Thursday, April 30, 2015

          Awards for 2L Immigration Law Leaders

          2L Justin Globerson accepts Squire Patton Boggs Fellowship to support work in Puerto Rico; 2L Stacy Kowalski receives AT&T Pro Bono Award
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          Growing up in Irvine, California, 2L Justin Globerson didn’t experience the hardship of immigration himself.

          But his grandmother’s work helping displaced refugees after World War II inspired him to pursue a career helping people in search of a better life. It wasn’t long before he learned he could do that through a legal career.

          After graduating college, Globerson’s journey led him to a rural town in Japan where he spent two years teaching English. “I was the only non-Japanese person and the only person that spoke English. It was the first time I felt like an outsider,” he said.

          This gave him a unique understanding of the hardships and difficulties that immigrants in the United States experience everyday. It also inspired him to commit his life’s work to immigration law.

          “I like the idea of working and helping people that have put a lot on the line to come here and pursue something big,” said Globerson.

          He says he is thrilled to receive the Squire Patton Boggs Fellowship that he will use to support his work with the Executive Office of Immigration Review in Puerto Rico this summer. At UC Hastings, Globerson is the incoming Co-Editor in Chief of the International and Comparative Law Review and an Executive Board Member of Hastings Students for Immigration Rights.

          He stressed that this fellowship is providing him with a really rare opportunity to be immersed in a Spanish community, practicing American law. “It is something I couldn’t have done without this fellowship,” said Globerson.

          2L Stacy Kowalski knew from a young age that she wanted to be proactive in helping others. The daughter of a nurse, she originally thought she would channel that drive as a physician. But after joining a medical program in college she soon realized it wasn’t for her.

          “I started to look for other ways to effectively help people change the difficult situations they found themselves in—or at least help people, help themselves, get out of those situations,” said Kowalski.

          After college, Kowalski explored a career in education, first teaching in China and later settling down in Los Angeles, working at the Department of Social Services. But it was her volunteer work with refugees in the Southern California area that led her to pursue her true passion in the legal field.

          “I loved helping people gain access to work and public benefits. But I wanted to be able to do much more than that, so I applied to law school,” said Kowalski.

          Kowalski says that although she values the classes and curriculum here at UC Hastings it is her involvement in pro bono projects and activities that motivate her most.

          “Volunteering reminds me why I came to law school, what all of this is for,” she said. At UC Hastings, Kowalski volunteers as an interpreter and translator for the Refugee & Human Rights Clinic, was selected as a delegate with the Hastings for Haiti Partnership and is a field researcher for the Partnership Initiative for Legal Assistance to Rural Communities (PILARC).

          Kowalski says she is honored to accept the AT&T Pro Bono Award to further her work in refugee and human rights law. “Refugees are one of the communities most in need of pro bono services—these people are leaving everything they know and fleeing their homes to escape persecution,” she said. Kowalski plans to continue a career in refugee law, working directly with clients as well as in policy.

          "These generous gifts support students to fulfill their dreams of becoming lawyers dedicated to increasing access to justice for all. UC Hastings is thrilled with the two students chosen as the first recipients of these awards,” said Professor and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning Nancy Stuart. 

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