David Baluarte, a professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been elected to the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia.
Baluarte has been named to the Legal Panel of ACLU Board, where he will advise staff and other board members on legal advocacy opportunities and potentially serve as cooperating counsel in litigation proceedings.
At W&L Law, Baluarte is the Director of the Immigrant Rights Clinic, a semester long practical lawyering experience available to third-year students as part of W&L's innovative third-year curriculum. Through live representation of immigrant clients, Baluarte teaches students about the lawyering skills, values, and knowledge necessary to succeed in the legal profession.
Baluarte teaches and writes about topics ranging from immigration, refugees and stateless persons, and transnational law with a specific focus on international human rights law and practice. In a recent Roanoke Times Q&A, Baluarte addressed the importance of the activities of the ACLU.
"The ACLU is an organization that stands for the fundamental constitutional rights and liberties that serve as the very foundation for our democracy," he told the paper. "Perhaps unsurprisingly, these rights and liberties are most often threatened when unpopular groups with unpopular views attempt to invoke them. The ACLU understands that all people in our country must enjoy the protections of the Constitution if they are to have meaning, so it defends equally these rights and liberties for everyone."
The entire interview with Baluarte is available online.
Before coming to W&L, Professor Baluarte was a Practitioner-in-Residence and Arbenz Fellow in the International Human Rights Law Clinic (IHRLC) at American University Washington College of Law. In addition to his clinical teaching responsibilities in that capacity, Professor Baluarte managed projects and consulted for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI).
Before beginning his teaching career, Professor Baluarte served as a staff attorney in the Immigration Unit the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and as a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL). Professor Baluarte earned his J.D. from American University Washington College of Law, where he was a Public Interest and Public Service (PIPS) Scholar, and his B.A. from Brown University.