UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic Celebrates 30th Anniversary
UC Davis School of Law faculty, alumni, and students gathered at King Hall on September 29 for the Immigration Law Clinic's 30th Anniversary Celebration, marking an important milestone for one of the nation's leading clinical programs. The event featured remarks from Dean Kevin R. Johnson, Immigration Law Clinic Alumni Council Board Member Clara Levers '03, and California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg '84 (pictured).
In addition to the celebration at King Hall, the anniversary was marked by the presentation of a California Legislature Members Resolution honoring the Clinic and "the vital role it has played in improving the quality of life in the local community," signed by Assembly members Luis Alejo '01, Charles Calderon '75, and Mariko Yamada, and Senators Steinberg and Lois Wolk. The anniversary also drew coverage from media including the Sacramento Bee.
Founded in 1982 under the direction of Professor Emeritus James F. Smith, the Immigration Law Clinic was one of the first of its kind in the United States. Clinic students, under the direction of staff attorneys at the top of their fields, work with actual clients on challenging cases that deal with cutting-edge legal issues, providing them with real-world experience as they perform a vital community service. Over the years, the Clinic has worked with clients from all over the world, representing more than 700 people in court and helping more than 37,000 individuals apply for U.S. citizenship, in addition to making immigration law presentations to more than 40,000.
"The clinic, through the foresight of Jim Smith, was created 30 years ago, at a time when few law schools even taught immigration law," said Dean Johnson. "But Jim had the foresight to understand that immigration law in some ways was going to be the new civil rights issue of the 21st century, and he understood that in immigration law clinics students could help real people with real problems as they learn invaluable lawyering skills, and help change their lives. Over the years, because of Jim's great work, we have been planting the seeds for generations of immigration law attorneys."
"No matter what you do in life and no matter where your path takes you, it's always vital that you never forget from where you came, and I never forget that I had my most formative experiences as a proud student of King Hall," said Senator Steinberg. "Whatever busy schedule I have, I wouldn't miss this event for anything, because this is a monumental evening. The work of the Clinic represents why I and so many others around this state and country admire King Hall and its mission of academic rigor, of being a great law school that is also committed to social justice."
The event was attended by King Hall faculty and staff including Professor Smith, Professor Emeritus Cruz Reynoso, Professor and Director of Clinical Legal Education Leticia Saucedo, Immigration Law Clinic Director Amagda Pérez '91, Immigration Law Clinic staff attorneys Holly Cooper and Raha Jorjani, Supervising Attorney for the Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic Krystal Callaway Jaime '02, and Supervising Attorney for the Civil Rights Clinic Carter "Cappy" White. Also attending were about 100 alumni, family members, and friends of the Law School, and Immigration Law Clinic Alumni Council Members including Mary Waltermire '95, Clara Levers '03, Kirsten Hill '04, Scott Mossman '03, Sarah Kate Heilbrun ‘03, Babak Sotoodeh ‘84, Christina Lee ‘03, Dan Torres ‘02, and Theo Cuison '11.