Monday, November 25, 2019

Thanksgiving in the Pepperdine|Caruso Community Justice Clinic

This morning, we celebrated our last class of the semester in the Community Justice Clinic. We ate cupcakes and reflected on the students’ work for clients. The students signed the flag that hangs in my office, joining every other student who has worked in the CJC. 

This semester, these ten brilliant students and I worked on twenty-nine matters for nineteen clients. Their matters involved clients, projects, and laws in the US and thirteen other nations on four continents.

Across our work, these students worked with clients to build sustainable and compliant nonprofits doing critical work in communities with great need; to address homelessness and housing in LA and Malibu (the defining issue of our generation in this place); to support a global network of pro bono lawyers combining their capacity for high impact work on human rights and human dignity; to promote sustainable, healthy, and necessary agriculture projects nationally and in LA neighborhoods; analyze our own nation’s human rights compliance on the border (and finding it lacking); to evaluating legal responses to human trafficking and slavery in South Asia  and many other places; to promote access to health care for women in east and west Africa; and to build organizations that increase access to education and develop leadership and power for high school kids in tough parts of LA.

These projects helped lay the foundation for future engagements to address human trafficking and slavery in the Americas, to expand health resources for women in Central America, to build supporting partnerships with Black Farmers in the Deep South.

I’m always grateful and astonished by the work our students do and the clients they serve.

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