WALC Alum Natalie Adona '14 Wins Primary Race

WALC Alum Natalie Adona '14 Wins Primary Race

08 Jun, 2022

Congrats to 2014 WALC alumna, Natalie Adona, who has 14 years of experience in elections, for winning her primary for the office of Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters in Nevada County, CA, despite racist attacks (Adona is Asian American) from some opponents. The LA times wrote an interesting article about the race as a "microcosm of the conspiracy-laden and bitterly partisan politics gripping the nation, as Americans — many enraged by pandemic policies and culture-war issues like critical race theory — head to the polls in this midterm year."

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IP Clinic Students Present Tips & Tricks to Startups

IP Clinic Students Present Tips & Tricks to Startups

04 Apr, 2022

Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic Students presented a 6th annual IP Tips and Tricks program for startups on March 25th via Zoom for the AU Center for Innovation (AUCI) Incubator at American University’s Kogod School of Business. The AUCI entrepreneurs are either at the initial stages of their startup ventures or in the process of building their businesses. At the session the students conveyed some key IP “tips and tricks” for startups and entrepreneurs.

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Alumni Spotlight: Kiara Ortiz '20 and Valérie Cambronne '20 Launch LegallyBlack Website

Alumni Spotlight: Kiara Ortiz '20 and Valérie Cambronne '20 Launch LegallyBlack Website

08 Mar, 2022

In January 2020, Kiara Ortiz ‘20 and Valérie Cambronne ‘20 started an organization called LegallyBlack. LegallyBlack’s mission is to create a more informed public by empowering and educating minority communities of color on the value of intellectual property protection. Since its founding, two additional AUWCL IP Clinic students have since followed Ortiz and Cambronne into leadership positions in LegallyBlack: Raina Barbee ’21 (Associate Director) and Lashana Calloway ’22 (Community Outreach Coordinator). LegallyBlack launched its website in January 2022. You can also follow them on Instagram (@legallyblackip) to see the amazing work they’ve already done with middle school students in Miami, Florida.

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IP Clinic Successfully Prosecutes Third Patent, Advocates for Online Educators

IP Clinic Successfully Prosecutes Third Patent, Advocates for Online Educators

09 Dec, 2021

Student attorneys in the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic (IP Clinic) successfully prosecuted its third patent, United States Patent 11,173,991, issued on November 16, 2021. The patent is directed to a stabilizing device for watercraft and floating platforms. When anchored, boats and platforms tend to roll when experiencing ocean swells. The invention protected by this patent adds resistance devices that counteract the ocean swell induced movements. This is the third patent application drafted and prosecuted by the IP Clinic. Students in the IP Clinic also submitted a pleading to the Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on behalf of a coalition of educators, asking the Copyright Office to grant educators on online learning platforms the same basic rights as educators in traditional classrooms to use short video clips, arguing that access to popular media – on which the current generation of students depends – is a critical part of the educational process in and outside the classroom.

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Immigrant Justice Clinic: Bringing the AU Dream to Afghan Colleagues

Immigrant Justice Clinic: Bringing the AU Dream to Afghan Colleagues

07 Dec, 2021

The Defending the AU Dream Initiative (“AU Dream”) is a part of AUWCL's Immigrant Justice Clinic. The mission of AU Dream is to provide free immigration legal services to undocumented and noncitizen students at American University and in the Washington, DC area in order to remove a barrier to higher education. Each semester, a team of clinic students works on AU Dream projects that serve clients in the local higher education community. In September 2021, a team of four law students jumped into action to help their Afghan colleagues at American University. During their first two weeks of clinic, students interviewed clients, gathered evidence, completed immigration forms, and filed 11 humanitarian parole applications on behalf of their clients’ Afghan family members in Kabul.

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Re-Entry Clinic: Bringing Hope to Rehabilitated Offenders

Re-Entry Clinic: Bringing Hope to Rehabilitated Offenders

07 Dec, 2021

The Re-Entry Clinic (REC) represents people who were children when they were convicted and sentenced to life in adult prisons in Maryland. REC clients have been in prison for 25 to over 50 years. In spring 2021, REC once again joined those who sought legislative relief for juvenile lifers in Maryland, 87% of whom are Black. The General Assembly subsequently passed and then overrode the Governor’s veto of Juvenile Restoration Act of 2021 (the Act). Legislative relief was needed because the parole system for lifers in Maryland provides so little opportunity for relief. The Act, which took effect October 1, 2021, allows juvenile offenders who have served over 20 years in prison to seek resentencing and, hopefully, release based on the time they have served. REC student attorneys have already filed their first motion under the Act, with more to come as the academic year progresses.

