and supervised by Professor Suzanne Jackson, students assist residents of Washington, D.C., many of them seniors, with legal issues related to health care and health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. The students’ assistance can enable clients to navigate a complex health care system, receive insurance benefits, and get the health care they need. In spring 2016, Matthew Piscitelli, JD ’17, represented a senior citizen in desperate need of urgent dental care. With cooperation from the client’s dentist and enrollment of the client in a special Medicaid program, Mr. Piscitelli was able to save his client more than $1,000 on the necessary dental care procedures. After seeing the positive outcome from the clinic’s involvement in the case, the dentist subsequently referred to the clinic other clients with similar issues. Mr. Piscitelli indicated that he “enjoyed solving the unique problems this case presented and helping other senior citizens save hundreds of dollars by switching to more affordable Medicare plans.” Allison Ness, JD ’17, helped her clients obtain home health services, Medicaid, and other health care coverage. In a spring semester case, she represented a senior citizen who had received more than $60,000 in medical bills. After
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D.C. He earned a JD at Harvard Law School in 2012, where he was a student-attorney in the Transactional Law Clinic, the Ghana Human Rights Clinic, and the Harvard Defenders, while also serving as an Editor of the Environmental Law Review, Vice President of the Board of Student Advisers, member of the National Executive Board of the National Black Law Students Association, and
Professor Suzanne Jackson (center) and students in spring 2016 clinic listen to a mock hearing.
Professor Jackson leads a discussion in her fall 2015 clinic class.
working with the private insurer and Medicare, Ms. Ness was able to reduce the bills to under $1,000, and the client ultimately achieved a $0 balance. She also assisted her client by successfully advocating on her behalf for the removal
of unnecessary feeding tubes. Ms. Ness reported that she considered this case the highlight of her semester. n
National Director of the Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competition. Before attending law school, he earned a BS in mechanical engineering in 2007 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was designated a Ronald McNair Scholar and received the Alpha Phi Alpha Distinguished Collegiate Award. In 2008, he completed an MS in environmental engineering from the Johns Hopkins University, where he
served as the Graduate Student Adviser for Engineers Without Borders. Prior to law school, he worked as a strategy consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, focusing on environmental policy and sustainable development. He currently serves as a board member of the Two Rivers Charter School in Washington, D.C., and of the Black Alumni of MIT. n
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tudents in the Immigration Clinic, under the supervision of Professor Alberto Benitez and attorney Jonathan Bialosky, JD ’10, helped clients to obtain asylum and to secure legal status in the United States. For example, after a brief hearing in October 2015, Joan Hill, JD ’16, obtained a grant of asylum for her 22-year-old Ethiopian client, a student whose writings in support of environmental and tribal rights attracted the government’s attention. Twice arrested, detained, and beaten but never charged, the client fled to the United States after being kidnapped off the street and held at gunpoint. Prior Immigration Clinic students Vincent Rivas-Flores, JD ’16, Andrew Atallah, JD ’17, and college intern Andrew Durand had worked on the client’s case in preceding semesters. In the spring semester, studentattorney Sameen Ahmadnia, JD ’16, obtained legal relief through a change in immigration status for her client, a gay man from Russia whose flight to the United States began a long legal
journey in U.S. courts. Beaten and nearly killed on multiple occasions by thugs in Russia and also by police, who uttered homophobic slurs, the client fled to the United States in 2000. Denied affirmative asylum in 2001 while being represented by an attorney who was subsequently disbarred, the client later sought help from the Immigration Clinic, which accepted his case and represented him over many years in
Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Fourth Circuit. After the 2013 Supreme Court case of U.S. v. Windsor struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, the client married his long-time partner, a U.S. citizen, enabling student-attorneys this spring to obtain lawful permanent residence for the client and a path to U.S. citizenship. n
Professor Alberto Benitez in class.
Spring 2016 Immigration Clinic celebrating with client who obtained lawful permanent residence.
