Community HeLP and First Amendment clinics earn national award

Friday, April 23, 2021

The law school’s Community Health Law Partnership Clinic and First Amendment Clinic – together with four other clinics from Harvard, Columbia, Texas A&M and Boston universities – were recognized for their work representing women who allegedly endured abusive gynecological treatments and medical neglect while in the custody of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement as well as retaliation for speaking out about that and other abuse.

The Clinical Legal Education Association established the Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Case or Project to “honor and recognize a case or project that truly contributes to the public good.”

The combined group’s advocacy includes a federal class action on behalf of 14 women and others similarly situated, immigration proceedings, administrative complaints and legislative advocacy.

The clinics won stays of deportation for most of the plaintiffs, and the project’s efforts resulted in the release of nearly all 80 women in the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia as well as over 200 men.

Associate Dean for Clinical Programs and Experiential Learning Jason A. Cade and staff attorney Kristen Shepherd supervised the Community HeLP Clinic team of third-year students Raneem Ashrawi and Frederick J. King as well as second-year students Thomas A. Evans and Paige Medley.

Clinical Assistant Professor Clare R. Norins and law fellow Samantha Hamilton supervised the First Amendment Clinic team of third-year students Julia C. Griffis and Anish Patel as well as second-year student Davis M. Wright. The First Amendment Clinic is supported by the Stanton Foundation.

The award win was highlighted on the Clinical Law Prof Blog on 4/22/21.