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Loyola Law School Opens Alarcón Advocacy Center

Loyola Law School’s Alarcón Advocacy Center opened its doors to serve the community beginning the 2011 fall semester. The center was named in honor of Judge Arthur L. Alarcón, senior circuit judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

"Judge Alarcón is such a role model in our legal community and has a 40-year commitment to the justice system," said Laurie Levenson, professor and director and founder of the center. "Plus, I personally admire him. I can’t think of anyone more committed to justice than him."

The center provides opportunities for law students to work in several post-conviction clinics, including the Project for the Innocent, which pursues claims on behalf of prisoners who believe they were wrongly convicted. The program recently secured an evidentiary hearing in the case of a man serving time for a 1994 murder conviction.

"Students are eager to do something in the real world," Levenson said. "There is nothing more satisfying than to see the jail house doors open and literally welcome a man who spent 17 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit into your arms."

The center includes the Capital Habeas Litigation Clinic, in which students pursue habeas claims with the office of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California. Students’ work includes interviewing witnesses, assisting with hearings, drafting pleadings and writing claims. The center will also offer assistance with immigration and deportation issues and civil appeals for people who can’t afford representation.

"The center represents the best of Loyola Law School, especially in its commitment to social justice," Levenson said. "The law school is well-known in the legal community as producing practical lawyers who achieve justice in a lot of areas."

Levenson anticipates the center will do work with civil rights ligation. "I hope the center will provide justice for more people who don’t have access and will continue to be a unique and rewarding experience for students," Levenson said.