National Lawyers Guild to Honor Annie Lai

June 8, 2017

Image of Annie Lai

The National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles (NLG-LA) will honor Prof. Annie Lai at its Annual Awards Banquet on Sunday, June 11.

The co-director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) at UCI Law, Prof. Lai teaches and practices in the areas of civil and immigrant rights. Among the many matters that Prof. Lai has worked with students on in the IRC is a constitutional challenge to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s worksite immigration raids in federal district court in Arizona. The IRC is serving as lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

More recently, Prof. Lai helped draft a letter, signed by 292 legal scholars, addressed to President Donald Trump that asserted the President’s threat to pull federal funding from sanctuary cities is unconstitutional. Prof. Lai frequently partners with grassroots organizations on local policy initiatives—she was part of the effort to obtain a far-reaching sanctuary policy in the City of Santa Ana and clarified federal funding concerns along the way. Together with students in the IRC, Prof. Lai provided comment to the Santa Ana City Council regarding a legal defense fund for detained immigrants facing deportation.

“I feel incredibly honored and humbled to receive a recognition like this from the National Lawyers Guild,” said Prof. Lai. “We are living in a time when bold and creative lawyering for social justice is not just an ambition, but an imperative. The National Lawyers Guild is an organization that has long stood for those very values.”

“We are thrilled to be awarding Professor Lai, who exemplifies everything the Guild looks for in movement lawyers: someone who has committed their career to supporting the movement, vindicating the rights of the people, and sharing their passion and knowledge to uplift other advocates,” said Ameena Mirza Qazi, executive director of the NLG-LA.

The National Lawyers Guild seeks to unite lawyers, law students, legal workers and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people, to the end that human rights shall be regarded as more sacred than property interests.

The NLG-LA’s annual awards banquet will celebrate the guild’s 80th anniversary and will take place on Sunday, June 11, at 5:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel. 

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