Thursday, June 10, 2021
Loyola Law School, Los Angeles nominated Sarah Kwon for the CLEA Outstanding Clinic award; she who participated in both the Youth Justice Education Clinic and the Collateral Consequences of Conviction Project:
Sarah enrolled in YJEC for her 2L year, throughout which she was a fierce advocate for her clients. She uncovered evidence that a school district had illegally exited a client from special education, denying him the services he needed for years. Through her perseverance, she corrected this issue and got the client back on track to graduate from high school. In addition, Sarah staunchly advocated on behalf of a young man facing transfer to adult court, to ensure his continued access to K-12 and college education despite the barriers created by Probation. With no template or informing precedent, Sarah filed YJEC’s first ever Ombudsman complaint to investigate Probation’s interference with her client’s access to school, particularly their refusal to escort students to school. She and another YJEC student filed a due process complaint against several school districts including Los Angeles County Office of Education for their failure to provide an appropriate education that addressed his disability-related needs. The complaint experimented with novel issues regarding our client’s illegal change in placement when he was placed in de facto solitary confinement at the HOPE Center for several weeks. Sarah’s research and well-written motions supported a successful extension of the statute of limitations so that our client could bring more claims in administrative court. As a result of Sarah’s staunch advocacy at mediation, our client now has access to compensatory education services and a parenting course.
Sarah was also nominated by the CCCJP, where she is enrolled for the Spring semester of her 3L year. Sarah had prior experience completing Petitions for Dismissal which is a large part of the legal reentry work that CCCJP provides. Sarah was successfully able to assist a client with a complex criminal “rap sheet” who had multiple convictions in several California counties. She is now researching Tennessee law in order to seal an arrest for a client. Sarah hopes to merge her experience in YJEC and CCCJP in order to provide post-conviction relief for cross-over youth who have aged out of the foster care system.