David Baluarte Appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at W&L Law
David Baluarte, associate clinical professor of law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, has been appointed associate dean for academic affairs by Dean Brant Hellwig. Baluarte succeeds Johanna Bond, who served as associate dean for three years and will return to the faculty following a sabbatical.
“David is the consummate educator. He has taken on significant administrative responsibilities since joining W&L Law in 2013, and he is a remarkably collegial colleague,” said Hellwig. “Those qualities make him ideally suited to serve the Law School in this critical capacity, and I look forward to working with him in the years ahead.”
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. He is a frequent commenter in the media on immigration issues and has provided commentary recently on birthright nationality in the United States and the denationalization of former members of ISIS.
Since 2013, Baluarte has directed the Immigrant Rights Clinic, a practical lawyering experience for upper-level students. In 2015, Baluarte and his students won asylum for a client in one of the best-known cases of statelessness in the U.S. Mikhail Sebastian, sometimes referred to as the ‘most famous stateless person in the U.S.,’ was granted asylum after 15 years in legal limbo.
Baluarte was awarded a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant in 2016 to study the stateless population in Argentina. He is a member of the advisory council of the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to promoting an integrated, human rights based response to the injustice of statelessness and exclusion. He is also a member of the steering committee of the Americas Network on Nationality and Statelessness, a network of civil society organizations and individual experts committed to address statelessness in the Americas.
“I am thrilled for this opportunity to support the W&L Law leadership in continuing to develop and refine our academic program,” said Baluarte. “It is an honor to shape the academic experience of W&L Law students, and I will maintain the institutional commitment to provide our students with an excellent legal education and ready access to world class professors. Further, I will bring my perspective as a clinical law professor to the academic deanship, and sustain W&L Law’s long commitment to preparing students for practice. I look forward to working closely with my faculty colleagues in the coming years to ensure that W&L Law stays on the cutting edge of legal education.”
Before coming to W&L, 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, 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, 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). 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.
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