David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy Newsletter

Fall 2016

UCLA Students Earn Clemency Grant for Inmate

Five students in the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, along with three of their UCLA School of Law classmates, helped earn clemency for a prisoner serving a life sentence for a nonviolent crime. Under the guidance of Professor Ingrid Eagly, Epstein Program faculty director, and Professor Julie Cramer, students in the Criminal Defense Clinic worked with inmate Darnell Crookshank to draft a clemency petition and a plan for Crookshank's successful transition to life outside prison walls. The petition argued that the harsh sentencing guidelines for nonviolent offenses in place at the time of Crookshank’s conviction were an injustice. President Obama signed the clemency order in August.

Epstein Students Gain Post-Graduate Fellowships

Through an Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Andres Dae Kwon ’16 is working at the ACLU of Southern California to implement a new project advocating for innovative criminal defense legal services that will help to disrupt the links between poverty, race and prison. Jessica Hanson ‘16 received a Skadden Fellowship to work at the National Immigration Law Center and implement a project to promote and preserve access to economic, educational, and professional opportunities for those qualified for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.


Two Epstein Program graduates were named 2016 recipients of the UCLA Gideon’s Promise Fellowship, which provides employment and training opportunities to law school graduates committed to public defense in regions where the need is greatest. Brittania Poon ’16, who volunteered with El Centro Legal’s Teen Court and Education Rights clinics and served as co-chair of the Education and Law Society at UCLA Law, is working for the Metropolitan Public Defender in Nashville, Tenn. Han Lu ’16, who served as the president of the Criminal Justice Society at UCLA Law and volunteered with the student-coordinated Reentry Clinic, works for Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, La.


In October 2016, Epstein Program graduate Jaimini Parekh ’15 received a $50,000 grant from the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California Law Foundation. She will work at Communities for a Better Environment on a project designed to protect residents of South Los Angeles and Wilmington from toxic air emissions from oil drilling.


The 2015-2016 academic year saw a significant expansion in the post-graduate fellowship offerings available to UCLA Law students. With the support of University of California President Janet Napolitano (pictured above), the School of Law awarded 19 full-year UC President's Public Service Law Fellowships at a salary of $45,000 plus bar expenses. Several other fellowships are supported at the same funding level by generous alumni. Recipients, including Epstein Program graduates, are working for organizations including the National Immigration Law Center; The Bronx Defenders; the ACLU; the California Department of Justice; UNESCO in Samoa; and Bras-Ouverts in Benin.


Recent Epstein Program Student Leadership


Several students in the Epstein Program are serving in leadership positions in public interest service organizations at the law school during the 2016-17 academic year. Evan Franzel ’17 and Vivian Wong ’17 are co-presidents of the Criminal Justice Society, which hosts events such as the Incarcerated Persons Correspondence Project (co-sponsored with the Prison Law & Policy Program), in which students answer mail from inmates and help provide them with pro se materials and connections to legal resources.


Kabita Parajuli ‘17 and Chris Homandberg ’17 are co-presidents of El Centro Legal, UCLA Law’s student-coordinated network of volunteer legal aid clinics. Students help provide legal services in communities throughout Los Angeles on issues such as prisoner re-entry, worker’s rights, and homelessness prevention.


Several Epstein Program students are leaders in diversity-minded organizations whose agendas include a policy focus. Muneeba Talukder ’18 and Aisha Sleiman ’17 serve on the leadership board of the Muslim Law Students Association, while Gina Papera-Ewing ’18 and Estephanie Villalpando ’18 are on the leadership board of the Womyn of Color Collective.


Of the many student-edited journals published by UCLA Law, several that focus on issues affecting diverse or marginalized communities are led by Epstein Program students. Viviana Arcia ’18 and Natalie Petrucci ’17 are co-editors-in-chief of the Chicana/o-Latina/o Law Review; Travis Bell ’17 is the chief of staff of the Criminal Justice Law Review; and Aisha Sleiman ’17 is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law.

