Practitioners-in-Residence

Each semester the Center brings a prominent attorney to visit Boalt for several days to share his or her insights and expertise with members of the law school community. Recent practitioner-in-residence have included:

Spring 2008:     Time Coulter
Fall 2007:          Lisalyn Jacobs
Spring 2007:     Nina Perales
Fall 2006:          Erica Teasley Linnick
Spring 2006:     Barbara Olshansky
Fall 2005:          James Bell
Spring 2005:     Tom Saenz
Fall 2004:          Stewart Kwoh
Spring 2004:     Van Jones
Fall 2003:          Jonathan Hiatt

 

 

 Tim Coulter (Spring 2008)

Robert T. Coulter is an attorney who focuses on Indian law and international human rights. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Indian Law Resource Center in Helena, Montana and Washington, DC. The Center provides legal assistance for indigenous peoples throughout the Americas. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Coulter is a past chairperson of the American Bar Association Committee on Problems of the American Indian, Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (1982-1984) and was a Ralph E. Shikes Visiting Fellow, Harvard Law School, November 1985. He has published numerous articles and essays. He was awarded the Lawrence A.Wien Prize for Social Responsibility by Columbia Law School in 2001 and the Bicentennial Medal by Williams College in 2002. He is a longstanding member of the American Society of International Law. He was a member of the Board of Directors of River Network, a national environmental organization, from 1998-2003. In 2004, he was elected to the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

 

Lisalyn Jacobs (Fall 2007)

Lisalyn R. Jacobs joined Legal Momentum as Vice-President for Government Relations in March of 2003. She began her legal career at the National Partnership for Women and Families under the auspices of Georgetown 's Women's Law & Public Policy Fellowship. Following three years in private practice, she joined the Office of Policy Development of the U.S. Justice Department in 1995 and worked on a number of issues including implementation of the Violence Against Women Act, the welfare reform law, judicial nominations and affirmative action. She also served as Chief of Staff of the Civil Rights Division, as well as Special Counsel to the Director of the Violence Against Women Office. In May of 2000, she left DOJ and for nearly three years, Lisa was a civil and human rights consultant on issues ranging from capital punishment to affirmative action, and international human rights. She has testified before congressional committees at both the state and federal levels, and appeared widely in television and print media including CNN and the New York Times.

 

 Nina Perales (Spring 2007)

Nina Perales is the Southwest Regional Counsel for MALDEF in San Antonio , Texas . In that role, she directs MALDEF's litigation, advocacy and public education in Texas , New Mexico , Colorado , Arizona and six additional southern and western states.

Ms. Perales specializes in voting rights litigation, including redistricting and vote dilution challenges. She served as lead counsel for Latino plaintiffs in the redistricting cases in Texas in 2001 which secured a Texas House of Representatives redistricting plan containing an increase of four Latino-majority districts. Ms. Perales was lead counsel for Latino interveners in Arizona in 2003 and successfully defended the Latino-majority Congressional District 4 against an attempt to dismantle it.

On March 1, 2006, Ms. Perales successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Latino vote-dilution challenge to the 2003 Texas congressional redistricting plan. In June, 2006 the Court struck down the redistricting plan as a violation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In addition to her own cases, Ms. Perales supervises the work of five staff attorneys who conduct impact litigation and advocacy throughout the Southwest on behalf of Latinos in the areas of education, immigrant rights, employment discrimination and political access.

Prior to joining MALDEF, Ms. Perales served for five years as an Associate Counsel of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City . In that capacity, Ms. Perales litigated federal cases in the area of government benefits and served as the Coordinator of MALDEF's Latina Rights Initiative.

Ms. Perales received a Bachelor's degree from Brown University and earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1990. Ms. Perales lives in San Antonio , Texas with her husband and their three children.

 

Erica Teasley Linnick (Fall 2006)

Erica Teasley Linnick joined the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) as Western Regional Counsel in January 1999 after three years as a business litigator at Steefel Levitt & Weiss in San Francisco. During her tenure at Steefel, Erica was a member of the firm ' s hiring committee, and also served on the Board of Directors of both the Lawyers ' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the ACLU of Northern California. In 1996, she took a leave of absence from her law practice to serve as the Northern California Coordinator of the No on 209 campaign, battling the infamous statewide anti-affirmative action initiative.

