On June 17, about 200 Harvard Law School alumni and students gathered to mark the 30th anniversary of the Harvard Immigration & Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC).
It was a celebration of “30 Years of Social Change Lawyering,” and it brought together advocates from around the country and the world. They discussed progress and milestones in immigration lawyering, and they imagined reforms to the immigration system and ways to provide more much-needed legal representation for immigrants and refugees.
Judge John Thomas Noonan Jr. ’54, of the U.S Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, gave the keynote address at the daylong conference.
The clinic’s founder and director, Clinical Professor Deborah Anker LL.M. ’84, introduced Noonan, who spoke via Skype from California. She said that his famous decision in the asylum case of Olimpia Lazo-Majano has inspired all her work. Noonan understood long before others that gender could be a factor in asylum, she said, and that a poor woman from Guatemala who was a sex and domestic slave of an army sergeant was expressing a political opinion by her resistance. “It is a still a wonderful, alive decision,” Anker said.
Continue reading the full story here.