Clinical & Experiential Program Newsletter

Fall 2015

International Human Rights Clinic Work Supports Syrian Refugees

Clinic students also document human rights violations in Los Angeles County jails

On behalf of the Syrian League for Citizenship (a Syrian-led non-governmental organization in Lebanon), students in UCLA School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic worked to provide refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria with access to reliable information about their legal rights in their host countries, the social services available to them and the status of the conflict in Syria. The students created a guide detailing information dissemination strategies that have been successful in improving access to vital information during refugee crises. The guide, which will be translated into Arabic by the Syrian League for Citizenship, will be used by refugee advocates in Lebanon to structure an effective information dissemination strategy in order to reach Syrian refugees throughout that nation.

In a domestic-focused project, clinic students also drafted a report, released in August, which documents human rights violations resulting from medical neglect of women incarcerated in the Los Angeles County jail system. On behalf of Dignity & Power Now, the students conducted research, developed an interview protocol and surveyed ex-inmates to document access to health care, including mental health care, as well as the consequences inmates faced when treatment and medicine were not made available. The report underscores that the medical neglect violates domestic civil rights law, regional human rights law and international human rights law. Assistant Professor Tendayi Achiume, who leads the clinic, supervised the students’ research and edited the report.

Criminal Defense Clinic Report Recommends Reforms to Prevent Unjust Treatment of Sidewalk Vendors

UCLA Law’s Criminal Defense Clinic, led by Professor Ingrid Eagly, issued a report in April outlining key reforms that the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office should take to reduce the over-criminalization of low-income sidewalk vendors. The report documents findings of recent  increased police harassment, arrests, onerous criminal justice debt and incarceration of vendors in Los Angeles. Specific recommendations outlined in the report include ceasing sidewalk vending prosecutions until the city has adopted new legislation to legalize and regulate vending; dismissing pending sidewalk vending prosecutions; and offering a special program to reduce the crippling criminal justice debt that low-income vendors cannot afford. The clinic’s work and the report were featured in multiple media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and KPCC-FM.

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Petition in UCLA Law Supreme Court Clinic Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted the petition for certiorari filed by Professor Stuart Banner and UCLA Law’s Supreme Court Clinic on behalf of Jorge Torres in the case Torres v. Lynch. Professor Banner and students in the clinic drafted and filed the petition in March and a reply brief in the case in May. The case addresses whether the conviction of a crime of arson under state law is an “aggravated felony” that can lead to deportation of a lawful permanent resident in the United States. Professor Banner, who leads the clinic, is working with students in preparation for the oral argument, which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2015. 

Environmental Law Clinic Students Attend UN Climate Talks

Students in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic received hands-on experience advising on climate change issues as delegates at the 20th annual Conference of Parties (COP20) to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change. The students traveled to Lima, Peru, in December with Cara Horowitz, Andrew Sabin Family Foundation co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and co-director of the clinic. In Peru, they acted as legal advisors, attending negotiation sessions and providing legal analyses and other support to clinic client Islands First, which assists small, developing island nations in international negotiations. This is the third time that UCLA Law students have participated in the UN climate talks; students attended the conferences in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009 and Durban, South Africa, in 2011. A group of students is scheduled to participate in the upcoming climate conference in Paris, France, in November and December 2015.

New Clinic Aids Homeless Veterans

With more than 6,000 estimated homeless veterans in Los Angeles County, UCLA Law recently launched a new clinic to assist these veterans in accessing their disability benefits and obtaining the financial assistance for which they qualify. Through the Veterans Benefits Legal Clinic, a collaboration between UCLA Law and the Inner City Law Center, students work one-on-one representing homeless veterans. Under the direction of Lecturer in Law Melissa Tyner, the students help their clients file disability claims—successful claims require evidence of an injury or traumatic experience sustained in service that interferes with the veteran’s ability to work—and participate in supervised on-site counseling sessions in clinics and homeless shelters.

