A Warm Welcome to Maggie Morgan

Maggie Morgan, Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching & Advocacy Fellow, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program

Via Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program

Maggie Morgan is the new Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching & Advocacy Fellow at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program. She is an alumna of both the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC) and Harvard Law School. Maggie worked most recently as a Clinical Fellow in the Health Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School. As a fellow, she worked on national and state-based health law and policy initiatives to increase access to healthcare for low-income citizens. She also developed several projects focused on improving access to health care for immigrants in the US.  Before that, Maggie clerked for the Honorable Nanette K. Laughrey of the Western District of Missouri.

During law school, Maggie was a clinical student in both the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic and the Human Rights Clinic. She has interned at several international organizations including Asylum Access in Tanzania and the Supreme Court of Rwanda. Before law school, she earned an M.A. in International Relations at the University of Chicago, taught in Spain and Korea, and conducted research on the plight of migrant laborers in Jalisco, Mexico. She earned her A.B. from Harvard College, specializing in Government. Maggie loved her time as a student in HIRC and is thrilled to be back:

“I was really glad I did the immigration clinic. It really taught me a lot about how to be an attorney, particularly in terms of working with clients. There is such a breadth in the type of work that you do in the clinic, from honing your interviewing skills to writing legal briefs and memos, to arguing in front of a judge, so that was really helpful for me… I’m really happy to be at the clinic. It’s a really hospitable environment and everyone is so passionate about what they do.”

Welcome, Maggie!

Congratulations to our Colleague Christopher Bavitz on his CCTV’s Leading Role Award

Christopher Bavitz, Clinical Professor of Law and Managing Director, Cyberlaw Clinic

Christopher Bavitz, Clinical Professor of Law and Managing Director, Cyberlaw Clinic

Via Cambridge Community Television (CCTV) 

Christopher Bavitz, Managing Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will receive CCTV’s Leading Role Award at the Back Lot BBQ on Thursday, September 18. The award honors people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make our community a better place. Through his work at the Berkman Center and beyond, Chris focuses on media law, copyright, and speech, ensuring that the rights of CCTV’s many constituencies are protected.

Chris, and Cambridge residents and news commentators Jim Braude and Callie Crossley, will be inducted onto CCTV’s Honorary Board. Jim is host of Broadside: The News with with Jim Braude on NECN and co-hosts Boston Public Radio on WGBH with Marjery Eagan. Callie hosts Under the Radar with Callie Crossley, also on WGBH.

CCTV is excited and honored to be joined by such accomplished professionals, who will help guide us into the future. Share in the celebration at the Back Lot BBQ! Buy tickets here.

Ninth Circuit judge recounts landmark case at HIRC 30th anniversary

Credit: Martha Stewart Deborah Anker LL.M. ’84, founder and director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program

Credit: Martha Stewart
Deborah Anker LL.M. ’84, founder and director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program

Via HLS News

On June 17, about 200 Harvard Law School alumni and students gathered to mark the 30th anniversary of the Harvard Immigration & Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC).

It was a celebration of “30 Years of Social Change Lawyering,” and it brought together advocates from around the country and the world. They discussed progress and milestones in immigration lawyering, and they imagined reforms to the immigration system and ways to provide more much-needed legal representation for immigrants and refugees.

Judge John Thomas Noonan Jr. ’54, of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, gave the keynote address at the daylong conference.

The clinic’s founder and director, Clinical Professor Deborah Anker LL.M. ’84, introduced Noonan, who spoke via Skype from California. She said that his famous decision in the asylum case of Olimpia Lazo-Majano has inspired all her work. Noonan understood long before others that gender could be a factor in asylum, she said, and that a poor woman from Guatemala who was a sex and domestic slave of an army sergeant was expressing a political opinion by her resistance. “It is a still a wonderful, alive decision,” Anker said.

Continue reading the full story here.

Food Law and Policy Clinic Publishes Guide to Urban Agriculture in Boston

CaptureVia the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation 

The Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) is excited to announce the publication of its guide, Urban Agriculture in Boston: Permits and Approvals Needed to Start Your Less than One Acre Ground-Level Farm. The guide to establishing ground-level farms smaller than one acre is the first in a series of guides that spell out the processes urban farmers in Boston will need to go through in order to start their operations in the City.

In December 2013, the City of Boston approved Article 89 of the City’s zoning code. Zoning laws dictate what activities can happen in specified parts of a community (for example, generally commercial activities cannot happen in residential zones). Prior to Article 89, Boston’s zoning laws did not mention commercial urban agriculture, which meant that those activities were forbidden. Under Article 89, urban agriculture is now an expressly allowed activity within city limits. However, even with the new zoning law, there are other steps urban farmers must take before they can start farming. The FLPC worked with the City of Boston’s Office of Food Initiatives to create this guide to help farmers navigate those other requirements, such as design review and approval, building and use of premise permits, soil safety permits, and water requirements.

The guide is a working document and will be updated over the coming months. For any questions or comments, please contact Alli Condra, Senior Clinical Fellow, in the FLPC.