Speaker Series Focuses on Immigration and Criminal Defense


The Epstein Program speaker series addresses timely issues of great concern to students and faculty. The kickoff panel event in Fall 2016, “Immigration Law and Policy and the 2016 Presidential Election – Opportunities and Challenges,” featured speakers from the Epstein Program faculty as well as practitioners in the field. The series also hosted a conversation about innovative strategies for criminal defense work and criminal justice reform, “Participatory Defense: Enlisting Families and Communities to Turn 'Time Served’ into 'Time Saved,’” with Raj Jayadev, founder and director of the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project at Silicon Valley DeBug.

Gary Blasi Honored for Career in Public Interest Advocacy

Professor Emeritus Gary Blasi, one the founders of the Epstein Program, was honored with two awards for his commitment to justice in 2016. In September he received the Earl Johnson Equal Justice Award from the Western Center on Law & Poverty for his advocacy on behalf of children, homeless families and individuals. In June he received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award for his efforts on behalf of homeless veterans. In 2015, Blasi was on a team of lawyers that brought a successful class-action lawsuit charging that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs failed to serve the housing needs of homeless veterans and had for decades misused the VA facility in West Los Angeles

New Staff and Faculty


In Fall 2016, Andrea Matsuoka joined UCLA Law as a lecturer to teach the Epstein Program’s Lawyering Skills course. Matsuoka is a 2012 Order of the Coif graduate of UCLA Law, and a graduate of the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. Between undergraduate school and law school, she served as a fellow for the National Hunger Center, and then as an assistant to U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Rep. Arthur Davis (D-Ala.). Her last job before law school was as senior coordinator of policy and organizing for the Young Women’s Project, where she managed foster youth staff in campaigns to improve the D.C. foster system. Following law school, Matsuoka clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. After leaving Judge Pregerson’s chambers, she served as a staff attorney in the Sacramento and Yolo County offices of Legal Services of Northern California, where her work included handling wrongful foreclosures, pre-litigation advocacy, eviction defense, public benefits, and immigration matters.

Silvana Naguib joined UCLA in Fall 2016 as the inaugural UCLA Public Interest Fellow, a two-year position dedicated to expanding the public service career counseling offered by the Office of Public Interest Programs. She is also teaching the 1L Workshop, which introduces students enrolled in the Epstein Program to public interest practice. Naguib is a 2007 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law. After graduating, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works (EJW) Fellowship to advocate for individuals with mental illness in Illinois prisons. After completing her EJW fellowship, she worked at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, specializing in issues facing clients at the intersection of the mental health and criminal justice systems.

Faculty News

Epstein Program faculty regularly publish, speak at public and academic conferences, appear in the media, and engage in significant public service initiatives. Recent faculty endeavors and awards include:

Tendayi Achiume received the 2016-17 Hellman Fellowship Award, which goes to promising assistant professors at the University of California. She served as an invited speaker, panelist and presenter at numerous events, including the 2016 Meeting of the American Society of International Law; the Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop’s African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa; and the United Nations Closed Expert Meeting on Xenophobia in Johannesburg, South Africa.


“Syria, Cost-Sharing and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees,” 100 Minnesota Law Review 687 (2015).

“The African Union Migration and Regional Integration Framework,” with Loren B. Landau, ACCORD Policy and Practice Brief 36 (2016).

“Focus on Europe Neglects the Syrian Refugee Crisis,” Jurist (November 2015).


Asli Bâli was named director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. She offered numerous presentations at university symposia, conferences and other settings on topics including the Iran nuclear deal, countering violent extremism, human rights and revolution in Turkey, the Syrian refugee crisis, the Arab Uprising and more.


“Shifting into Reverse: Turkish Constitutionalism Under the AKP,” Theory & Event, Vol. 19, Issue 1 (January 2016).

“Turkish Constitutionalism and Models for Arab Reforms,” Constitutionalism, Human Rights and Islam after the Arab Spring, Rainer Grote & Tilmann Roeder, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2016).

“The Wrong Kind of Intervention in Syria,” (with Aziz Rana) Land of Blue Helmets: The United Nations and the Arab World, Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad, eds. (University of California Press, 2016).