 

 

Barbara Olshansky (Spring 2006)

Barbara Olshansky is Deputy Legal Director and Director Counsel of the Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Barbara joined the legal staff of the Center in September of 1995. Before coming to the Center, she was a senior attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund where her responsibilities included litigation, policy analysis, advocacy, and lobbying on toxic and solid waste issues, sustainable economic development, and environmental justice. Prior to her work at the Environmental Defense Fund, Barbara practiced union-side labor and plaintiffs' employment discrimination law at the law firm of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. Barbara received her J.D. from Stanford University, and her two undergraduate degrees, summa cum laude , from the University of Rochester.

Barbara's current docket at the Center for Constitutional Rights includes class action lawsuits concerning international human rights; immigrants' rights; race discrimination in employment, education, the environment, and public health; and prisoners' rights. Barbara recently co-authored two books: the first, entitled A Against War With Iraq," analyzes the international law ramifications of the U.S. decision to pursue unprovoked aggression; and the second, entitled A America's Disappeared, @ discusses America's "war on terror" detainees. Barbara has also written another book, A Secret Trials and Executions, @ which assesses the military commissions scheduled for Guantánamo detainees, and numerous articles and chapters in legal treatises. Among Barbara's current "war on terror"-related cases are: (i) Turkmen v. Ashcroft , a class action lawsuit challenging the United States' unlawful arrest and detention of Arab and Muslim immigrants and foreign visitors in the wake of the September 11 th attacks; (ii) In re Guantánamo Cases , the 111 habeas cases (for 500 prisoners) brought to implement the decision in Rasul v. Bush, affirming the right of the Guantánamo detainees to challenge the legality of their detention by means of the writ of habeas corpus; (iii) Arar v. Ashcroft , a lawsuit seeking to hold U.S. officials responsible for the unlawful removal of a Canadian citizen to Syria for interrogation under torture in that country; and (iv) Saleh v. Titan , a lawsuit seeking to hold CACI and Titan, two defense contractors, liable for the torture and abuse of Iraqi citizens held in detention in Iraq during the war. Barbara is also currently challenging the military commissions scheduled for a number of Guantánamo detainees on U.S. constitutional and international law grounds. Barbara's domestic civil rights docket includes race discrimination in employment class action cases, federal prisoners' rights challenges, environmental racism cases, and Native American rights cases.

James Bell (Fall 2005)

Founder and Executive Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute. James oversees all aspects of the Institute. He is a national leader in devising and implementing strategies to remedy the disproportionality of young people of color in the juvenile justice system. James leads the BI's intensive work in nine local sites to reduce the overrepresentation of youth of color in their juvenile justice systems. He also guides the BI's Community Justice Network for Youth, a national network of programs working successfully with young people of color.

In addition, James focuses on the issues that uniquely impact young people of color, such as the juvenile death penalty, mental health matters and "zero tolerance" in school discipline. Finally, James has extensive experience in the international juvenile justice arena: he assisted the African National Congress in the administration of the juvenile justice system in South Africa; worked with Palestinians and Israelis on alternatives to juvenile incarceration; trained government officials and activists on the human rights of children in Cambodia, Kenya, Brazil and France; and worked closely on restorative justice policy with officials in New Zealand and Australia.

Prior to founding the Burns Institute, James served as a Staff Attorney at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco for over 20 years, representing incarcerated youth. James is the recipient of a Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, the Livingstone Hall Award for Outstanding Juvenile Advocacy from the American Bar Association, the Clinton White Attorney of the Year Award from the Charles Houston Bar Association, the Advocate of the Year from the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, and the Moral Leadership Against Injustice Award from the Delancey Street Foundation.

 

Tom Saenz (Spring 2005)

Thomas A. Saenz is Vice President of Litigation at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national organization dedicated to securing and promoting the civil rights of Latinos in the United States. As Vice President of Litigation, Tom oversees MALDEF = s efforts nationwide to pursue civil rights litigation in the areas of education, employment, political access, immigrants = rights, and public resource equity.