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Clinic Alumni Reflect on #WeAreResilient for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Clinic Alumni Reflect on #WeAreResilient for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

07 Dec, 2021

Student attorneys in the Gender Justice Clinic (formerly Women and the Law Clinic) represent clients in a wide range of cases including family law, immigration, public benefits, domestic violence, employment, housing, education, wills/advance directives/probate, and student debt, with a focus on how clients’ gender, race, nationality, disability, and economic status affect their experiences in the legal system and within the lawyer-client relationship. GJC's cases often include elements of domestic or gender-based violence. In October, as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), several alumni of the former Women and the Law and Domestic Violence Clinics and one alumna of the International Human Rights Clinic reflected on their careers as advocates against domestic and gender-based violence using the hashtag #WeAreResilient, created for the 2021 DVAM observances by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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International Human Rights Law Clinic: Fall 2021 Updates

International Human Rights Law Clinic: Fall 2021 Updates

07 Dec, 2021

The International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) offers student attorneys the opportunity to represent non-U.S. citizens and organizations working to defend the human rights of non-U.S. citizens in a broad range of settings, including regional and international bodies, U.S. federal and state courts, and immigration court. Over the past year, IHRLC has been working on a number of diverse projects, including filing Federal Tort Claims Act lawsuits against the U.S. government on behalf of clients who were harmed by the Trump Administration's "zero tolerance" family separation policy; representing asylum seekers in immigration court; matters seeking to hold the U.S. Government accountable for solitary confinement, the death penalty, and citizenship rights before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR); and two environmental justice matters.

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Disability Rights Law Clinic: Building on 16 Years of Advocacy for People With Disabilities

Disability Rights Law Clinic: Building on 16 Years of Advocacy for People With Disabilities

06 Dec, 2021

The Disability Rights Law Clinic (DRLC) takes a variety of cases to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Like other WCL clinics, DRLC operated virtually during the 2020-2021 school year; however, that did not prevent student attorneys from achieving significant victories for their clients. Highlights include successful advocacy on behalf of three clients who had been denied the number of hours of Personal Care Aide (PCA) services they needed; winning compassionate release for an incarcerated client with disabilities; helping a client seal their criminal record; and obtaining compensatory orientation and mobility services for a student with a visual impairment who was denied those services by a local school district.

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Criminal Justice Clinic: Advocating for Clients' Freedom From Unduly Harsh Sentences

Criminal Justice Clinic: Advocating for Clients' Freedom From Unduly Harsh Sentences

06 Dec, 2021

Criminal Justice Clinic (CJC) student attorneys continue the fight to gain the release of prisoners, many of whom are elderly or ill, who are serving unjustly long sentences in the federal Bureau of Prisons and the Maryland Department of Corrections. In 2020-2021, CJC student-attorneys secured the release of eight clients, and current CJC students are continuing to seek relief for clients under the DC Compassionate Release Act and Maryland's newly-enacted Juvenile Restoration Act. CJC continues to work with many clients after they are released as they grapple with the myriad difficulties of reentering society after spending many decades locked up. Common challenges include obtaining housing, finding employment, and developing a support system. Despite these difficulties, our clients are success stories, and CJC students are proud to help them re-enter society.

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Community Economic and Equity Development Law Clinic: Empowering Community Stakeholders

Community Economic and Equity Development Law Clinic: Empowering Community Stakeholders

01 Dec, 2021

The Community Economic and Equity Development Law Clinic (CEED) is part of the development team for two transformational District of Columbia developments: the Lincoln Congregational Temple United Church of Christ and the Alexander Crummell School. Both are historic properties and the students will be exploring a variety of financing opportunities including low income housing tax credits and historic preservation tax credits. In each of these projects, students are providing key legal and strategic advice on zoning, funding, community engagement, and advocacy before decision-making bodies.

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Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic: Shifting to Meet New Demands

Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic: Shifting to Meet New Demands

23 Nov, 2021

The Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic is shifting to meet the demands of an active tax controversy practice in an altered environment. During the 2021–2022 academic year, Visiting Associate Professor Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan (UDC Law) and Practitioner- in-Residence Maria Dooner are guiding students in navigating the complex demands of United States Tax Court litigation and administrative practice before the IRS in a fast-paced, grant-funded Clinic. Despite the limitations imposed by the ongoing pandemic affecting the delivery of services and client access to representation, each student is handling between 5-6 cases involving a broad array of audits and exams, collection matters, administrative appeals, penalty abatement issues, identity theft, and U.S. Tax Court representation. Further, students are helping low-income and incarcerated taxpayers access missing stimulus payments authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Cares Act of 2020. Several students are also acting in an advisory capacity on issues related to the Advance Child Tax Credit and tax bankruptcy issues.

