Meeting the Moment

UCLA Law Magazine | Fall 2020

UCLA Law Confronts COVID-19 Crisis

As COVID-19 created profound challenges across higher education when it bore down earlier this year, members of the UCLA Law community responded to the legal issues raised by the evolving health, social and economic crisis with insight and impact.

This online issue of our annual UCLA Law magazine contains a great many stories of resilience, engagement, ingenuity and accomplishment amid crisis, underscoring UCLA Law’s incredible ability to take action when challenges arise.

In April, students and professors in the Criminal Defense Clinic successfully petitioned a federal court to release an immigrant who was threatened by COVID-19 while he was detained at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino.

Members of the Prison Law and Policy Program created an expansive database tracking the impact on people who are incarcerated or work in prisons and jails nationwide. The resource has proved invaluable to practitioners, academics, journalists and others who are monitoring the risk that COVID-19 poses to people in prisons. Other faculty members crafted resources on general legal rights and food law during the pandemic. And UCLA Law’s A. Barry Cappello Program in Trial Advocacy developed and hosted national online moot court competitions with hundreds of participants.

Deeply engaged UCLA Law students also collaborated from great distances on initiatives to support each other with necessities while under stay-at-home orders, to secure more than $1.4 million in unemployment benefits for out-of-work hospitality union members, and to promote voting rights during the pandemic. Several also benefited from an emergency fund supported by generous alumni, faculty and others, to serve UCLA Law students in need.

Plus so much more. Read on, throughout this magazine, to see the many ways in which the UCLA Law community has confronted the coronavirus pandemic, risen to the challenge and truly met the moment.