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LL.M. Program Welcomes Inaugural Class

Thursday, September 23, 2010   (0 Comments)
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U.D.C. David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC-DCSL) is delighted to announce the launch of its new Master in Laws (LL.M.) Program to prepare attorneys to become clinical educators and leaders in the public interest bar.

In keeping with the Law School’s public interest mission and pioneer spirit, the LL.M. program offers experienced attorneys the opportunity to study clinical pedagogy and develop a project designed to effect system change. LL.M. candidates will work under the supervision of the Law School’s experienced faculty to supervise and teach J.D. students enrolled in our clinics.

The inaugural class:

Maunica Sthanki will work with the Immigration and Human Rights Legal Clinic. She will focus on systemic problems in the detention and deportation system. Maunica developed expertise in deportation defense while representing detainees at the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project. She comes to UDC-DCSL from Boston College Law School where she served as the Human Rights Fellow in the Post Deportation Human Rights Project.

Tanya Asim Cooper has been a clinical instructor in the HIV-AIDS Legal Clinic since 2008, representing parents in child abuse and neglect cases, and caregivers affected by HIV- AIDS. As an LL.M. candidate she will work to transform the District of Columbia’s child welfare system by combining effective representation of parents with organizing and empowering the parent community. She started her career at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, DC representing children and parents.

Over the past two decades, faculty and law students in the Juvenile and Special Education Clinic have pioneered the use of special education advocacy for children in the delinquency system. The systems change efforts of following two LL.M. candidates will strengthen the synergy between the Clinic’s discipline, special education, and delinquency practices:

Kaitlin Banner will join the Clinic as part of the Law School’s new Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth. She will work to challenge incorrect and excessive exclusionary discipline of children in DC public and charter schools. Kaitlin started this work in 2008 as the Fair Discipline Project at the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, as a Crowell & Moring Foundation/Equal Justice Works Fellow.

Laura Rinaldi has been a clinical instructor with Juvenile and Special Education Law Clinic since 2009. As an LL.M. candidate she will focus on providing teenagers with disabilities the appropriate educational, vocational and mental health services they need to be successful in the community. Prior to joining UDC-DCSL, Laura worked with the Children’s Law Center’s Health Access Project providing legal assistance to low-income families in special education, access to education, school discipline, public benefits, housing, health care, public benefits, health care access and family law matters.

Click here for more information about the LL.M. program.


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