UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Lauren Picciallo, a graduating 3L and student in the Penn State Law Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, has been focused on more than finals as she nears the end of her time at Penn State Law.
Picciallo recently helped organize and host a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) event for the Centre County Bar Association, held on April 27 at The Eugene W. Lederer Bar Center in Bellefonte. Titled “Executive Orders on Immigration: Where Have We Been and What Lies Ahead,” the CLE focused on the recent immigration executive orders signed by President Donald Trump, as well as the current legal challenges to them, specifically the two orders commonly referred to as the “travel ban.” The event had an interactive dialogue, and the attendees, local attorneys, brought really great questions, according to Picciallo.
“The importance of this event is keeping attorneys informed of the ways that these new policies can affect clients, their families, children, and so on,” said Picciallo. “It’s constantly evolving and critical to keep on top of it.”
Picciallo has been involved with the clinic since last spring. She was always interested in immigration law—it’s part of the reason she came to law school—and the Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic was the perfect fit. In addition to working on the CLE event, Picciallo has put together immigration toolkits, worked on other community outreach events, and helped individual clients. This year, particularly, has been an active one for the clinic, and Picciallo has gained a great deal of experience from her work in the clinic.
“I have learned so much about immigration law and law in general,” she said.
Picciallo’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. She was recently awarded the Clinical Legal Education Association’s (CLEA) 2017 Outstanding Student Award. CLEA created the award to honor one law student at each law school who has excelled in a clinical course. Criteria for selection of this award include excelling in both the field work and the seminar portion of the clinical course, as well as the nature and extent of the student’s contributions to the clinical community at the student’s law school.
“I was honored,” said Picciallo. “I have really appreciated the clinical experience. It has helped me grow as a student, and will positively affect me in my future career.”
“Since last spring and through the post-election period at which our clinic was busting at the seams, Lauren has been such a positive force to her colleagues, our clients and the community,” said Samuel Weiss Faculty Scholar, Clinical Professor of Law, and Clinic Director Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia. “I am honored she has received the CLEA student award for Penn State Law and look forward to see how she uses the law to improve the lives of immigrants and beyond.”