Youth and Justice Clinic Addresses Juvenile Incarceration

Students in the year-long Youth and Justice Clinic worked on a variety of projects in 2014-15, including efforts in support of Senate Bill 124, which would place strict limits on the use of solitary confinement in juvenile justice facilities in California. In partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund, the students conducted extensive research and analysis on county, state and federal law regarding juvenile facilities and the use of isolation, examined key litigation and explored alternative policies and procedures in place of solitary confinement practices nationwide. The research findings were used to draft a policy brief in support of the bill. As part of the clinic, which is led by Lecturer in Law Jyoti Nanda, students J.W. Lafferty ’15 and Bonnie Wheeler ’16 also produced a short film, “Other People’s Children,” on the current issues surrounding juvenile prison and confinement in California.

Students Travel to Congo with Gender Violence in Eastern Congo Clinic

In March, the Gender Violence in Eastern Congo Clinic, supported by the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project, traveled to the Eastern Congo to continue the project of carrying out and assessing the impact of five forms of intervention (medical, psycho-social, economic, judicial and spiritual) in villages that have suffered mass rape attacks. Ivan Lu ’15, Dillon Hagius ’16, Kathleen Bush Joseph ’16, David Gao ’15, Malika Erickson ’15, Josefina Perez Otero ’15 (LL.M.), Professor Richard Steinberg and Jessica Peake, director of the International and Comparative Law Program, spent six days traveling to towns and remote villages in Fizi Territory, South Kivu, interviewing villagers who had benefitted from the interventions. Prior to the trip, students participating in the clinic spent time learning about the phenomenon of mass rape and its effects, and developing questionnaires and surveys designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions.

Gift Supports the First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic

UCLA School of Law received a gift of $125,000 from entrepreneur Scott Banister to support the law school’s First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic. The clinic, which was launched in fall 2013, was named the Scott & Cyan Banister First Amendment Clinic in recognition of the generous gift. Under the direction of Professor Eugene Volokh, one of the nation’s leading First Amendment scholars, the clinic provides students with real-world experience drafting and filing friend-of-the-court briefs in state and federal courts on behalf of nonprofit organizations and academic groups. The briefs cover a wide range of free speech and religious freedom questions, both under the First Amendment and related statutes. To date, the clinic has filed 20 briefs on behalf of groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the ACLU of Virginia and the Cato Institute.

Professors Schwartz and Wonsowicz Honored with UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award

Professor Joanna Schwartz and Lecturer in Law Pavel Wonsowicz were each selected as recipients of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award this year. The award represents the highest level of attainment of academic and professional excellence at UCLA and honors individuals who bring integrity and innovation to the art of teaching. Professor Schwartz teaches Civil Procedure, the Civil Rights Litigation Clinic and a variety of courses on police accountability and public interest lawyering. Recently, she was instrumental in designing a new groundbreaking first-year law course on the lawyer-client relationship. Professor Schwartz is one of the country’s leading experts on police misconduct litigation. Professor Wonsowicz’s teaching methods have been highlighted in The Chronicle of Higher Education and The Wall Street Journal. He is the director of UCLA Law’s Academic Support Program and president of the Association of Academic Support Educators. He has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools’ Academic Support Section and lectures nationally on bar exam-related topics.

Professor Ingrid Eagly’s Research Expands Understanding of Immigrant Representation

Professor Ingrid Eagly, the newly-appointed faculty director of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, has authored two groundbreaking forthcoming articles based on new data related to immigration courts and the representation of immigrants. In the first national study of access to counsel in immigration courts, “A National Study of Access to Counsel in Immigration Court,” 165 University of Pennsylvania Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), Professor Eagly and recent UCLA Law graduate Steven Shafer ’15 analyzed more than 1.2 million immigration cases decided between 2007 and 2012. They found that only 37% of all immigrants, and a mere 14% of detained immigrants, were represented by counsel. Moreover, having an attorney made a difference—for example, immigrants in detention won their cases at a rate 10.5 times greater than those who proceeded pro se. In addition, Professor Eagly’s article “Remote Adjudication in Immigration,” 109 Northwestern University Law Review (forthcoming, 2015), is the first empirical study of the use of televideo technology to adjudicate immigration court cases over a television screen, rather than in a traditional, in-person courtroom.

