The Hastings Appellate Project is a pro bono program to improve access to justice for pro se litigants. Through HAP, law students handle appeals in the Ninth Circuit, representing low-income plaintiffs in immigration and civil rights matters.
Currently in its second year, the program is a success. In its first year, the Hastings Appellate Project won its first appeal in Hernandez Velasquez v. Holder. There, Katherine Mahoney '10 and David Prager '10 represented Ms. Hernandez Velasquez in her petition for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals order denying a request to reopen her agency proceeding.
"We are extremely pleased with the result," said The Director of the Hastings Appellate Project, Archer Norris partner Gary A. Watt. "Ms. Hernandez Velasquez was treated with unlawful bureaucratic indifference, and the legal protections enforced by the published opinion will ensure that individuals will be treated with greater fairness in the future."
HAP provides access to justice for people without any other legal recourse. HAP helps educate and inspire future generations of lawyers. The victories achieved and lessons learned by law students will undoubtedly impact their individual careers and raise the standards of the legal profession.