Clinical Program Highlights


Dear Community,

We are so proud to share with you our annual newsletter for the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law’s Clinical Program. As one of only six HBCUs in the country, this year, we celebrate 50 years of UDC Law’s commitment to access and excellence.

Below you will read and hear about the work of our seven in-house Clinics. Some highlights include welcoming three new tenured or tenure-track faculty members this Fall, the re-launch of our Criminal Law and Tax Clinics, along with the wins and client perspectives from our Immigration and Human Rights Clinic. You’ll read about our General Practice Clinic Co-Directors being recognized with teaching and service awards and a new annual community summit organized by our Youth Justice Clinic. Our Legislation Clinic students and faculty advocated for change on the local and international stage and students in our Community Development Law Clinic saw their transactional work as transformational, human work. We are united in continuing to provide life-saving legal services to the most vulnerable members of the broader D.C. community while providing rigorous training to our students.

Through our continued partnership with the Government Accountability Project, we offer the unique Whistleblower Protection Clinic, and we launched a new partnership with Rising for Justice this year to offer a Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic. Through it all – at 50 years – we remain steadfastly committed to community and dedicated to practicing law, promoting justice and changing lives.

With pride and solidarity,

Lindsay M. Harris

Associate Dean of Clinical and Experiential Programs


Community Development Law Clinic

More than transactional law: Community Development Law Clinic students talk about impact of their work

3L Sonya Williams and Shagaf Shehadeh '22 talk about working with nonprofits while in the Community Development Law Clinic, emphasizing the real-world impact of the experience.

Criminal Law Clinic

Relaunched Criminal Law Clinic addresses injustices in criminal legal system 

UDC Law has relaunched the Criminal Law Clinic and announced Professor Ieshaah Murphy as its Director. Professor Murphy’s redesign recognizes the complexities and challenges of our criminal legal system and provides multiple entry points for students to advance justice. 

Learn more about the Criminal Law Clinic

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic wins case before even going to trial

Earlier this month, students in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic prevailed in immigration court, securing asylum protection for a Salvadoran family of six.  

Read the family's story

Clinical Community

Conversations with Clinicians showcases clinical leaders from across the country

In Spring 2022, the UDC Law Clinical Program kicked off Conversations with Clinicians, a series that brings leading experiential legal educators from across the country to the UDC Law community, focusing on topics of interest to our community.

Visit the Conversations with Clinicians page

Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic

UDC Law partners with Rising for Justice to provide Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic for students

In Fall 2022, UDC Law launched a new partnership with Rising for Justice to offer students the Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic focused on eviction defense. This semester, the eight UDC Law student attorneys participating in the Clinic have been keeping their clients housed and enforcing their tenant rights. The students cover a week in the Landlord and Tenant Branch of the courthouse where they interview and provide same-day legal advice at the courthouse and through community outreach events at affordable housing complexes. Students also represent tenants in hearings. 

Learn about the partnership

Legislation Clinic

Prof. Marcy L. Karin receives Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award to study menstrual justice at work and school in Scotland

The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have selected Professor Marcy L. Karin as the Fulbright Scotland Distinguished Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at University of Edinburgh. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Karin will work on a project titled Menstrual Justice at Work and School: Public Policy Lessons from Scotland’s Period Products Law.  

Learn more about Prof. Karin's work

General Practice Clinic

Prof. Andy Budzinski receives COVID-19 Hero Award from DC SAFE

Prof. Andy Budzinski received the COVID-19 Hero Award from DC SAFE (Survivors and Advocates for Empowerment) at their annual gala this fall at The Eleanor DC. Budzinski was nominated by DC SAFE’s Supportive Advocacy Services Director Nicole Walter for the General Practice Clinic’s work with the DC SAFE Petitioner Assistance program. 

Watch Prof. Budzinski's speech

New Clinical Faculty

Three new faculty in the UDC Law Clinical Program

The UDC Law Clinical Program welcomed two new professors, and another long-time faculty member has rejoined the clinical faculty. Ieshaah Murphy joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Law Clinic, and Sakinah Tillman takes on the Tax Clinic as Assistant Professor and Director. Professor of Law Saleema Snow is directing the Youth Justice Clinic after several years of leading the Legal Writing Program.

Meet the new clinical faculty

Youth Justice Clinic

Youth Justice Clinic hosts juvenile justice reform symposium

On Oct. 29, the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law (UDC Law) Youth Justice Clinic (YJC) and community partner National Center for Juvenile Justice Reform hosted a symposium at UDC Law to discuss changing the narrative and practices around juvenile justice. In connection with Youth Justice Action Month, Candid Conversations: Changing the Culture of Juvenile Justice featured a variety of stakeholders committed to shifting the way the system impacts youth, including public defenders, lawmakers, law enforcement, youth justice advocates, judges, progressive prosecutors and D.C. youth. 

Check out highlights

Whistleblower Protection Clinic

Gloria Cannon continues work on Deepwater Horizon aftermath in Whistleblower Protection Clinic

While in the Whistleblower Protection Clinic, Gloria Cannon '22 worked with Congress to challenge the ongoing public health and environmental disaster resulting from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Read about the case

Tax Clinic

Catching up with the UDC Law Tax Clinic

Under Professor Sakinah Tillman’s supervision, the UDC Law Tax Clinic provides certified student attorneys with hands-on experience representing low-income taxpayers in the D.C. Metro area. Clinic students assist in a wide range of matters, including claiming family-based tax credits, resolving tax return audits and addressing the denial or suspension of tax refunds. Students may also work on federal and D.C. tax policy matters as well as conduct community outreach and assist in the delivery of technical tax advice to community organizations. 