Alumni Interview with Fatma Marouf

Fatma Marouf, HLS J.D. '02

Fatma Marouf, HLS J.D. ’02

Via the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic

Fatma Marouf received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2002. She now teaches immigration law and international human rights law at the William S. Boyd School of Law and is Co-Director of the school’s Immigration Clinic. Marouf attended Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program’s 30th Anniversary Conference in June, and is one of the alumni we interviewed.

Why did you choose to study law and what initially brought you to the clinic?

I chose to study law because of my interest in human rights. I read Debbie Anker’s work on asylum law even before starting law school and was excited by the opportunity to work with her. I couldn’t wait to enroll in the clinic and turned down an offer to join the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau my 2L year because I was determined to do the Immigration and Refugee Clinic. I loved asylum law right away. There was something profound about helping people construct a meaningful narrative out of the painful fragments of their lives.

Can you share a few memories from your time with the clinic?

I still have vivid memories of some of the clients I worked with in clinic. I’ll never forget one client from Sierra Leone who was trying to bring his children to the U.S. through humanitarian parole. We needed to submit passport-size photographs with the application and the ones that he brought to the clinic were full-size. When I started cutting them down, there were pieces of photos with body parts on them scattered all over the table. All I could think of was the horror that his family had experienced in Sierra Leone, when rebel forces began hacking off arms and legs with axes and machetes, and how this pile of scraps seemed to reflect that nightmare.

What do you think the biggest learning experiences were?

What I learned from clinic was to give 110% to my clients. I learned how much effort is involved in preparing an asylum case properly and how to work with people who have experienced unspeakable trauma. Debbie was an incredible mentor. Her passion for the work is what inspired passion in so many students. She taught us how to push the law forward, rather than just accept conventional thinking about the limits of the refugee definition. She also shaped my ideas about viewing asylum law through the lens of international human rights law.

What do you miss?

I miss my friends who were in clinic with me and are still some of my closest friends today. We still see each other but it’s harder now to be together in the same place at the same time. It was wonderful to see some of them at the 30th Anniversary of HIRC. They taught me the joy of working with people I love and the importance of having a sense of humor when doing difficult work.

Did your time at the clinic influence or change your long-term goals?

The clinic was critical to my professional development. My experiences representing low-income individuals in clinic helped me decide to join California Rural Legal Assistance after graduating. I then decided to practice immigration law in Los Angeles and focused on removal defense. Clinic was also a catalyst for my decision to become a law professor. Debbie was a great role model and has been very supportive of my academic career. I joined UNLV in 2010 as an Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration Clinic. The clinic provides representation in removal proceedings, works with survivors of human trafficking, published a report on detention conditions, and has an innovative project with the public defenders’ office that involves providing immigration advice at the front-end of criminal proceedings, before someone is convicted.

In addition, my scholarship is about immigration and asylum law. I have written about gender-related asylum claims, the evolving definition of a “particular social group,” the role of foreign authorities in U.S. asylum law, and the treatment of mentally incompetent individuals in removal proceedings. I am also involved in empirical research with Professors Michael Kagan and Rebecca Gill at UNLV about immigration appeals in the federal appellate courts. A study that we recently published on stays of removal found that the appellate courts deny stays in about half of the cases where the appeals are ultimately granted, leaving many noncitizens vulnerable to errant deportations. We are currently examining gender interactions in immigration appeals, looking at the genders of the petitioner, the attorneys, and the judges and how they may impact the outcome of the cases.

What do you anticipate in the coming years?

Immigration law is always evolving, which makes it fun to litigate in this area but hard to predict the future. I suspect that we will see some major changes in the next decade. I’m excited to help build a cadre of lawyers who will fight for justice for those fleeing from persecution and torture and who will think creatively about how to design an immigration system that respects human dignity.

CHLPI presents at Diabetes State Briefing in the Massachusetts State House

Sarah Downer, Clinical Instructor on Law, speaks about diabetes policy to Massachusetts senators, representatives, and legislative aids

Sarah Downer, Clinical Instructor on Law, speaks about diabetes policy to Massachusetts senators, representatives, and legislative aids

Via the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation 

The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation’s work on PATHS – a project targeting diabetes-specific health advocacy – has caught the attention of Massachusetts’s legislators.

Bringing a broad policy focus to the Together on Diabetes initiative funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, PATHS collaborates with health care providers, legislators, and other stakeholders to provide policy guidance and technical support for legislative implementation. Its most recent publication is an exhaustive 150-page state report that provides evidence-based policy recommendations for North Carolina.

Last Wednesday, clinical instructor and one of the authors of the report, Sarah Downer, presented at the Diabetes State Briefing held at the State House. The three-hour event was one of several educational conferences hosted by Women in Government (WIG), a national, non-profit organization of women state legislators that provides networking and leadership opportunities for members to address public policy concerns. WIG handles a spectrum of policy issues including (but not limited to) economic development, education, energy and environment, and health.

Continue reading the full story here.