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
International Human Rights Clinic
he International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC), directed by Professor Arturo Carrillo, had three main projects in 2015-16: the Human Rights Litigation Project, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Human Rights Initiative, and the International Law Commission Project. The Human Rights Litigation Project revolved around ongoing litigation in federal court against Chiquita Banana International and several of its executives for complicity in the activities of rightwing death squads in Colombia during the late 1990s and early 2000s. Thirdyear students Warren Bianchi, Grant Berg, Kimie Matsuo, Theresa Socash, and Megan Bench supported lead counsel Earthrights International by carrying out document review and issue analysis in preparation for discovery. They prepared a series of legal memoranda, several of which aided in the briefing of a pending forum non conveniens motion. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Human Rights Initiative furthered its goal to promote greater protections for human rights in the ICT sector. The IHRC joined forces with the Family Justice Litigation Clinic to found the Cyber-Violence Project, which will provide assistance and representation to victims of gender-related online abuse, including cyberstalking and cyber-harassment, as well as non-consensual or revenge pornography. Third-year IHRC students Heba Estafanous, Lane Kisonick, Genette Gaffrey, and Nnamdi Okoli helped lay the groundwork for the new project. In spring 2016, the project assisted its first client, a gay man who claimed to be the victim of revenge porn.
Students in the International Law Commission Project worked with Professor Sean Murphy, the U.S. member on the International Law Commission, in his efforts to draft a new Convention on Crimes Against Humanity. Third-year students Garrett Henderson, Jason Ross, Erin Torres, Julia Currie, Kristin Shaulis, Nora Mbagathi, and Sabin Chung researched a number of key issues under international law, including amnesties, dispute resolution, treaty reservations, and the rights of victims to redress. n
Top: (pictured from left): Julia Curry, JD ‘17, and Professor Arturo Carrillo listen as Genette Gaffney, JD ‘16, and Nnamdi Okoli, JD ‘16, make a presentation. Bottom: Professor Carrillo and Nora Mbagathi, JD ‘16, work through a legal issue during a supervision meeting.
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Law Students in Court
uring the 2015-16 academic year, students enrolled in the Criminal and Civil Divisions of D.C. Law Students in Court (LSIC) represented many low-income clients on a variety of legal matters and frequently achieved favorable outcomes. In the Civil Division, third-year students Talia Rosenberg, April Jones, George Stewart, Brenna Spinner, Joseph Spoerl, Kyle Ainsworth, Rebecca Bonnarens, Mynda Kato, Jasmine Chalshtori, and Matthew Michaels handled consumer and housing cases, including those with clients facing eviction and substandard living conditions. Each of the students represented at least two clients in ongoing litigation while providing brief legal services at the LSIC’s court office each week. In some of these cases, students negotiated favorable settlements in matters set for jury trial. Others argued important motions to vacate default, motions to dismiss, and motions regarding discovery disputes. The students interviewed dozens of clients, investigated possible claims and defenses,
Criminal Division student Alexandra Chindris, JD ‘16, asks a question during clinic orientation.
and drafted responsive pleadings. They made numerous court appearances and provided attorney-of-the-day representation in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the D.C. Superior Court. Students also staffed the Small Claims Resource Center and represented clients in the Small Claims Branch. In addition, several students represented tenants in the Housing Conditions Court in cases brought to enforce compliance with the D.C. Housing Code. While developing their litigation skills, the students provided quality representation to clients in need. In the Criminal Division, student-attorneys represented indigent adults and juveniles charged with offenses in D.C. Superior Court. Third-year students Ana Atta-Alla, Caroline Bielak, Tabatha Blake, Alexandra Chindris, Benjamin Christian, Ella Gladman, Jezel Jones, Jason Lamprecht, Neha Rao, Ross Roberts, and Maya Weissman litigated numerous cases from beginning to end. Prior to arraignments, the students interviewed their clients and crafted persuasive arguments for their clients’ pretrial release on the least restrictive conditions possible. Student-attorneys Weissman and Gladman had the opportunity to cross-examine police witnesses at probable cause hearings in juvenile matters. All of the students thoroughly investigated their cases to gather facts and develop case theories, enabling them to file pretrial motions and diligently prepare for trial. Many of the students obtained dismissals in their clients’ cases before trial, and others negotiated consent decrees, diversion agreements, or other favorable dispositions.
