February 20, 2019
Victory in the Children’s Rights Clinic
Congratulations to our Children’s Rights Clinic students, Arpineh Oganesyan (3L) and James Statton (2L), on bringing home a victory and receiving a favorable ruling for their teenage client.
Their client, a graduating high school senior, was denied his right to participate in his school’s varsity sports programs through the end of his high school career. Arpineh and James appealed the denial twice, returning with a remarkable appeal brief after the hearing officer ruled against their client in their first round of arguments.
Professor Rodriguez-Fee '08, the supervisor for the Children’s Rights Clinic, commented, “They drafted a prize-worthy appeal brief in a matter of days. Literally, I wish I could give them a prize for their brief – their LAWS professors should be so proud!”
Their determination and commitment to their client and their thorough, well-written appeal brief successfully granted their client his request to participate in both varsity football and basketball in his last year of high school. This is an especially meaningful victory because their client, a 5th-year high school senior with special education needs, had been homeless for over three years and had struggled to transition into a general education environment. Their client worked diligently to overcome these obstacles and thrive, growing into a talented athlete who, according to his coach, has a real chance of earning a sports scholarship to a 4-year university. This victory meant that he could continue participating in athletic programs and keep that dream alive.
As his basketball coach told Professor Rodriguez-Fee: “the [law] students just did such a good thing for such a good kid.”
“Working on this case—and working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic, in general—has been an incredibly humbling experience. We are given the tools and the opportunity to help children who have experienced hardships most of us have never faced. Our victory for our client is, hopefully, the first of many!”
- Arpineh Oganesyan, 3L
Terrific work, Arpineh, and James! We are so proud of the two of you and the incredible work you've accomplished in the clinic!