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Clinical Programs and Events

Summer 2020 Grand Rounds

To meet client and community needs for legal assistance as well as student needs for legal work, four clinics operated summer clerkships. This past week, the professors from the Restoration and Justice Clinic, Legal Aid Clinic, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, and the Community Justice Clinic hosted the first-ever Grand Rounds on Zoom for summer clerks. Students in attendance included Jiaying Li, Chris Kim, Jeff Gallimore, Ofir Hadari, Andrew McEwan, Sarah Goulden, Ashley Amell, Joseph Ramli, Wenzhe Zang, Gabriella Castro, Jaimie Harraka, Renee Tiet, and Tim LeDuc.

The Clinical Program provided lunch, and the summer clerks presented the legal matters for actual clients that they have been working on this summer, including expungements, Offer and Compromise in tax controversies, domestic violence, human trafficking, land leases, and family law. Summer clerks also reflected on working with clients, what they've learned, and how much they were able to accomplish this summer.

Remote Expungement Legal Clinic with the OneJustice (Virtual) Justice Bus Program

The Pro Bono Program partnered with OneJustice, California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) Inc. and Ventura County Public Defender's office to provide a free expungement legal clinic. 10 Caruso Law students worked remotely with CRLA and Ventura County Public Defender's Office to assist 8 individuals with completing 52 petitions for expungement.

"The attorneys and students were very knowledgeable, extremely helpful, and walked me through everything for my expungement process step-by-step. Overall an excellent experience."

"She was great and she explained everything to me. I'm happy it was so convenient and easy. I am so thankful for the help I received and very satisfied. Thanks for everything."

LAFLA Helps Reunite Adelanto Detainee with His Family

As part of a partnership between the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), three School of Law students worked on this immigration case under the supervision Senior Attorney of Brigit G. Alvarez:

From LAFLA Monthly News: September 2020

Juan Carlos, who has been a lawful permanent resident for more than 30 years, was in detention at Adelanto for three years after an arrest. At the start of the pandemic, LAFLA submitted a bond motion on Juan Carlos' behalf, and two subsequent requests for humanitarian parole due to COVID-19: Each request was denied. ICE at one point placed Juan Carlos on a bus bound for Mexico – and LAFLA immediately filed a petition for review which required ICE to bring Juan Carlos back to Adelanto. LAFLA and the Federal Public Defender's office then prepared a bail motion, and coordinated a release plan with Juan Carlos' family.

On Sept. 14, Judge Terry Hatter granted bail to Juan Carlos – and he was released two days later. He is now quarantining with his family, and cautiously optimistic about the outcome of his petition for review. He hopes to remain in the U.S. with his eight siblings, all of whom are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, and his two U.S. citizen daughters.

Disaster Recovery Clinic

Although the Pepperdine Disaster Recovery Clinic (DRC) did not operate as a clinic course this semester, Prof. Sophia Hamilton and Prof. David DeJute continue to work with remaining grant funding to extend its services to clients in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains still recovering from the 2018 Woolsey Fire.

The DRC hired two students for the Fall 2020 semester who have been working remotely to serve Southern California community members as they recover from the 2018 Woolsey Fire and other recent disasters. The clinic has accepted new clients, and it has had former clients return with new legal setbacks on their roads to recovery. The clinic's professors and students continue to walk beside each of these clients as they continue rebuilding their lives post-disaster.

In addition to representing individual clients, the DRC has partnered with the Malibu Foundation and Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA) to present a Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities Webinar. It has also partnered with NLSLA to provide simple estate planning and attestation services to those affected by a local disaster. Additionally, the DRC continues to partner with the LA Woolsey Fire Long Term Recovery Group as it identifies individuals with legal needs and refers these individuals to our clinic. This work affords students the opportunity to build legal skills while also responding to the pressing needs of those around us who have been impacted by a disaster.

Professors Sophia Hamilton and David DeJute direct the Disaster Recovery Clinic and supervise students' work.