Civil Division student Talia Rosenberg, JD ‘16, (center), talks with LSIC faculty Samantha Beckett (l) and Gabriella Lewis-White (r).
Student-attorney Caroline Bielak secured an acquittal for her client following a two-day bench trial. In addition to their time in the courtroom, Criminal Division students participated in expungement proceedings and attended trainings with judges, lawyers, and service providers on truancy, neglect, and delinquency. Through all of these experiences, students learned to navigate the criminal justice system, while providing exceptional advocacy to their clients. n
Criminal Division student Benjamin Christian, JD ‘16, conducting a mock hearing during clinic class.
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES • IN MEMORIAM
Neighborhood Law and Policy Clinic
n 2015-16, the Neighborhood Law and Policy Clinic, taught by Professor Jessica Steinberg and Friedman Fellow Katy Ramsey, provided various kinds of legal assistance to D.C. residents serving prison sentences. Students primarily represent clients seeking parole, early termination of parole, and executive clemency. Their representation entails meeting with their incarcerated clients, interviewing relatives and friends, thoroughly investigating facts, researching applicable laws and regulations, filing motions and other legal documents, and advocating for their clients at hearings. Kaitlyn Mello, JD ’16, represented two clients at parole hearings and also petitioned President Barack Obama for executive clemency on behalf of a 70-year-old man serving a mandatory life sentence for a drug distribution crime that today would receive a sentence of 10 years. On August 3, 2016, President Obama announced that he was granting clemency to the clinic’s client. Ms. Mello, with Professors Steinberg and Ramsey, immediately contacted the client to share the joyous news. After 20 years of incarceration, the client soon will be released. In spring 2016, Ms. Mello learned that one of her clients, who suffers from
serious cognitive disabilities and has a sixth grade reading level, was granted parole and would be released in October 2016 after serving a 38-year sentence. Despite four previous hearings, the client had been denied parole, largely due to his inability to communicate effectively with the hearing examiner. Upon learning that he would soon be released, the client called Ms. Mello and observed, “If it weren’t for you, I would be in here still fighting, probably until I die.” Ms. Mello reports that the clinic “opened my eyes to how a felony conviction can truly become a sole identity. We impose a sentence and continue to punish people through various social, cultural, and occupational practices throughout the rest of their lives. For many of our clients, obtaining release is only the first of many, many challenges to come.” She observed that because of the breadth of what she learned, “participating in the clinic was hands down the most rewarding experience I had in law school.” Netali Squires, JD ’17, and Tara Shankar, JD ’16, represented a client seeking early termination of parole and another appealing a denial from a grant of parole. Ms.Squires observed that being responsible for “a human being’s life and liberty” and being entrusted with a fuller sense of their “story” revealed “the complexities involved in each case.” She reported that participating in the clinic
Tara Shankar, JD ‘16 (l), and Netali Squires, JD ‘16 (r), achieved a victory for their client in fall 2015.
