Andrea Ramos to Direct New Legal Clinic
Dean Bryant Garth announced the appointment of Andrea Ramos, a prominent children's rights and immigration rights lawyer, as Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the new Immigration Law Clinic commencing in July 2008.
Professor Ramos brings many years of experience as a public interest attorney and law professor to Southwestern. For the past decade, she has served on the staff of Public Counsel, originally leading the School-Based Legal Assistance Program. During the past three years, she has directed the organization's largest program, the Children's Rights Project, which involves more than 700 volunteers assisting over 6,000 children and youth annually. As Directing Attorney, Professor Ramos represents children in Special Immigrant Juvenile cases, Violence Against Women Act and U-Visa cases, and provides training and workshops to lawyers and social service providers. The Project facilitates adoptions of foster children, securing legal guardianships, a Guardian Ad Litem program for children under the jurisdiction of the Dependency Court, special education assistance, and programs for pregnant and parenting teens, among other work. Since 2004, Professor Ramos has also served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Southern California Law Center as a co-teacher of the Children and the Law course.
Dean Garth said, "We are very fortunate to have found and attracted to Southwestern such an outstanding lawyer, experienced clinical instructor, and pillar of the L.A. public interest community to direct our new clinic."
Professor Ramos earned her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in Sociology in 1988 at Arizona State University and completed her law degree in 1992 at the University of Southern California where she served on the Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies. She began her career with the law firm of Tuttle & Taylor as a litigation associate and Public Counsel volunteer.
Active in professional and civic organizations, Professor Ramos has served on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs and the ABA School-Based Legal Clinics Advisory Group. She was recognized for her legal work benefiting the Los Angeles community by the USC La Raza Law Students Association, which presented her with the Inspirational Alumnus Award in 2007.
Professor Ramos said, "I'm honored to launch Southwestern's Immigration Clinic and to continue serving our community. The Clinic will provide students with a wonderful opportunity to learn lawyering skills and at the same time provide high quality legal assistance to some of our most vulnerable children. The Clinic will focus on providing immigration relief to children and caretakers who have been abused, abandoned or neglected or who have been victims of crime. Students will learn to navigate complicated bureaucracies and to support clients who are often confused and intimidated by the immigration process. By offering both an Immigration Clinic and Children's Rights Clinic, Southwestern is providing a substantial and much needed service to the Los Angeles community."
Southwestern's new Immigration Law Clinic will be in full operation during the 2008-09 academic year, and along with the Children's Rights Clinic that opened this spring, will enable the law school to offer valuable services to the community while giving students hands-on experience helping indigent and otherwise underrepresented clients.