Friday, April 03, 2015

          Scoring High With Summer Fellowships

          2Ls Carlos Jurado and Kim Crawford Head to Yale; 2L Jessica Murad receives Knox Fellowship.
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          2L Carlos Jurado

          2L Carlos Jurado says there are just a few people with JDs who are from Compton, and he intends to add to that number.

          Growing up in South Central LA the son of a hard working migrant woman and a mariachi musician, the father of two didn’t realize he was living in a community decimated by drugs and crime until he got out. Now, after a decade of successful academic achievement, Jurado understands the positive impact that excellent counsel can have on individuals in his hometown.

          His own path -- which took him from parking valet cars as an undergraduate at Long Beach Community College to working as a congressional staffer during his senior year at Berkeley -- proves that well-placed opportunities can lead to fantastic outcomes. His work in the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic has been instrumental to his passion for transactional law. He says he is thrilled to be joining the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization of Yale Law School this summer. Jurado hopes to gain experience as a transactional attorney and establish a legal center in his hometown of Compton where legal representation is scarce.​

          2L Kim Crawford was also selected in the highly competitive application process for an LSO fellowship. Crawford said that her family’s frequent moves during her childhood exposed her to a number of different communities.  Observing how some communities had deep economic disparities that were often closely tied to race, she became interested in community economic development and civil rights.  At UC Hastings, she participates in the Community Group Advocacy and Social Change Lawyering clinic where she was placed with Public Advocates and works on affordable housing and transportation justice issues. Crawford hopes to one day start her own social enterprise.

          Both Jurado and Crawford will be working with pro bono clients starting enterprises with a social mission, assisting with trasactional law and community economic development. Supervised by Law School faculty members and participating attorneys, they will be involved with a variety of services:  interviewing clients, writing briefs, preparing witnesses, trying cases, negotiating settlements, and arguing appeals in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

          “It is great to have our clinic students recognized among the country’s best up-and-coming transactional attorneys,” said Professor Alina Ball, who teaches the Social Enterprise Clinic at UC Hastings. Ball also noted that Jurado and Crawford are the first UC Hastings students to be awarded the LSO fellowship.

          2L Jessica Murad has been awarded a Knox Fellowship for summer 2015, a grant given to law students from Contra Costa County. The fellowship will cover Murad’s transportation costs for her summer position working in the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office. Over 10 weeks, the aspiring criminal prosecutor will rotate through different departments.

          Her winning essay focused on her background growing up in Danville and her career goals. As the first college graduate in her blue collar family, she has always wanted to become a criminal prosecutor. She’s directed her time at UC Hastings to that end: she’s the secretary of the trial law association, a member of the Trial Team, and she TAs legal writing and moot court. But the criminal practice clinic with Professor Kate Bloch has been singularly influential. “I’m part of the first group of 2Ls who were able to enroll in this clinic, and it’s been really great for us to argue our motions in the courtroom. Most people do not get that opportunity until 2L summer,” she said.

          Murad credits the Trial Team for her strong oral advocacy skills. “UC Hastings has helped me hone in on those skills and hopefully become a strong voice for my community,” she said.

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