was “a unique opportunity” that gave her “a broader perspective on the criminal justice system, its benefits and many more shortcomings.” She concluded that given the complexity of the system, fairness requires that “criminal defendants should be entitled to legal representation” before every tribunal they face, and that “until such a day comes…it is imperative to have clinic and pro bono work” to fill the gap. n
“The clinic opened my eyes to how a felony conviction can truly become a sole identity. We impose a sentence and continue to punish people through various social, cultural, and occupational practices throughout the rest of their lives. For many of our clients, obtaining release is only the first of many, many challenges to come.” —Kaitlyn Mello, JD ’16
Professor Jessica Steinberg
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Public Justice Advocacy Clinic
tudents in the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic, supervised by Professor Jeffrey Gutman and Adjunct Professor Paula Scott, represented a variety of low-income clients in civil cases. Among other cases, student-attorneys engaged in wage and hour litigation to obtain compensation for their clients for unpaid overtime and minimum wages they were owed, and they litigated administrative appeals for clients denied unemployment benefits. Monica Porter, JD ’16, and Samantha Hsieh, JD ’16, won their first clinic case. Their client reported that he had gone to work and had been met by his manager who told him that he would receive a positive reference for another job only if he signed a resignation letter. Under coercion, the client signed the letter but was thereafter prevented from receiving unemployment compensation on the ground that he had left the job voluntarily. Student-attorneys Porter and Hsieh successfully negotiated with the employer to withdraw its voluntary resignation defense, and the client began to receive full unemployment benefits that
enabled him to support his family while he sought other employment. Ms. Porter and Ms. Hsieh conducted an administrative hearing for another client who had been denied unemployment compensation due to the employer’s claim that the client had been terminated from the job for gross misconduct. When their investigation showed that the client’s termination was instead the result of miscommunication, the student-attorneys conducted a hearing, cross-examined the employer’s witness, and argued that the initial denial of unemployment insurance was improper. They succeeded in overturning the prior decision and obtained full benefits for their client. Even before learning the favorable outcome in the case, Ms. Porter and Ms. Hsieh reported that “the most memorable moment” was when the client turned to them at the conclusion of hearing and said that, due to their efforts, “he felt he had been heard.” The student-attorneys stated that they were “humbled by the client’s trust in their judgment and advocacy” and “moved by the opportunity” to represent the client’s voice in the hearing process. Ana Minuik, JD ’16, handled an unusual matter during her semester in the clinic. Despite being a lifelong resident of D.C., her client, who had been informally adopted by her neighbors as a baby, had been unable to obtain a copy of her birth
Joseph Spoerl, JD `16 (l), and Bianca Ponce De Leon, JD `16 (r), listening to Professor Gutman in their spring 2016 clinic class.
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Professor Jeffrey Gutman
certificate. As a result, she was unable to get a driver’s license, a passport, or a job. Ms. Minuik learned that even though her client had provided supporting documentation to the D.C. Vital Records Office on multiple occasions over the past year, she had been denied a copy of her birth certificate in part because the name on her birth certificate did not match the name she had been using for more than 50 years. Nonetheless, the client had obtained a court order from a D.C. Superior Court judge that she be given a properly amended copy of her birth certificate. When office staff refused to comply with the order, Ms. Minuik filed a motion to show cause why the D.C. Vital Records Office should not be held in contempt. A few weeks after Ms. Minuik filed the motion, her client received her birth certificate and cried with relief. Ms. Minuik stated that she felt grateful to have been able to help the client while also expanding her own legal skills. Because the matter was not straightforward, it required her to “make countless judgment calls,” helping her develop the kinds of decision-making skills that she knows she will use in law practice. n
INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Small Business and Community Economic Development Clinic
n 2015-16, student-attorneys in the Small Business and Community Economic Development (SBCED) Clinic, supervised by Professor Susan Jones and Friedman Fellow Etienne Toussaint, provided legal assistance to social entrepreneurs, innovative small businesses, and community-oriented nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C. Their clients—including a student travel business, an international technology association, a benefit corporation using open data to promote organizational efficiency, and a nonprofit empowering at-risk youth and people returning to the community after periods of incarceration—presented teams of clinic students with a range of transactional legal issues that spanned corporate, tax, and intellectual property law. Students drafted a variety of contractual agreements related to the specific needs of each client and assisted them with copyright and trademark matters. SBCED Clinic student-attorneys also conducted two workshops on business entity formation and intellectual property law, one at a local co-working space and another at the GW School of Business. In the fall semester, third-year student-attorneys Jacquelyn DeVore, David Edmonds, Donald Graham, and Sara Helmers represented a social enterprise operating a global educational magazine for underserved girls in West Africa. Students helped the client become a nonprofit corporation in Washington, D.C., prepared documentation for federal tax exemption status, and negotiated an agreement with a 501(c)(3) private foundation to serve as a fiscal sponsor to the organization. Ms. DeVore continued this work in the spring semester, when she served as the Student Director of the SBCED Clinic.
Professor Susan Jones (far right) and Friedman Fellow Etienne Toussaint (far left) standing with their spring 2016 clinic students.
