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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic Receives Award from South Asian Bar Association

The South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (SABAC) presented its 2014 Community Service Award to the Yale Law School Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) on October 28 in Hartford.

Students in WIRAC represent immigrants, low-wage workers, and their organizations in labor, immigration, criminal justice, civil rights, and other matters. The clinic docket includes cases at all stages of legal proceedings in Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, U.S. District Court, the Second Circuit, and before Connecticut state agencies and courts. Its non-litigation work includes the representation of grassroots organizations, labor unions, and other groups in regulatory and legislative reform efforts, media advocacy, strategic planning, and other matters.

“Just this year, WIRAC has achieved a groundbreaking settlement with the Town of East Haven limiting police involvement in the enforcement of civil immigration detainers, and obtained a class-action victory in a case in which a federal judge ordered that Immigration & Customs Enforcement must provide bond hearings to immigrants who have been mandatorily detained for longer than six months in Massachusetts,” according to the award citation.

Professor Muneer Ahmad accepted the award on behalf of the clinic at the SABAC event. Ahmad noted that WIRAC aims to teach students the importance of representing the most marginalized members of society, and thanked SABAC for its role in promoting commitment to public interest lawyering as a norm of the profession.

The SABAC Community Service award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the protection of legal rights, advancement of oppressed communities or individuals, or otherwise engaged in significant public service efforts on behalf of those in need. The award is accompanied by a $1,000 grant.

The Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, part of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School, is overseen by Deputy Dean for Experiential Education and William O. Douglas Clinical Professor of Law Michael Wishnie, Clinical Professor of Law Muneer Ahmad, and Clinical Lecturer in Law A. Nicole Hallett.