Learn more about the Tax Clinic

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

IHRC Client Yalda Royan, Afghan women's rights activist, shares her story about working with the clinic

General Practice Clinic

Prof. Tianna Gibbs wins SALT Junior Faculty Award

Associate Professor Tianna Gibbs received the 2022 Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) Junior Faculty Award in a virtual ceremony Jan. 7, 2022. The award honors a faculty member with seven or fewer years as a legal educator for their commitment to justice, equality and academic excellence in teaching, scholarship or advocacy.  

Celebrate with Prof. Gibbs

Clinical Scholarship

2021-2022 Clinical Faculty Scholarship

UDC Law’s Clinicians, all tenured or tenure-track Professors of Law, not only work daily to practice law, promote justice and change lives with our students but they also take the time to advocate for systemic change through scholarship, media appearances, training and other advocacy.

Explore our work

Whistleblower Protection Clinic

Revisiting 50 Years of UDC Law with Tom Devine '80, Director of the Whistleblower Protection Clinic

Professor Tom Devine ’80 has been part of the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law community for nearly its entire 50 years. As a first-year law school student, Prof. Devine helped to organize the clinic that eventually became today’s Whistleblower Protection Clinic.

In honor of our 50th anniversary, we spoke with Prof. Devine about his storied career and lifelong commitment to UDC Law. 

Read Prof. Devine's interview

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic obtains asylum for voting rights activist from Nigeria

Students in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) worked to obtain asylum for Chioma*, a voting rights activist from Nigeria. This case prompted the Clinic to develop a resource to assist asylees in understanding their rights. 

Read Chioma's story 

Legislation Clinic

Legislation and Civil Rights Clinic and DV LEAP urge United Nations to recognize gender-based violence in climate change policy

Sarah Buskirk '22 and DV LEAP Legal Director and Interim Executive Director Sasha Drobnick wrote a letter in March – in consultation with DV LEAP Managing Attorney Elizabeth Vogel – to United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteur Reem Alsalem urging those in power to center the experiences of domestic violence survivors in policy that addresses climate change.

Read about the letter to the U.N.

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic

Immigration and Human Rights Clinic client from East Africa granted asylum after nearly two years of working on her case 

On June 21, 2022, Imani*, an Immigration and Human Rights Clinic client from East Africa, was granted asylum after nearly two years of work with the clinic. 

Read Imani's story

General Practice Clinic

General Practice Family Defense Clinic students conduct Know Your Rights sessions

In Spring 2022, Jamal Bailey ’22 and 3L Elisa Ruano Velasquez of the General Practice Family Defense Clinic partnered with the Mayfair/Paradise Family Success Center and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (Legal Aid DC) to conduct a Know Your Rights presentation for the community based on information gathered while working with the clients.

Read about the sessions

Whistleblower Protection Clinic

UDC Law alumni featured in Netflix documentary Meltdown: Three Mile Island

Tom Devine ’80 and Billie Garde ’86 were interviewed for “Meltdown: Three Mile Island,” a Netflix documentary outlining the impact of the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania. 

Read about the documentary

Youth Justice Clinic

Youth Justice Clinic participants continue commitments to youth rights through publication and public education

In February, Tierra Copeland '22 participated in the D.C. Justice Lab’s Safety Summit 2022: Prevention over Punishment. This Black-led policy forum and safety summit called for a range of evidence-based, community-responsive policy changes that also reduce violence in the D.C. area. 

Read more

University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law Clinical Program Faculty and Staff

Community Development Law Clinic 

Jerome Hughes, Director and Assistant Professor of Law


Criminal Law Clinic  

Ieshaah Murphy, Director and Assistant Professor of Law


General Practice Clinic 

Andy Budzinski, Co-Director and Assistant Professor of Law  

Tianna Gibbs, Co-Director and Associate Professor of Law 


Housing Litigation and Advocacy Clinic 

David Yellin, Clinic Interim Director & Deputy Director of Tenant Justice Program at Rising for Justice 

Dan Clarke, Director, Tenant Justice Program  


Immigration and Human Rights Clinic 

Lindsay M. Harris, Director, Professor of Law, Associate Dean of Clinical & Experiential Programs   


Legislation/Civil Rights Clinic 

Marcy L. Karin, Director and Jack and Lovell Olender Professor of Law  


Tax Clinic 

Sakinah Tillman, Director of Tax Clinic, and Assistant Professor of Law 

Jacqueline Lainez Flanagan, Associate Professor of Law


Whistleblower Protection Clinic 

Tom Devine, Director & Legal Director of Government Accountability Project 


Youth Justice Clinic 

Saleema Snow, Director and Professor of Law 



Twinette Johnson, Acting Dean


Lindsay M. Harris, Associate Dean of Clinical & Experiential Programs, Professor of Law  

Tiffanny Smith, Managing Attorney 

Olivia Carvajal, Clinical Legal Specialist 

Brittany Harding, Clinical Program Student Worker  

Joshua Luss, Clinical Program Student Worker 


Practice Law. Promote Justice. Change Lives.