In the spring semester, third-year student-attorneys Jose Calves, Sara Kamal, Viviana Lowe, and Tyler Mann assisted a social entrepreneur seeking to cure asthma and raise awareness of important issues for asthmatics. They helped the client’s organization trademark the brand for an electronic home medical device, draft an agreement for fiscal sponsorship and other contracts, and prepare documentation for the creation of an affiliated nonprofit organization. Third-year student-attorneys Taylor Ball, Leah Farrar, Christina Fraziero, Nicole Goldman, Ty Johnson, Fanvin Shen, and Mary Youssef and second-year student attorney Angel Farjo advised a diverse set of clients, including a local vegan nutritionist with a published book on veganism, a nonprofit organization bringing art to students through theatrical performances, and a nonprofit organization specifically serving AfricanAmerican playwrights in the D.C. area. Adjunct Professor Kevin Peska, JD ’91, assisted Professors Jones and Toussaint in teaching and supervising the SBCED Clinic student-attorneys in the clinic’s practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. With the help of Professor Peska, student-attorneys successfully filed trademark applications for both nonprofit and for-profit clients and counseled their clients on how to protect and maintain their marks.
Additionally, in partnership with both the American University Washington College of Law Intellectual Property Clinic and the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts, the SBCED Clinic hosted a successful “pop-up legal clinic” for artist-entrepreneurs seeking brief advice in intellectual property and business law. The clinic students’ impact reached beyond the law school, as they were able to engage with the greater D.C. community through meetings, educational presentations, legislative hearings, and other activities addressing entrepreneurship opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals (e.g., returning citizens). In January 2016, the students drafted testimony for a public hearing on a bill designed to encourage and support entrepreneurship for returning citizens. Both Professor Susan Jones and Professor Etienne Toussaint presented testimony in support of the bill before a committee of the D.C. Council. In addition, SBCED Clinic students drafted an “Entrepreneurship Tool Kit for Returning Citizens,” which provides detailed information concerning how to start a business, draft a business plan, and identify relevant financing and tax information. The tool kit also provides a comprehensive list of community resources in Washington, D.C., for returning citizens to use at various stages in starting a business. n
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INSIGHT: CLINIC PROFILES
Vaccine Injury Clinic
n the Vaccine Injury Clinic, taught by Adjunct Professors Cliff Shoemaker and Renee Gentry, student-attorneys worked to obtain federal compensation available to people who can demonstrate that they experienced an adverse physical reaction to vaccines. Through the clinic, GW Law students are certified by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for student practice in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Studentattorneys, practicing in the only clinic of its kind in the country, engage in all aspects of litigation in this unique forum, conducting intake interviews, drafting pleadings and motions, working with experts, conducting hearings, and negotiating damages on behalf of their clients with attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice. In the process, students develop numerous insights and skills, including those involving fact investigation, planning, communication, negotiation, advocacy, collaboration, strategic thinking, and ethical judgment. In 2015-16, student-attorneys Maureen Urbina, JD ’16, Kelly Marco, JD ’17, and Tatiana Cody, JD ’17, achieved
a victory after conducting a causation hearing to determine entitlement to compensation for a young teenage client who, after a flu vaccination, contracted acute hepatitis necessitating a liver transplant. Following a hearing with expert testimony, a special master ruled in March 2016 that the clinic had proven causation of the injury by a preponderance of evidence and thereafter awarded the client nearly $300,000 in compensation. In the fall semester, with just a few weeks of advance time for preparation, Calvin Lee, JD ’17, Fanny Wong, JD ’17, and Ana Morales Murrieta, JD ’17, mediated a case before the former Chief Special Master of the Vaccine Court, successfully negotiating an $850,000 settlement for their client. Another team, Ashlend Moss, JD ’16, Seth Olson, JD ’16, and Bobby Sahachartsiri, JD ’17, represented a client in a damages mediation at an international mediation and arbitration firm after the case had been conceded. The students sought damages for the client, a retired public servant who suffered a shoulder injury, including a torn rotator cuff, after receiving the influenza vaccine. When mediation did not settle the claim, the students prepared the damages case for a hearing in the U.S. Court of
After a tour of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, clinic students stand with the court’s Chief Judge and Chief Special Master of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
