Georgetown Law Establishes Delaney Family Professorship in Public Interest Law
Wednesday, 9/23/2009 3:30 PM (EST)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Georgetown University Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff is pleased to announce the appointment of Georgetown Law Professor Philip Schrag to the newly established Delaney Family Professorship in Public Interest Law. He will be formally installed in a ceremony at the Law Center on September 23. Professor Schrag's Inaugural Lecture of the Delaney Family Professorship is available here.
"Phil Schrag is a prolific scholar on a wide variety of public interest topics, including consumer protection, immigration, financing higher education and clinical legal education. This professorship is a well-deserved honor," said Aleinikoff. "We are deeply grateful to April McClain-Delaney and John Delaney for their generosity in endowing the professorship and for their outstanding service to Georgetown."
Schrag has been a longtime advocate for law students who wish to pursue public interest careers. His work was instrumental to the passage of the student loan forgiveness program for public service employees that Congress included in the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, passed and signed into law in 2007.
The reforms sought by Schrag and others will enable thousands of current and future student borrowers to choose their careers without being unduly influenced by their debt burdens. It will also allow government agencies and non-profit organizations to retain talented professionals who might otherwise seek higher-paying jobs in order to repay student loans.
Schrag has also been a tireless advocate on behalf of refugees seeking political asylum in the United States. Last year, Schrag and his former client, David Ngaruri Kenney, published, Asylum Denied: A Refugee’s Struggle for Safety in America (University of California Press, 2008), the chilling story of Kenney’s attempt to escape persecution in his native Kenya and gain asylum in this country. Yale Professor Bruce Ackerman described it as "a fabulous book – a love story, a law story, a struggle against death, a battle for justice, and much more."
On September 1, New York University Press published Schrag’s latest book, Refugee Roulette: Disparities in Asylum Adjudication and Proposals for Reform, co-authored with Georgetown Law Visiting Professor Andrew I. Schoenholtz and Temple University Beasley School of Law Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales, Georgetown Law LL.M. 2006. The book is an expanded version of their 2007 Stanford Law Review article, "Refugee Roulette," which uncovered immense disparities in refugee adjudications in U.S. immigration agencies and courts. The authors demonstrated that the outcome of an asylum case depends to a great extent on the personality, background and prior experience of the adjudicator, rather than the merits of the claim. A story about the study appeared on the front page of the New York Times on May 31, 2007.
Schrag is the author of fourteen books, including A Well-Founded Fear: the Congressional Battle to Save Political Asylum in America (1999) and Ethical Problems in the Practice of Law (Aspen, 2d. ed. 2002), co-authored with his wife, Professor Lisa Lerman, Georgetown Law LL.M. 1984, who teaches at Catholic University Law School.
In 2008, Schrag was recognized for his contributions to public interest law with the Deborah L. Rhode Award from the Association of American Law Schools and the Equal Justice Works Outstanding Law School Faculty Award. In honor of his immigration law work, he received the Daniel Levy Memorial Award from Lexis/Nexis.
John Delaney, Georgetown Law class of 1988, has been the founder of several financial services firms, specializing in financing small to mid-sized businesses, including HealthCare Financial Partners and CapitalSource. Delaney is a member of the Georgetown University board of directors, OneCalifornia Bank and the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
April McClain-Delaney, Georgetown Law class of 1989, is the Washington director for Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization led by individuals with experience in child advocacy, public policy, education, media and entertainment. The organization provides family reviews and ratings of media and entertainment choices for kids and families, including movies, television programs, video games and Websites. McClain-Delaney oversees the Delaney Family Foundation and currently serves on the Georgetown Law board of visitors. She is active on the boards of various children’s and family charities, and she and her husband participate in a variety of philanthropic causes that focus on education and at-risk families.
About Georgetown University Law Center
Georgetown University Law Center is one of the world's premier law schools. It has the largest full-time faculty in the nation and is pre-eminent in several areas, including constitutional, international, tax and clinical law. Drawing on its Jesuit heritage, it has a strong tradition of public service and is dedicated to the principle that law is but a means, justice is the end. With this principle in mind, Georgetown Law has built an environment that cultivates an exchange of ideas and the pursuit of academic excellence. It brings together an extraordinarily varied group of teachers, scholars and practitioners, as well as an outstanding student body representing more than 60 countries.