Volume IV / Issue 4

From the Editors

UCI School of Law was founded on a commitment to public interest work. Now in our fifth class, the student body and the broader Law School community remain dedicated to providing advocacy and legal assistance for those who lack access to these necessary resources. In the process, the work of many of our students has transcended traditional legal boundaries in ways that are indicative of our roles, not only as lawyers-in-training, but also as shapers of policy, as community members and organizers, and as fellow human beings. The Voice is proud to continue its annual tradition of publishing the stories and reflections shared by just a few of our many peers who have dedicated their time, energy, and unique skills to help make a difference in this world. This issue is a tribute to, and hopefully a source of inspiration for, all of you.

Sincerely,
Caroline Reiser and Sam Titelman
Executive Editors

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Our Week in Cairo, Egypt

Over Spring break, we had the opportunity to travel to Cairo, Egypt, on behalf of the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (“IRAP”). When we think back to our first impressions of the city, we think of chaos. Looking out over the city from our rooftop hostel, we saw an expanse of gray-brown buildings covered in layers of sand and dust from the Sahara, punctuated by satellite dishes and the occasional dot of color from a billboard or clothesline. From the sidewalk, we saw streets jammed with traffic in every direction. The constant honking of horns competed with the calls to prayer emanating from the city’s thousands of Mosques. READ MORE.

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Giving back to the Gulf Coast

Spending Spring Break on a Mardi Gras trip sounds like a week unworthy of publication, that is, until you find out that UCI Law’s Pro Bono directors scheduled it. After landing in New Orleans Sunday afternoon, our group of 19 law students drove across the Gulf Coast to Biloxi, Mississippi. The town is one of the largest gaming centers in the nation, and yet both Hurricane Katrina and the British Petroleum oil spill of 2010 devastated its people and coastline. Driving through the city, the signs of damage are everywhere: empty lots where homes were swept away, significant population losses due to fears of further disaster, and a coastal economy that now depends on tourism due to the oil spill’s destruction of the ecosystem. READ MORE.

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Why I Fight Against the Drug War

I’m about to tell you about the most terrifying experience of my life, the event that solidified my dedication towards a particular social justice movement and motivated me to go to law school. This is the first time I’ve ever told this story publicly or tried to put it all down on paper, so bear with me. A few years ago, during my sophomore year of college, I was hanging out with friends in their backyard off campus. It was a nice Friday evening, and there was a party going on next door. One of my friends had set up his new DJ decks and speakers and was about to start spinning. What happened next was a whirlwind. READ MORE.

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One Eye on the Future, One on the Past: Lessons from Pro Bono in Mississippi

Mississippi native, William Faulkner, wrote “the past is never dead.  It’s not even past.”  Had he not written those words over 60 years ago, one might conclude that Faulkner meant them specifically for present-day Biloxi.  For eighteen UCI Law students spending their spring break at the Mississippi Center for Justice (MJC), Hurricane Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and a crippled educational system brought the past into sharp focus. READ MORE.

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Good Faith Advice

Dear Socrates & Gertrude, I could really use your advice! I’m stuck in a common relationship predicament – I’m dating someone who goes to a different professional school in a different city, and we’re both incredibly busy all the time. Any advice for keeping our relationship strong while we both are dealing with the stress of pursuing our individual goals?Best, Feeling Like Katrina with no FEMA, Like Martin with no Gina, Like a Flight with no Visa. READ MORE