Angie Junck, supervising attorney in the Immigrant Legal Resource Center’s San Francisco office, visited the Law School February 20 as the spring “Lives in the Law” speaker. She gave a formal address about advocating for immigrants drawing on her experience in California, entitled “Leveraging Local Policymaking to Protect Texas Immigrants,” before a large audience in the Eidman Courtroom. She also met informally with students and participated in a class of the Immigration Clinic.
Faculty and students alike appreciated Junck’s visit. “Angie’s presentation highlighted how lawyers are uniquely positioned to identify systemic injustices through client services. The legal community can then work alongside community organizers and other advocates to make change,” said Immigration Clinic professor Elissa Steglich. Third-year law student Diego Cervantes noted, “The intersection of criminal law and immigration has become particularly important in Texas in the shadow of SB4. It was great to hear from Angie Junck about different strategies being adopted and considered in response to anti-immigrant policies. I learned a lot about what I could do for the immigrant community as a lawyer, particularly beyond just direct representation.”
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center is a nonprofit with offices in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., that works with and educates “immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.” Junck manages several of ILRC’s program areas, including immigration consequences of crime, immigration enforcement, and immigrant youth. She helps coordinate two national collaboratives that address the intersection of the immigration and criminal legal systems—the Defending Immigrants Project, a collaborative devoted to protecting the rights of immigrants accused of crimes by providing advocacy and support within the criminal legal system and the Immigrant Justice Network, a collaborative to eliminate unjust immigration penalties for immigrants and end the criminalization of immigrant communities. She is a Commissioner with the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Immigration Commission and is the co-chair of the Immigration Committee of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section.
The “Lives in the Law” speaker series focuses on the work and lives of lawyers who strive to improve the lives of others through litigation, advocacy and public service, and is sponsored by the Justice Center and the Career Services Office. The UT Opportunity Forum cosponsored Junck’s talk, as did the Texas Law Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association, and the Public Interest Law Association.