Professor Scott Cummings Named Inaugural Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics

Professor Scott Cummings has been named the Robert Henigson Professor of Legal Ethics in recognition of his contributions to our understanding of legal ethics and the legal profession. The endowed chair was recently established by Meyer Luskin, president and CEO of Scope Industries, in honor of his friend and attorney, Robert Henigson. Professor Cummings teaches and writes about the legal profession, public interest law and community economic development. He served as the faculty director of the law school’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. He is also co-author of the first public interest law textbook, Public Interest Lawyering: A Contemporary Perspective (with Alan Chen) (Wolters Kluwer, 2012), and co-editor of a leading legal profession casebook, Legal Ethics (with Deborah Rhode and David Luban) (6th ed. Foundation Press, 2012).

Professor Gary Blasi Receives CLAY Award

Professor Emeritus Gary Blasi has received a California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award. He was part of a team of lawyers who won the first significant reform in decades of Los Angeles County’s General Relief program, which provides assistance to more than 100,000 homeless and indigent people. The prestigious CLAY Award is given annually to lawyers whose work had a significant impact in the preceding year. Professor Blasi joined the UCLA Law faculty in 1991 with a distinguished 20-year record of public interest practice. He is one of the founding faculty members of the law school’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. He has received numerous awards for distinction in the field of public interest law and for providing legal services to the poor. In 2007, he was named one of the top 100 lawyers in California, cited as the “go-to lawyer for community groups in need of advice.”

Assistant Dean Luz Herrera Receives Hispanic National Bar Foundation Award

Luz Herrera, assistant dean for clinical education, experiential learning, and public service, received the Hispanic National Bar Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award. She was presented with the award in July in honor of her outstanding contributions to the Hispanic community. Before joining UCLA School of Law, Assistant Dean Herrera was an assistant professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a visiting clinical professor at the UC Irvine School of Law, a visiting professor at Chapman University School of Law and a senior clinical fellow at Harvard Law School. In her various academic positions, she has encouraged innovation and promoted access to justice through experiential learning. At Thomas Jefferson School of Law, she developed a transactional clinical program called the Small Business Law Center (SBLC). At UC Irvine, she supervised students in the Consumer Protection Clinic and the Community Economic Development Clinic, and she managed special projects for the California Monitor, a program of the Office of the California Attorney General providing oversight of the National Mortgage Settlement implementation.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications, Presentations and Experiential Learning Program Faculty News

At UCLA School of Law, the Experiential Learning Program faculty is comprised of profoundly engaged and productive scholars who write and work in areas linked to their clinics as well as more broadly. A selection of their recent and forthcoming work is below.


Tendayi Achiume was appointed co-chair of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) 2016 Annual Meeting Program Committee. She was a panelist on “Newish Clinicians” Navigating the (New) Normal – Experiences, Strategies, and Opportunities at the 2015 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in May. Her forthcoming article, “Syria and the Responsibility to Protect Refugees,” will be published in 100 Minnesota Law Review (2015).

Iman Anabtawi was the moderator for “Private Equity: Funds and Targets” at the Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy 2015 Private Equity Fund Conference in March.

David Babbe presented “Ethical Issues in Communications Between Defense Counsel and Insurers” at the annual Defense Research Institute insurance conference in New York in December.

Stuart Banner’s book, The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption (Oxford University Press, 2013), was cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball.

Paul Bergman published the 14th edition of The Criminal Law Handbook (with Sara Berman-Barrett, Nolo Press, 2015).

Samuel Bray's article “The System of Equitable Remedies” is forthcoming in 63 UCLA Law Review (2016).

Daniel Bussel’s article “A Third Way: Examiners As Inquisitors” is forthcoming in 90 American Bankruptcy Law Journal (2016).

Scott Cummings published “Preemptive Strike: Law in the Campaign for Clean Trucks,” 4 UC Irvine Law Review 939 (2015).

Jeffrey Dasteel published the second edition of International Commercial Arbitration for Law Students (Amazon Digital Services, 2014).

Ingrid Eagly was a panel chair on “Clinical Education at the Intersection of Immigration Law and Criminal Law” at the 2015 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in May.

Julia Forgie has joined UCLA Law as an Emmett/Frankel Fellow in Environmental Law and Policy and she will teach and supervise students in the Frank G. Wells Environmental Law Clinic in the spring of 2016.