Tom was born and raised in southern California. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University, and he received his law degree from Yale Law School. Tom then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Harry L. Hupp of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Tom joined MALDEF as a staff attorney in 1993; he became Los Angeles Regional Counsel in 1996, National Senior Counsel in 2000, and Vice President of Litigation in 2001. Tom has served as lead counsel in numerous civil rights cases, involving such issues as educational equity, employment discrimination, immigrants = rights, day laborer rights, and voting rights. For example, he served as MALDEF = s lead counsel in successfully challenging California = s Proposition 187 in court; as such, he presented extensive written and oral arguments on numerous occasions in three different cases involving the anti-immigrant initiative. He was also MALDEF = s lead counsel in two court challenges to Proposition 227, the English-only education initiative that voters enacted in 1998, and he successfully challenged a Los Angeles County ordinance barring day laborers from soliciting employment. Tom also served as MALDEF = s lead counsel in challenging California = s congressional redistricting in 2001.

For seven years, Tom has taught "Civil Rights Litigation" in the spring semester as an adjunct lecturer at the U.S.C. Law School. Tom also currently serves on the Los Angeles County Board of Education and on the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations.

Stewart Kwoh (Fall 2004)

Stewart Kwoh is the President and Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center  of Southern California (APALC). Under Kwoh's leadership, the APALC has become the largest and most diverse legal assistance and civil rights organization targeting Asian Pacific American in the United States. He is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), which was co-founded by APALC in 1991. AAJC is the country's first national pan Asian civil rights organization.

Stewart Kwoh earned his Bachelor of Arts at UCLA and his Juris Doctorate degree from the UCLA Law School. He was a grader for the California State Bar Exam and has been President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association. He is also an instructor at UCLA for "Asian Americans and the Law".

Having grown up in Los Angeles, Stewart Kwoh has actively pursued interests in a wide range of community issues. He is a board member of numerous community organizations. He has been a steering committee member of the Coalition for Humane Immigration Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), and President of the UCLA Asian Pacific Alumni Association. He served as an appointed board member of the city of Los Angeles Charter Reform Commission. Stewart Kwoh has been a board member of the El Pueblo Historical Monument Authority Commissioners, which governs the area known as the birthplace of Los Angeles. He was also on the executive committee of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning council, which is a coalition of 50 human service programs.

 

Van Jones (Spring 2004)

Founder and National Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a member of the Social Venture Network's Membership Committee and a 2002 recipient of the World Economic Forum's "Global Leader of Tomorrow" Award. Van graduated in 1990 from the University of Tennessee at Martin with a B.S. in journalism and political science.

After graduating from law school in 1993, he moved to San Francisco where he joined the legal staff of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights as its Thurgood Marshall Law Fellow and worked on environmental racism, employment, educational equity and homelessness issues. In January 1995 Van founded Bay Area PoliceWatch, northern California 's first and only police misconduct legal referral panel, which evolved into the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights (EBC) in 1996.

Since 1995 Van has received a number of awards and honors recognizing his contributions in the arenas of police reform and human rights. He received the Reebok International Human Rights Award in 1998 and the Rockefeller Foundation named him a Next Generation Leadership Fellow (1997-99). Columbia University 's Center for the Study of Human Rights named Van the 1998 Whitney M. Young Distinguished Lecturer. The San Francisco Bay Guardian named him a "Local Hero" in 1998. Mother Jones magazine featured him as a "Hellraiser" in fall 2000, citing his "efforts to mitigate police violence." Van was also awarded an Echoing Green Foundation fellowship (1994-1998) to support the development of EBC.

 

Jonathan Hiatt (Fall 2003)

Jonathan Hiatt is the General Counsel of the AFL-CIO. He was appointed to the position on November 1, 1995, by the Federation's elected President, John J. Sweeney.

Previously, Hiatt served for eight years as the General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union, a 1.5 million-member labor organization based in Washington, D.C., where he directed the union's legal department.

Before that, he was a partner in a union-side labor law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, Angoff, Goldman, Manning, Pyle, Wanger and Hiatt. He joined the firm in 1974, after graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law (University of California at Berkeley) and Harvard College.

Hiatt serves as the Executive Director of the AFL-CIO's Lawyers Coordinating Committee, and sits on the Board of Directors of the National Employment Law Project, the American Arbitration Association, the Appleseed Foundation, as well as on the D.C. Employment Justice Center and Peggy Browning Fund Advisory Boards.