Monday, May 22, 2017

Berkeley, California, May 10, 2017 — The East Bay Community Law Center (EBCLC) is delighted to announce the selection of Seema N. Patel as EBCLC’s new Clinical Director. Seema is a 2006 Berkeley Law graduate, where she worked as an EBCLC clinic student in the Community Economic Justice Clinic. She also served as Diversity Editor for California Law Review and the Co-Editor in Chief for the Asian American Law Journal. Seema received numerous awards and fellowships during law school, including the Francine Diaz Community Service Award. She was also active in student groups and student government, including serving as the president of the South Asian Law Students’ Association. Following graduation, Seema clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis of the [then] United States District Court of Maryland (now U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit) and the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Seema returns to EBCLC after a decade as a social justice advocate and workers’ rights lawyer. Seema’s career has focused on some of the most pressing social justice issues: from organizing women slum workers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India, to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, to the U.S. Department of Labor, to serving as Deputy Director of the City and County of San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement, her most recent position. In these ten years, Seema has honed her skills as a teacher, mentor, manager, and advocate in the service of our most vulnerable communities. “EBCLC and Berkeley Law are fortunate that Seema is bringing her tremendous skills, talent and experience to support our growing community-based clinical program,” says EBCLC Executive Director Tirien Steinbach (Berkeley Law ’99).

As EBCLC’s Clinical Director, Seema will provide leadership for Berkeley Law’s largest and oldest clinical program. Founded in 1988 by Berkeley Law students, EBCLC has a multi-pronged mission of providing high quality legal free services to low-income clients, outstanding clinical legal education experiences for law students, and policy advocacy to promote greater access, opportunity, equity and justice for the clients and communities served by EBCLC. For Seema, returning to EBCLC and Berkeley Law is a fitting and exciting new chapter of her career. Seema says that her “eagerness to serve alongside the tremendous EBCLC staff and law students is deeply rooted in my personal experience as a law student in EBCLC’s Community Economic Justice clinic, which formed the bedrock of my public interest career.”

The Clinical Director position serves as a bridge between EBCLC and Berkeley Law School, and Seema will split her time between the two institutions, providing support to EBCLC’s clinical supervisors, to clinical students, and engaging with the greater Berkeley Law community. Seema will hold a lecturer appointment at Berkeley Law and co-teach the companion Community Law Seminar with EBCLC Executive Director, Tirien Steinbach.

For more information about the EBCLC Clinical Program, please contact the East Bay Community Law Center at (510) 548-4040.

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