Beth Lyon, Clinical Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Experiential Education, Clinical Program Director, and Director of the Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic
In what the Economist calls “the era of predictable unpredictability,” clinic students, staff, and faculty are adjusting to postpandemic practice while standing by clients who are fighting for their fundamental rights.
This spring, the Labor Law Clinic successfully concluded a case invoking a new law protecting New Yorkers from discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, helping their transgender client litigate and settle their workplace discrimination claim. The 1L Immigration Law and Advocacy Clinic concluded the second of two long trials, helping their clients — a mother and young child — win permanent protection in the United States with a novel legal argument. After the First Amendment Clinic and co-counsel intervened in a federal court case brought by a news outlet, the Court unsealed the records of a wrongful death settlement brought by the estate of a woman who took her own life in her prison cell against a county prison and its healthcare contractor.
As we all reexamine our assumptions about stability, Gender Justice Clinic students and faculty presented a workshop explaining the legal implications of the overturn of Roe v. Wade and future paths for advocacy. We were grateful to take a step back and celebrate when the Clinical Legal Education Association honored Cornell with one of its annual awards, recognizing generations of faculty, students, and partners for litigation, research, and teaching confronting capital punishment in the United States and around the world. The Economist article referenced above pronounced that as the pandemic wanes, “everything is up for revision,” but one thing never changes: every day in the clinic our clients, partners, and students inspire us with their courage, ingenuity, and hard work.
You can read about these and many other developments in this issue of our clinical newsletter. And, as always, please do stop in and see us if you find yourself here “high above Cayuga’s waters.”