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New Faculty Member Susan Hazeldean to Create a Civil Rights Clinic

After a decade of work as an advocate for workers, immigrants, veterans, and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, Susan V. Hazeldean has joined the faculty as an Assistant Clinical Professor. Along with teaching in the clinical program, Hazeldean will create a Civil Rights Clinic for community members facing discrimination and mistreatment.

"My goal is to give students both classroom and real-world experience in working with marginalized populations," Hazeldean says. "They will learn to use their legal training to empower vulnerable communities and support them in their struggle for social justice."

As a Lecturer and Clinical Teaching Fellow at Yale Law from 2009 until 2011, Hazeldean led a Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic that represented immigrants and low-wage workers in civil rights suits to address racial profiling, police brutality, and unpaid earnings from employers who failed to pay minimum wage. In the nine years before going to Yale, she directed the Urban Justice Center's Peter Cicchino Youth Project, litigating for the rights of LGBT youth in immigration, housing, family law, public benefits, foster care, and the juvenile justice system.

In continuing that work, Hazeldean expects to open Cornell's Civil Rights Clinic at the beginning of 2012. "Students in the clinic will provide urgently needed help in a range of civil legal matters, as well as partner with community-based organizations on non-litigation projects such as legislative advocacy, reports, and training sessions."

"We are all very pleased that Susan is now part of the clinical community at Cornell," stated Professor John Blume, the newly appointed Director of Clinical, Advocacy and Skills Programs, and Director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project."She is an outstanding teacher and mentor, and her clinic will provide exciting new opportunities for students and high quality legal services to underserved local indigent populations. She will be a great asset as we move forward in revitalizing the clinical programs at the Law School."

Hazeldean's recent publications include "Confounding Identities: The Paradox of LGBT Youth Under Asylum Law" forthcoming in the UC Davis Law Review; "Years Behind: What the United States Must Learn About Immigration Law and Same-Sex Couples" in ABA Human Rights; and "Out in the Cold: The Challenges of Representing Immigrant Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth" in Bender's Immigration Review.