Congratulations, Rosa Bay and Ubaldo Fernandez!Thursday, May 17, 2018
Do you know that EBCLC comprises a unique hybrid model: we are the largest legal services provider in Alameda County (population 1.64 million), and we simultaneously house the largest single social justice clinical education program at UC Berkeley School of Law. Anecdotally, at least, ours is the largest social justice clinical program of its kind in the county, preparing, educating, and training around 150 law students per year in an array of practical legal skills.
On May 10, two of our civil rights attorneys received prestigious awards from Berkeley Law’s Public Interest and Pro Bono Program for their outstanding clinical supervision! Please join us in celebrating Rosa Bay and Ubaldo Fernandez.
“My advice to all law school graduates is to draw on the strength of your community, your friends and families. Because none of us do this work alone; we all depend on each other. Do work that you find meaning in, work that you feel called to do, and work that ultimately makes our bonds as human beings stronger.” –Rosa Bay
Rosa received the Eleanor Swift Award for Public Service. Rosa founded, built, and now leads EBCLC’s Education Advocacy Clinic, which advocates for young people being pushed out of school and into the juvenile justice system. Rosa’s advocacy for her young clients is relentless, and matched only by her dedication to her students. According to her colleagues in EBCLC’s Education Defense and Justice for Youth team, “Rosa spends countless hours giving feedback, counseling and doing mock arguments with her students. And her hard work pays off- many students have gone on to have public interest careers of their own, very much influenced by Rosa’s encouragement and mentorship.”
As one of the only women of color in the country to direct an education advocacy clinic, Rosa serves as a critical role model for all of her students, especially her students of color. And rather than shy away from hard discussions about race, disability, intersectionality and privilege in education advocacy work, Rosa embraces the challenge with grace and thoughtfulness. Rosa’s clients in Berkeley and Oakland schools often refer to EBCLC as “Rosa Bay and Company” – a compliment to us all, if we ever heard one!
“When you graduate from law school, you will be handed the keys to the kingdom. Dream big. Work harder than you dream. Bring others with you. And make this the year…” -Ubaldo Fernandez
Ubaldo received the Kathi Pugh Award for Exceptional Mentorship. As a clinical supervising attorney working on housing rights issues, Ubaldo mentors students at weekly Tenants’ Rights Workshops that empower East Bay tenants to assert their rights and stay in their homes. According to his students, “Ubaldo’s dedication to social justice is an inspiration to everyone who has the opportunity to work with him.”
Laura Lane of EBCLC’s Housing Practice says, “You’d be hard-pressed to find a more courageous advocate than Ubaldo. It’s been amazing to see him take on formidable opponents- landlords, developers, and other powerful actors- and argue them down to ensure great outcomes for his clients.” Ubaldo’s dedication to training and inspiring up-and-coming community lawyers, and his fierce advocacy on behalf of low-income tenants facing displacement from their homes, is truly exemplary.
Thank you for joining us in celebrating the enormous contributions Rosa Bay and Ubaldo Fernandez continue to make to public service and legal education, and the well-deserved recognition of their leadership.