New Orleans, La. (June 24, 2016) — The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) this week has awarded Loyola New Orleans Law Clinic’s Hiroko Kusuda the 2016 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Kusuda is the director and professor of the immigration law section within Loyola College of Law’s Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice.
Under Professor Kusuda’s direction, clinic law students are trained in specific litigation skills for the representation of non-citizens before the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, federal and state courts. Law clinic students are also instructed in advocacy skills that will help them to achieve just results and bring about policy changes to the systematic problems that face immigrant communities.
“I’m very honored and humbled to receive this award. It is nice to be recognized by the national organization of more than 14,000 immigration lawyers,” said Kusuda. I am also very touched by the fact that one of my students nominated me for this award.”
The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice is a fully functioning legal clinic that gives third-year law students the opportunity to put classroom knowledge to work in representing those in need under the supervision of experienced attorneys. At the clinic, students gain practical experience in a number of fields while learning what it means to use the law to serve others. In addition to gaining practical knowledge of immigration law defense, the law clinic offers unique opportunities such as the Street Law Program, Externships, and Gillis Long Poverty Law Center.
Since 1979, the Immigration Law Section of the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice has represented non-citizens in a variety of issues before the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Courts and the Board of Immigration Appeals as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“This is essential and meaningful work. It’s also an exceptional learning experience for students,” said Mary Garvey Algero, associate dean of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. “Law students at Loyola New Orleans receive incredible professional practice well before receiving their diplomas.”
Click here to learn more about the people Kusuda and her students are currently helping.
Click here to read a Time magazine article spotlighting their work.
Established in 1997, the Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes one exceptional professor each year in the area of immigration law. The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.
Professor Kusuda is a longtime AILA member and mentor on removal defense and asylum law, co-founder of the Louisiana Immigrant Representation Working Group and a member of both the Louisiana State Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association.