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Civil Advocacy Clinic: Promoting Economic Justice One Case at a Time

Civil Advocacy Clinic: Promoting Economic Justice One Case at a Time

09 Nov, 2021

The Civil Advocacy Clinic (CAC) pursues economic justice by advocating for exploited low-wage workers in D.C. and Maryland. Our student attorneys represent the essential workers whose labor has been so critically important throughout the pandemic. The typical docket includes wage and hour cases and unemployment benefits appeals; but the CAC also represents clients in cases involving debt defense, eviction defense, and public benefits. Select "Read More" to view case highlights.

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Alumna Nabila Aguele Draws Strength and Inspiration From Her Ties to AUWCL and the Clinic

IP Clinic Alumna Nabila Aguele Draws Strength and Inspiration From Her Ties to AUWCL and the Clinic

11 Oct, 2021

Nabila Aguele, a WCL IP Clinic alumna, is passionate about her Clinic experiences at WCL, both as a student and faculty member. She says, “I’ve seen firsthand what it means to go through a clinical program — the growth that happens in confidence, sense of self, and being able to empathize with one’s clients and classmates in issues around cross-cultural lawyering, gender, and other equity issues. I’m such a firm believer in the importance of Clinic that I feel it should be a mandatory component of all legal education.”

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Trapped in Diplomatic Limbo

Trapped in Diplomatic Limbo

10 Aug, 2021

As part of an upcoming feature in the Washington Post Magazine about serious worker abuses under the diplomatic domestic worker visa programs, journalist Noy Thrupkaew interviewed Germania, a client of AUWCL's Immigrant Justice Clinic (IJC), along with IJC Director Jayesh Rathod and the student attorneys representing Germania in her case. The NPR-affiliated podcast Latino USA features Germania's story and examines how these visa programs can leave diplomatic domestic workers vulnerable to labor trafficking and other abusive practices as well as the difficulties advocates face when trying to obtain relief for their clients.

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IP Clinic Fights for Fair and Equitable Access to

IP Clinic Fights for Fair and Equitable Access to "Short Clips" of Movies and TV Shows for All Educators and Instructors Using Online Learning Platforms

11 Feb, 2021

In a pleading submitted to the Copyright Office in the Eighth Triennial Proceeding of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), student attorneys of the WCL Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic asked the Copyright Office to allow innovative online educators and instructors on online learning platforms for the same basic rights as educators in traditional classrooms – to use short clips of movies and TV shows in their educational and instructional learning.

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AUWCL's Criminal Justice Clinic Calls for Safe Conditions Inside Prisons Amid Covid-19

AUWCL's Criminal Justice Clinic Calls for Safe Conditions Inside Prisons Amid Covid-19

04 Feb, 2021

In a letter dispatched February 3, 2021, a coalition of more than 15 organizations, including AUWCL’s Criminal Justice Clinic and other law school clinics, law firms, and non-profit organizations, implored Warden Jeffrey Krueger of the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners (MCFP Springfield) to improve the dire conditions at the prison.

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Professor Susan Bennett Selected as Recipient of AALS William Pincus Award, the Highest Honor in Clinical Legal Education

Professor Susan Bennett Selected as Recipient of AALS William Pincus Award, the Highest Honor in Clinical Legal Education

16 Dec, 2020

American University Washington College of Law congratulates Professor Susan Bennett, who has been selected as a co-recipient of the 2020 William Pincus Award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Clinical Legal Education.  The Pincus Award, the most prestigious honor in the field of clinical legal education, recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions as reflected in scholarship, service, program design and implementation, and other activities. 

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Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic: 30 Years, Still Strong

Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic: 30 Years, Still Strong

08 Dec, 2020

In the midst of COVID this summer, the Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic (Tax Clinic) participated with the Washington, DC IRS counsel’s office in the country’s second “virtual settlement day.” By the fall term, all have now acclimated to virtual life - clients, students, IRS, and the US Tax Court. After a slowdown in the spring, this summer and fall have brought a surprising number of new cases. Our fall students adapted quickly and have seen some fine early results.

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Disability Rights Law Clinic: Pushing for Clients' Educational Needs

Disability Rights Law Clinic: Pushing for Clients' Educational Needs

04 Dec, 2020

Students in the Disability Rights Law Clinic (DRLC) are engaging in virtual representation to address many of the unique barrie?rs faced by our clients. DRLC student attorneys are representing parents and adult children with respect to the students’ educational needs advocating in this virtual environment to push for the rights of students with disabilities, securing additional supports and services meant to compensate for lost opportunities.

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