A victorious day in court for UCI Law students


Three students in the UCI Law Criminal Justice Clinic successfully participated in its first Certificate of Rehabilitation hearings in Orange County Superior Court, winning the court orders for their clients.

Certificates of Rehabilitation are court orders that state a person has been entirely rehabilitated following prison terms, restoring all civil rights and ending employment and occupational licensing discrimination for the rehabilitated client. Andrea Levenson (3L), Rochelle Rotea (3L), and Bianca Valencia (2L) represented two clients who served several years of prison time.

The law students prepared the petition, gathered the required materials, met with the clients and filed the required documentation with the court. At court, the law students advocated on behalf of their clients opposed by a Senior Deputy District Attorney.

In each case, the UCI Law students persuaded the judge to rule in their client’s favor. In granting one petition, the judge commented on the record that she was prepared to deny the request but upon hearing Valencia’s argument and reading the materials prepared and gathered by Rotea, she changed her mind. The judge granted the second petition, argued by Levenson, on the spot after initially saying she planned to take it under submission. Based on the students’ papers, the DA had no opposition.

The judge also commented on the record that the UCI Law students demonstrated the best practice for how a petition for Certificate of Rehabilitation should be prepared.