Cooley Godward Kronish Establishes Clinical Teaching Fellowship at Stanford Law School
Cooley commits $250,000 to fund teaching fellow for the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic
Jennifer H. Lee is named inaugural fellow
STANFORD, Calif., April 19, 2007 — Stanford Law School today announced that Cooley Godward Kronish LLP has committed $250,000 to support a teaching fellowship for five years for the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic (IRC), which enables law students to get practical training by representing individual immigrants and immigrants’ rights organizations. Attorney Jennifer H. Lee has been named the inaugural Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow for the 2007-2008 academic year.
The clinic, directed by Associate Professor Jayashri Srikantiah, teaches about two dozen students each year how to represent indigent individual immigrants on a variety of matters such as: seeking humanitarian relief from deportation on behalf of non-citizens with criminal convictions; obtaining asylum protection for non-citizens who flee persecution; and assisting immigrant survivors of domestic violence to gain lawful status in the United States. The IRC shares an affinity with Cooley’s pro bono practice, which includes providing counsel in immigration and human rights cases.
"Immigrants’ rights are a major civil rights issue of our time,” said IRC director Jayashri Srikantiah. “Together with the Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow Jennifer Lee, I hope to inspire and teach the next generation of compassionate and public service-minded lawyers.”
Cooley’s gift has grown out of a long-standing relationship with Stanford Law School and a shared focus with the IRC on immigrants’ human rights. Cooley has been an affiliate partner of another clinic, the Stanford Community Law Clinic, since 2003.
“We’re pleased to help support the teaching mission of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic at Stanford Law,” said Maureen Alger, Cooley’s full-time pro bono partner. “The IRC’s work dovetails with the Cooley’s ongoing commitment to pro bono work on behalf of indigent immigrants and asylum-seekers.”
Lee is joining the IRC from private practice. She has extensive experience working with immigrant survivors of domestic violence and was director of the Community Liaison Project at Sanctuary for Families’ Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review, an editor of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. Following law school, she clerked for the late Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson of the Eastern District of New York.
“I am honored and excited to be the first Cooley Godward Kronish Fellow,” Lee said. “I look forward to building upon the impressive track record of the IRC in training Stanford law students by advancing the rights of immigrants in this country.”
Cooley attorneys regularly represent indigent immigrants who have been the subject of persecution in their home country before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Cooley is co-counsel on a landmark case, Santillan, et al. v. Gonzales, et al., filed in federal district court in San Francisco, in which the court granted summary judgment in favor of a nationwide class of lawful permanent residents who had been denied documentary proof of their lawful status, or "green cards.”
In addition, Cooley recently teamed with civil rights groups, including the ACLU and the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund, to challenge a law passed by the City of Escondido, Calif. that precluded "illegal aliens" from renting or staying in rental property in that city. The team obtained an injunction and the city dropped the ban and agreed to pay fees and costs.
The IRC is currently representing clients in several immigration-related cases in state, federal, immigration, and international courts. Recent successes include: the IRC’s efforts on behalf of 24 civil rights groups in Lopez v. Gonzales before the U.S. Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled in favor of the non-citizen in that case; numerous victories in immigration court on behalf of lawful permanent residents with past criminal convictions; several cases in which the IRC worked successfully to secure legal status in the United States for clients who were immigrant survivors of domestic violence; and an asylum case in which the IRC represented a Guatemalan woman who fled severe domestic and gang-related violence.
The IRC is one of ten clinics that operate within the umbrella clinical education program, the Stanford Legal Clinic. Clinical education at Stanford Law School provides in-depth, hands-on learning opportunities that prepare students for real-world legal practice, and it helps instill in students a fundamental, lifetime commitment to public service and pro bono activities. Students in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic interview and counsel clients, investigate facts, develop case theory, interview witnesses, write declarations and briefs, and argue cases in immigration court. Students also conduct multi-disciplinary advocacy work on behalf of immigrants’ rights organizations and community organizations to protect the human rights of all immigrants.
“Clinical education is a teaching-intensive incubator for tomorrow’s public service and pro bono lawyers, as well as a training ground for all future lawyers—whatever their long-term career intentions,” said Larry Marshall, professor of law, David and Stephanie Mills Director of Clinical Education, and associate dean for Public Interest and Clinical Education. “The Cooley Fellowship will enable us to offer more students closely supervised clinical training, and the opportunity to reflect deeply on the work they do.”
About the Stanford Legal Clinic
Stanford Law School runs a variety of clinics that litigate in a number of specialized fields, including immigrants’ rights, community law, cyberlaw, environmental protection, and educational advocacy. The clinics operate cohesively as a single law firm—the Stanford Legal Clinic (SLC)—and provide pro bono representation to the public. Clinical courses are structured as supervised settings that teach students: how to work with clients and colleagues, how to address the ethical dilemmas that arise in practice, and how to apply legal concepts taught hypothetically or in the abstract in the classroom to a real world, client representation situation.
Overall, the SLC has the capacity for every student to take one clinical course at some point during their three years at Stanford Law School. The school’s long term goal is to expand the number and range of its clinical courses and develop a “clinical rotation” where students take only a clinic during a particular quarter—with no competing exams or classes. Expanding the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and other course offerings within the Stanford Legal Clinic is a central part of the comprehensive curricular innovation underway at Stanford Law School. The Stanford Legal Clinic homepage is located at: www.law.stanford.edu/program/clinics.
About Stanford Law School
Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, and write books and articles for academic audiences, as well as the popular press. Along with offering traditional law school classes, the school has embraced new subjects and new ways of teaching. The school’s home page is located at www.law.stanford.edu.
About Cooley Godward Kronish LLP
Cooley Godward Kronish’s 580 attorneys have an entrepreneurial spirit and deep, substantive experience and are committed to solving clients’ most challenging legal matters. From small companies with big ideas to international enterprises with diverse legal needs, Cooley Godward Kronish has the breadth of legal resources to enable companies of all sizes to seize opportunities in today’s global marketplace. The firm represents clients across a broad array of dynamic industry sectors, including technology, life sciences, financial services, retail and energy.
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