Where Justice Hits the Road: Clinic Students In Artesia, NM

Students arrive in New Mexico to work with clients in detention in Artesia.
Students arrive in New Mexico to work with clients in detention in Artesia.

The Immigrant Justice and International Human Rights Law Clinics have sent a delegation of eight students and two faculty to New Mexico to work with detainees in the Artesia Temporary Facility for Adults with Children. This immigration detention center is a federal law enforcement training facility operated by Homeland Security that has been converted to house around 700 mothers and children.

Students on the trip include: Saba Aziz; Miatria Brown; Daniela Carrion; Nicole Diop; Andrea Gonzalez; Ashley Hoornstra; Emily McCabe; and Rachel Nadas.

Faculty leaders are Jayesh Rathod, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic, and Rick Wilson, director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic.

Stay tuned for more information when the students return next week. In the meantime we have the following field reports from the students.

From Rachel Nadas:

From Saba Aziz:

IP Clinic Announces “Pop Up Legal Clinic” for Creative Entrepreneurs Wednesday Oct. 29th

Originally posted on WCL Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic:

The Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, in collaboration with the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA) and George Washington University College of Law’s Small Business Clinic will hold a “Pop Up Legal Clinic” for creative entrepreneurs seeking legal assistance. The Clinic will provide legal consultations to individuals and businesses involved in the regions’ creative economy. Student attorneys from the WCL IP Clinic will provide assistance in copyright, patent, trademark and related fields. GW student attorneys from the Small Business Clinic will provide start-up corporate assistance in the area of small business development. Clients are asked to register at http://www.waladc.org.  All student attorneys will be supervised by AU and GW clinical faculty.

The Clinic will be held 5-7 PM on Wednesday, October 29th at the GW clinic offices at 2000 G Street NW in DC.

Another clinic is planned for the Spring.

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Report Rollout Re: Effect of Native American Mascots

Prof. Phillips

From Professor Victoria Phillips of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic:

“In my scholarship and clinic work, I have been involved for the past several years in representing Native clients in the controversy surrounding the Washington NFL team’s disparaging trademark and related issues. I have had the great privilege to work with Suzan Harjo, the national leader on this effort. Building on this work, I have co-authored a report with Erik Stegman at The Center for American Progress (CAP) titled “Missing the Point: The Real Impact of Mascots on American Indian and Alaska Native Youth.”

“The report will be released at an event at CAP on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, and it examines the research on the mental health impacts of racist team names and mascots on AIAN youth and the effects on their education, proposing new recommendations to local, state, and federal education agencies to tackle the problem. It also features personal testimonials from AIAN youth about how these racist stereotypes affect their self-esteem and create hostile learning environments. The program rolling out the report will feature keynote remarks from Rep. Betty McCollum, followed by remarks from a young American Indian high school football player, and a panel of experts and tribal leaders.  Please join us or tune in to the webcast!

Clinic publishes case studies of Native American mascot changes

Originally posted on WCL Glushko-Samuelson IP Clinic:

Today the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at American University Washington College of Law is publishing a collection of case studies showing how four universities successfully retired and replaced mascots that play on Native American stereotypes. The studies, which examine mascot changes at Dartmouth College, Stanford University, University of Oklahoma, and Syracuse University, were prepared by student attorneys in the clinic during the 2012-2013 school year. These studies, which show how communities have ultimately embraced this change, may be of help to the Washington football team as it considers its options following the cancellation of its trademark.

Read the full report (PDF) by clicking the link below:

Changing the Mascot at Dartmouth, Stanford, Oklahoma and Syracuse

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Volunteering at DC SAFE


From left, DVC students Lindy Stone and Heather Lothrop, Practitioner in Residence Natalie Nanasi, DVC students Amy Gordon and Prianka Sharma-Iacobucci.

Students in the Domestic Violence Clinic volunteered at DC Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment (SAFE) for WCL’s Day of Service on March 29th. DC SAFE “ensures the safety and self-determination for survivors of domestic violence in the Washington, DC area through emergency services, court advocacy and system reform.”

WCL’s Office of Public Interest organized the Day of Service.

Tax Clinic Students Prepare Returns for Low Income Area Residents


3L Tax Clinic Student Brendan Valentine volunteers at a VITA site

As we approach the tax filing deadline, we report that, as a pro bono project spearheaded each year by Janet R. Spragens Federal Tax Clinic students, this spring, nearly 50 WCL student volunteers  are preparing tax returns for low-income taxpayers throughout the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Maryland and Northern Virginia in conjunction with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Student volunteers complete twelve hours of training and certification before preparing taxes at their respective volunteer sites. On average, students commit to volunteering twenty hours during the spring semester. The project was coordinated this year by 3L Michelle Ramos Domingue.

“Out of the WCL pro bono programs I have participated in, VITA has been the most rewarding,” said Brendan Valentine, a third year law student and VITA volunteer. “VITA is a program that fits naturally with WCL students and our commitment to public service and it is a program I am very proud to be a part of.”

Students also volunteered in tax outreach programs with the Office of Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.