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Federal Claims, where they succeeded in obtaining for the client a substantial lump sum payment and yearly expenses for life. In addition, student-attorney Moss drafted briefs on behalf of a client who filed a claim after the relevant statute of limitations had expired. Through these efforts, the client prevailed in a case of first impression, demonstrating that, due to cognitive impairments that prevented him from filing earlier, the statute was equitably tolled and his claim could proceed. Student-attorneys Megan Robertson, JD ’17, Smitha Uthaman, JD ’17, and Stephnie John, JD ’17, represented a client who had already won her case, advocating for an award of damages for the client. The team calculated the client’s lost wages and past medical expenses, then worked with a life-care planner to determine future medical expenses resulting from the vaccine injury. After they reached agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on all but one matter, the special master presiding over the case scheduled a hearing on the remaining matter to be held within two weeks. A team of student-attorneys jumped into preparations, dividing work on the opening and closing statements, direct examination of the life-care planner, and cross-examination of the life-care planner brought by opposing counsel. In another case, the student team secured attendant care for a resident in a 24-hour skilled nursing facility. Reflecting on her clinic experience, Ms. Robertson reported that her professors enabled her “to build my own style as an attorney and better identify my strengths and weaknesses” and that working on a team with other students “gave me the opportunity to learn from others and truly recognize that everyone brings something different to the table.” She indicated that in addition to learning about practicing law, the clinic “taught me a lot about myself and about working with colleagues and clients.” A major value of clinic experiences, she added, is that “for law students, even the smallest insights into being a lawyer are helpful in paving the way to our own legal careers.” n
AALS Clinical Conference from page 1
presentations, community field trips, and contemplative spaces—so that all the conference events would enhance and enrich each other. For example, Marilyn J. Mosby, the Baltimore City State’s Attorney and a former student in my Criminal Justice Clinic at Boston College Law School, addressed the conference. She spoke not only about conditions in Baltimore related to the incident that led her to indict the police officers in whose custody Freddie Gray died but also about the influence of her clinical education on her professional formation and development.”
Friedman Fellow Katy Ramsey
Professor Laurie Kohn
The conference opened on the morning of April 30 with a half-day program for new clinical law teachers and closed on the afternoon of May 3 with a final plenary session devoted to naming and framing some of the lessons and questions of the conference. The final plenary incorporated the kinds of reflective learning methods that clinical teachers have developed over many years to help consolidate learning and to make it usable in a variety of situations. The conference also included a symposium by the Clinical Law Review on the 25th anniversary of the publication of Professor Jerry Lopez’s book Rebellious Lawyering. Since she also serves as an Editor-in-Chief of the Clinical Law Review, Dean Goldfarb saw the symposium as an “additional opportunity to develop insights into the theory and practice of lawyering-with-communities that clinics are positioned to explore and engage.” Other GW Law clinical faculty members who attended the conference were Professors Susan Jones, Laurie Kohn, Jessica Steinberg, and Joan Meier, as well as Friedman Fellows Katy Ramsey, Etienne Toussaint, and Erin Scheick. The Clinics’ Managing Attorney Pallavi Rai Gullo also participated in the conference and led a session of a working group for clinic administrators. In addition to presiding over the conference as its chairperson, Dean Goldfarb presented at a concurrent session on evaluating new forms of experiential education. Professors Jones, Kohn, and Steinberg served on concurrent session panels that covered a range of topics. Professor Kohn’s panel focused on developing empathy in students for clients and client communities. Professor Steinberg’s panel explored the relationship of empirical research to community advocacy. Professor Jones’s panel focused on clinical partnerships with community-based organizations working for economic justice. The Clinics’ Friedman Fellows also participated in the conference. Etienne Toussaint was a co-presenter with Professor Jones on the economic justice panel. Katy Ramsey presented a paper
Associate Dean Phyllis Goldfarb
during a works-in-progress session, addressing issues implicated by municipal ordinances that require landlords to maintain crime-free rental housing. She also presented a poster about a clinical mentoring program that is sponsored by the Committee on Membership, Outreach, and Training of the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education, a committee on which she serves. All in all, the 2016 Conference on Clinical Legal Education benefitted from the contributions of GW’s clinical faculty. In the process, the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics contributed to the development of the field of clinical legal education in law schools across the country. At the same time, clinical faculty brought ideas from across the country back into the GW clinical program, with the promise that these ideas would enrich our clinical teaching and service for semesters yet to come. n
Professor Joan Meier attends a program at the conference.
