Associate Professor Nira Geevargis serves as the Director of Externship Programs, where she oversees UC Hastings Law’s program for developing students’ practical legal capabilities through placements in qualifying judicial, government, or corporate counsel offices. Students work under the supervision of experienced lawyers and judges, where they have the opportunity to apply classroom teachings to the real-world practice of law. As Director of Externship Programs, Professor Geevargis provides guidance to students, teaches the course’s classroom component, and provides oversight of placements and supervising attorneys. Professor Geevargis also leads the law school’s Corporate Counsel Externship Program, an innovative program in which students work at in-house positions at for-profit and non-profit companies.
Professor Geevargis is an active member of the Bay Area Consortium on Externships, a network of local externship professors collaborating on placement oversight and student development. She regularly conducts trainings on best supervision and feedback practices for attorneys and provides support to new externship faculty. She is also the founder of CalEx, an annual conference of California law schools that serves as a foundation for exchange of ideas and pedagogy development.
Before joining UC Hastings, Professor Geevargis was an Assistant Professor and Director of Externships Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law for eight years. Earlier in her career, she was a civil rights attorney and advocate at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She litigated immigration cases and managed the General Legal Services Clinic, which provided pro bono legal representation to low-income clients through partnerships with law firms, solo practitioners, and nonprofit organizations. In 2005, Professor Geevargis was awarded the Graduate Law Fellowship at the Golden Gate University Women’s Employment Rights Clinic where she supervised law students providing representation to low-wage workers. She served on the board of the Eviction Defense Collaborative for five years. Professor Geevargis speaks Assyrian, Spanish, and Farsi.
Professor Geevargis is a first-generation college and law-school graduate. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where she was a member of the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy. She also attended the Universidad de Granada in Spain as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and the Universidad Autonóma de Mexico. Professor Geevargis lives in San Francisco in a four-generation household with her husband, three daughters, mother, and grandmother. Her passions include baking, travel, languages, and externships.