George Georgiev’s article “Paying High for Low Performance,” (with Steven A. Bank), is forthcoming in 100 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes (2016).

Sean Hecht presented “The Law of Resilient Cities: State and Local Adaptation to Climate Change” at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. in January. He has published "Taking Background Principles Seriously in the Context of Sea-Level Rise," 39 Vermont Law Review 781 (2015).

Luz Herrera was a panelist on “Exploring New Possibilities through Technology: Preparing Students to Practice in the New Normal” at the 2015 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in May. Her book Reinventing the Practice of Law (American Bar Association, 2014) was released in December and she published “Launching the Los Angeles Incubator Consortium,” 83 University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review 861 (2015).

John Hilson published Materials for Teaching Transactional Skills (with Stephen Sepinuck, West Academic Publishing, Business Law Section of the American Bar Association, 2015).

Cara Horowitz spoke about California climate regulation at the “Navigating the American Carbon World Conference” in April.

Jill Horwitz and a group of notable economists filed an amicus brief in King v. Burwell and the brief was cited three times in the U.S. Supreme Court decision. She has published “Profits v. Purpose: Hybrid Companies and the Charitable Dollar,” (with Rachel Culley), in A Subtle Balance: Expertise, Evidence, and Democracy in Public Policy and Governance, 1970-2010 (Edward A. Parson, ed.). McGill-Queens University Press (2015).

Kristen Jackson spoke on issues related to representing children in immigration cases as part of the Practicing Law Institute and the State Bar of California conference “Representing Unaccompanied Children in California.”

Irene Joe's article "How Systematized Responses Overlook Individualized Problems in Public Defender Rationing" is forthcoming in 93 Denver University Law Review (2016).

Russell Korobkin has three articles included on the “Top 25 Most Cited Contract Law Articles Published in the Last 25 Years” listing.

Timothy Malloy’s work was extensively incorporated in the National Academy of Sciences recent report, “A Framework to Guide Selection of Chemical Alternatives.”

Lisa Mead presented “Experiential Learning For Beginners: Introducing First-Year Law Students To The Attorney-Client Relationship” at the 2015 AALS Conference on Clinical Legal Education in May.

Forrest Mosten was an organizer and speaker at “Client-Centric Legal Services: Getting from Here to There,” a conference hosted in August by the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services where he delivered a forward-looking vision for legal service delivery in 30 years. He and Elizabeth Scully have published The Complete Guide to Mediation. 2nd ed. American Bar Association (2015).

Jyoti Nanda was a lead panelist on “Is there Room for Racial Justice, Truth and Equality in the New Normal?” at the 2015 AALS Clinical Conference on Legal Education in May.

Edward Parson has published A Subtle Balance: Expertise, Evidence, and Democracy in Public Policy and Governance, 1970-2010 (Edward A. Parson, ed.). McGill-Queens University Press (2015).

Sanjukta Paul presented “Independent Contractor Workers and Antitrust Liability for Worker Collective Action: The Very Idea,” at the Labour Law Research Network Conference at the University of Amsterdam in June. Her article "The Enduring Ambiguities of Antitrust Liability for Worker Collective Action" is forthcoming in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal.

Joanna Schwartz has published “Introspection through Litigation,” 90 Notre Dame Law Review 1055 (2015).

Richard Steinberg presented “An Anthropological Footprint of Mass Rape and the Effects of Post Hoc NGO Interventions” at Stanford Law School in November.

Katherine Stone was the Albert and Heidi Praw Visiting Professor at Tel Aviv University in May and June, where she taught the course “The Globalization of Employment and Flexibilization of Work.”

Eugene Volokh and his work were recently cited in court decisions throughout the country, including by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Garcia v. Google and Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs v. Norris and by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Priests for Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Brandon Weiss was a panelist on “Development, Gentrification and Economic Disparities” at the Los Angeles Public Interest Law Journal Symposium in February. He will publish "Residual Value Capture in Subsidized Housing" in the Harvard Law and Policy Review in 2016.

Adam Winkler was cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the court’s decision in Chula Vista Citizens for Jobs v. Norris.

Noah Zatz was awarded a John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation Faculty Fellowship for his project, “Precarious Work in the Shadow of Mass Incarceration.”