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 2 1
CLINIC ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT
Blackwell from page 5
the Women’s National Democratic Club, and I’ve chaired the Legislative Affairs Committee for the Greater Washington Area Chapter, Women Lawyers Division, of the National Bar Association. Why did you decide to take a clinic during law school?
I was drawn to the Federal, Criminal, and Appellate Clinic, which is now known as the Criminal Appeals and PostConviction Services Clinic, because of its focus on helping indigent clients who— after being convicted of a crime—are in need of appellate assistance. As a student, it gave me an opportunity to provide legal help to those in need and develop valuable writing and oral advocacy skills. What did you gain from your clinic experience?
Writing well is an essential skill that every lawyer needs regardless of his or her practice area. I’m grateful for my clinic experience because I believe that it helped tremendously to shape and improve my writing. The clinic focused heavily on written advocacy, and when I was a student, I worked on at least four briefs that were submitted to the Court of Special Appeals, the second highest court in Maryland. Spending hours researching and writing with my fellow clinic students was invaluable and undoubtedly helped to prepare me for my current position, where I write countless committee
reports and numerous public statements for elected officials.
that each of the clinic’s clients had the best representation possible.
How did your clinic enhance your law school experience?
Did your clinical experience have an impact on your career choices? If so, how?
One of the things that I enjoyed the most about my weekly clinic class was the camaraderie that I developed with Professor Anne Olesen, Friedman Fellow Wyatt Feeler, and my fellow students. Working with people who are passionate about criminal justice reform was quite inspirational. In fact, one of the first things that I worked on when joining the D.C. Council was a bill that reformed the District’s civil asset forfeiture law. A large part of my motivation for working on that and other reform matters developed from my clinic experience, where I spent a significant amount of time with people who were true advocates.
Although I had an interest in working for a legislative body prior to participating in the clinic, my clinic experience solidified to me the importance of public interest work and ensuring that those who are most in need receive essential help. While working at the D.C. Council, I often think about how our work and the laws that we pass will affect D.C. residents. This is largely due to the fact that several of the clients in our clinic, who were low-income minorities, had been disproportionately affected by the criminal justice system.
What was your most memorable experience in your clinic?
The most memorable experience I had in my clinic was helping my client win his case on appeal. Each student in the clinic was given an opportunity to be lead counsel on a case and develop appellate arguments to raise before the Court of Special Appeals. In my particular case, we raised three procedural issues. First, we argued that the state of Maryland failed to bring my client to trial within the statutory mandate of 180 days. Second, we argued that the judge had read an incorrect pattern jury instruction. Third, we argued that my client had been incorrectly charged. The Court of Special Appeals agreed with us on each argument and ruled in our favor. This was a significant win because my client was facing a 30-year prison sentence. Did anything surprise you about your clinic experience?
Michele Blackwell, Esq., at work.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much the clinic students worked collaboratively as a team. Although each case was assigned to an individual student, who worked with a student co-counsel, we frequently consulted with other clinic students for advice and ideas. It was clear that we were all learning how to collaborate and we were working hard to ensure
2 2 THE GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL
What are the most valuable skills and perspectives that today’s law graduates can bring to the workplace?
As I learned in clinic, never be afraid to ask a question. I think that young professionals are often afraid to show that they may not know something. But truthfully, young lawyers have only just begun to develop the skills they need. When I arrived at the Council, there were so many things I simply didn’t know. I decided that to be successful, I needed to ask questions. And I asked lots of them, which helped me to learn what I needed to know. What would you tell current students who are considering taking a clinic?
