Best Legal Eagles - 2011
UCI Law School Civil Rights Clinic
Winifred Smith Hall, W. Peltason and Campus Drive
Portola Hills, CA 92697
Earlier this year, the School of Law at UC Irvine partnered with the Elk Grove-based California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to develop a civil-rights clinic to train what Dean Erwin Chemerinsky calls "a new generation of civil-rights attorneys" to combat systemic discrimination, as well as to develop a pipeline for law students interested in future employment with the DFEH and related state agencies. "The department's partnership with UCI benefits students, businesses and consumers in the state," says Anna Caballero, secretary of California's State and Consumer Services Agency. During the academic year, UCI law students work on cases through DFEH, whose mission is to protect Californians from hate violence and unlawful discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Just this past summer, UCI law students assisted with the investigation, prosecution and settlement of class and individual civil-rights complaints prompted by the DFEH's $6 million class-action settlement against Verizon.