Ahmed Lavalais is a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Policy Advocacy Clinic at Berkeley Law. Lavalais works on the Policy Advocacy Clinic’s national multi-year campaign to eliminate debt imposed on youth and families by the juvenile justice system.
During law school, Lavalais was a student for four semesters in the Policy Advocacy Clinic, where he worked on efforts to increase support services to commercially sexually exploited children, and on local, state, and national research and reform work related to the Clinic’s juvenile justice debt project. As a clinic student, Lavalais coauthored first of their kind reports describing the harmful, costly, and unlawful nature of administrative fees in the juvenile justice system in Alameda County, California and in delinquency systems throughout California more broadly. Lavalais also worked at the Western Center on Law & Poverty on legislation to help end the criminalization of low-income youth, and at the East Bay Community Law Center, in its Education, Defense, & Justice for Youth program, where he provided holistic representation to youth in delinquency and school expulsion proceedings, and advocated for young people with special education needs.
Lavalais graduated from U.C. Berkeley, with honors, with a B.A. in Philosophy, and earned his J.D. at Berkeley Law, where he was named a National Jurist Law Student of the Year.
Prior to law school, Lavalais worked as a television writer, with his central focus on telling stories related to youth justice and criminal justice reform.