Scott Cummings’s recent teaching and scholarship focus on the role of lawyers in social movements. In 2015 his Community Economic Development Clinic represented the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and Jobs to Move America in efforts to improve conditions for workers in Southern California; and was co-counsel in litigation seeking to ensure that the L.A. River Revitalization Project provides strong benefits to residents of adjacent low-income communities. He is co-organizer (with Professor Doug NeJaime) of the 2017 UCLA Law Review Symposium, “Lawyers and Social Movements: Reimagining Theory and Practice.”


Los Angeles—Blue and Green: The Drive for Justice at America’s Port (MIT Press, forthcoming)


Sharon Dolovich served as host, presenter and panelist at an October 2016 seminar at Bail System Reform in an event co-sponsored by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). She coordinated a Prisoners’ Advocates Conference at UCLA School of Law in September 2016, and presented “Canons of Evasion in Constitutional Criminal Law” at the Stanford Criminal Justice Roundtable in April 2016.


Co-editor, The New Criminal Justice Thinking, with Alexandra Natapoff (NYU Press, forthcoming 2017)


Ingrid Eagly, Epstein Program faculty director, served as a presenter, panelist and moderator on the topic of immigration law and criminal justice, access to counsel, family detentions and other topics at numerous workshops, conferences and symposia.


“Immigrant Protective Policies in Criminal Justice,” Texas Law Review (forthcoming 2016).

“Immigration Enforcement in an Era of Criminal Justice Reform,” New Criminal Law Review (forthcoming 2016).


Cara Horowitz was named to the executive committee of the California State Bar’s Environmental Law Section. She testified before both the California Select Senate Committee on Climate Change and the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality. With several colleagues, she filed an amici curiae brief in State of West Virginia v. U.S. EPA in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing fossil-fuel-fired power plants.


“Bending the Curve,” (with other University of California climate experts), a report on solutions to stabilize the climate within the century (2016).


Hiroshi Motomura received the National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles Chapter Award, was named the Higgins Distinguished Visitor at Lewis & Clark Law School, and was appointed vice chair of the National Immigration Law Center board of directors. His numerous speaking engagements include talks based on the landmark 1965 Immigration Act and presentations based on his 2014 book, Immigration Outside the Law (Oxford University Press).


Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy, with T. Alexander Aleinikoff, David A. Martin, Maryellen Fullerton, & Juliet Stumpf, West ( 8th ed., 2016)

“The President’s Dilemma: Executive Authority, Enforcement, and the Rule of Law in Immigration Law,” 55 Washburn Law Journal 1-30 (2015), reprinted in 21 Bender’s Immigration Bulletin (April 15, 2016).


Jyoti Nanda was named a Binder Clinical Teaching Fellow in 2016. Her speaking engagements included presentations of “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color: A Research Agenda for the Next Decade” before the White House Council on Women & Girls and the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University. She served as an invited panelist at several events, including a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on juvenile indigent defense.


Joanna Schwartz was a recipient of the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2015. She also joined UCLA Law Professor Emeritus Stephen Yeazell as co-author of the leading civil procedure casebook in the country. Schwartz served as an invited speaker on “The Impact of Civil Suits on Police Accountability” at the American Association of Justice Annual Convention in July 2016 and offered invited papers at several conferences and symposia.


Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; With Selected Statutes and Cases (with Stephen Yeazell). Kluwer/Aspen Law & Business (2016).

“How Governments Pay: Lawsuits, Budgets, and Police Reform,” 63 UCLA Law Review 1144 (2016).

“The Cost of Suing Business,” Annual Clifford Symposium on Tort Law and Social Policy, 65 DePaul Law Review (forthcoming 2016).


Noah Zatz addressed the California Fair Employment & Housing Council about using disparate impact liability to combat employers’ exclusion of people with prior convictions. The council subsequently proposed new regulations in this area. He received a prestigious Open Society Fellowship to advance his “Get To Work or Go To Jail” project on the impact of incarceration on job opportunities and to build on collaborations with Epstein alums at the UCLA Labor Center and A New Way of Life Reentry Project.


“Does Work Law Have a Future If the Labor Market Does Not?” 91 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1081 (2016). [37th Annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture]

"What's Wrong With ’Work or Jail," L.A. Times (April 8, 2016)

“Ban the Box and Perverse Consequences,” On Labor (Aug. 2016)

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