I would highly encourage any student who is able to do so to take a clinic. While law school provides its students with fundamentals, the clinical experience allows students to put those lessons into actual practice. While I was a student at GW, I participated in two moot court competitions, which helped me with my written and oral advocacy skills, but nothing compared to going before actual judges and arguing for my client. I could never overstate how much my clinic prepared me for real-world experience. n
IN MEMORIAM • VIEWPOINT
Goldberg from page 2
at Forest Hills High School in Forest Hills, New York, she won a scholarship to Smith College. She was a pre-med student at Smith, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated after just three years. In the early 1950s, only a few women were accepted into Yale University School of Medicine, and Dr. Burns Goldberg was one of those exceptional few. After earning her medical degree from Yale, Dr. Burns Goldberg took an internship at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, followed by a residency at the Neurological Institute of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She moved to Philadelphia, where she practiced for several decades as a neurologist and was certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. In addition to serving as a trustee of the Jacob Burns Foundation, Dr. Burns Goldberg and her husband established the Herbert I.
Notes from the Clinical Dean from page 1
aimed at deepening and improving the craft of clinical legal education. A dedicated planning committee of clinicians collaborated over the course of a year to organize the collaborative energies of these hundreds of colleagues into a coherent program. One of the primary reasons that the field of clinical education has evolved over time is the quality and dependability of this annual web of collaborations. The program produced by our conference collaborations revealed that the medium was also the message. Many of the programs were devoted to exploring various aspects of the collaborations that make clinical experiences such powerful learning vehicles. Teachers invested considerable efforts in collaborating with other teachers to help deepen their understanding of—and their capacity to engage in—the professional collaborations with students, clients, and communities that stand at the center of the clinical method of education.
Goldberg and Rosalie Burns Goldberg Foundation that supported opera and theater, passions that they shared just as they shared a profession. Not only was Dr. Burns Goldberg devoted to her patients, she also served on the faculty of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, which became Hahnemann Medical College. Paul L. Schraeder, MD, who joined the medical faculty when she served as Chair of the Department of Neurology, commented that “Rosalie was a remarkably generous person” and “a joy to be with.” Those sentiments were shared by her family as well. Although Dr. Burns Goldberg had a demanding professional career, her family remembers her giving generously of her time to them. The Burns Goldbergs had a daughter Laura and a son Alan, four grandchildren, and six nieces and nephews. Their granddaughter Holly Faye Goldberg attended the George Washington University.
Their nephew Barry Shenkman directs the Jacob Burns Foundation and will assume Dr. Burns Goldberg’s position on GW Law’s Board of Advisors, while also pursuing an interest in painting shared by his grandfather, Jacob Burns. Those of us at the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics recognize our profound debt of gratitude to Rosalie Burns Goldberg. Her steadfast support for our clinical program has enabled it to thrive as an educational and service institution. In devoting ourselves to teaching students and serving clients, we pay tribute to the exemplary life that she lived. n
If we do our collaborative work well— at the conference, at our law schools, in our communities, in our own clinics—we teach our students about the importance of professional collaborations and the qualities that nurture productive collaborations. Sometimes we do this explicitly and other times we do this by example. The better collaborators we are, the better collaborators our students will learn to be. The legal profession of the future stands to gain significant benefits from clinicians’ devotion to collaborative principles in all of our activities, but most especially in our teaching. By remaining faithful to our commitment to effectiveness in collaboration, we can help to sustain it as one of the beating hearts of the clinical project. In this issue, the collaborations that are at the heart of our work at the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics are on display. Ours is a village of many, dedicated to helping individual clinic students learn the meaning of collaborative professional practice through their engagements in service to others.
Unfortunately, our village suffered some key losses this year. Rosalie Burns Goldberg, a staunch benefactor of the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics, passed away in November (see p. 2). Steve Del Giudice, who had been an instructor in the clinics, passed away in December (see p. 3). Please read the tributes to each of these extraordinary people whose memories we cherish. We pay tribute to those we’ve lost by carrying on the mission about which they each cared deeply. You can read in these pages about the variety of ways that we carried on our clinical mission during the past year and the variety of experiences that our students encountered when they made the choice to engage in the collaborative enterprise of clinical legal education. We hope you are stimulated by what you read and inspired to begin or renew your own collaboration with the Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics. If so, we would love to hear from you. n
JACOB BURNS COMMUNITY LEGAL CLINICS 2 3
Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics Law School 2000 H Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20052
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