Third-year UC Berkeley School of Law’s Ahmed Lavalais is a remarkable law student who came to law school specifically to do public interest work, and he’s been a tenacious advocate for juvenile defendants and the poor.
For the past two years, Lavalais has been a key player in the law school’s Policy Advocacy Clinic (PAC), leading student teams working to end regressive and discriminatory fees in the juvenile justice system. In one of PAC’s most gratifying success stories, Lavalais and his fellow students persuaded California’s Alameda County to repeal its juvenile justice fees — the first in the state to do so. The New York Times editorial board referenced the clinic study and cited Alameda County in its call for an end to such fees nationwide.
One East Bay agency said they have seen an increase in the number of calls from immigrant tenants whose landlords have threatened to report them to immigration authorities after they made complaints about their living conditions.
At the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley, staff attorney Ubaldo Fernandez said the agency has seen an uptick.