September 27, 2016 – Two graduates of the UCLA School of Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy have been named UCLA Gideon Fellows for 2016 in the Gideon’s Promise Law School Partnership Program.
Brittania Poon ‘16 and Hsueh Han Lu ’16 will work with underserved public defender offices in the deep South. Gideon’s Promise, named for the Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright, which established the right of indigent defendants to adequate counsel, is a non-profit organization that seeks to strengthen public defender offices and representation of indigent defendants across the country. The Law School Partnership Program provides employment and training to recent law school graduates committed to public defense.
Poon will work for the Metropolitan Public Defender in Nashville, Tenn. Before enrolling in law school, Poon taught at a public high school in an underserved community in Los Angeles. At UCLA Law, she volunteered with El Centro Legal’s Teen Court and Education Rights clinics, and served as co-chair of the Education and Law Society. She also interned with the Children’s Defense Fund-California and the San Francisco Office of the Public Defender.
Lu will work for the Orleans Public Defenders in New Orleans, La. Lu came to UCLA Law having worked as an investigator with the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights. At UCLA Law, he volunteered with the student-coordinated Reentry Clinic and the National Lawyers Guild’s Venice Beach Homeless Clinic. He spent his summers in New Orleans, working with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice and then the Orleans Public Defenders.
The David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy is one of the nation’s most innovative and successful law school public interest programs, training students to engage in sophisticated representation of traditionally underserved individuals, communities and interests.
The Law School Partnership Program is a joint effort of Gideon’s Promise, the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, participating law schools and public defender offices across the nation. This year 16 fellows from 11 U.S. law schools will provide representation to clients in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee.