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Summer 2020

Champy Scholar Fights Injustice

“My public interest law experiences have varied during my time in Law School,” Kevin Collins says, “but they always had one purpose: the service of others.”

Whether it be his service for Teach for America before coming to BC Law, his co-presidency of the Black Law Students Association, or his work in public interest, Collins is a great example of a scholarship recipient who has focused on helping others.

After his first year at the Law School, Collins worked in the Rackets Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office with colleagues prosecuting crimes ranging from construction and insurance fraud to money laundering. “Without the Champy scholarship, I would not have been able to pursue my passion of becoming a public interest lawyer,” Collins says.

As a 3L, he went on to participate in BC Law’s Ninth Circuit Appellate Program, which gives students the opportunity to argue cases in federal appeals court.

Collins and his teammates submitted a brief to the court on behalf of their client, an immigrant applying for asylum from horrific abuses she suffered in El Salvador.

In May, the team argued—via video—for her to receive protection, citing the Convention Against Torture.

“At one point, Kevin’s video feed cut out, but he quickly was able to resume a connection and kept arguing without missing a beat,” says Professor Kari Hong, the founder of the Ninth Circuit program. “Kevin was unflappable.”

For Collins, it was a rewarding and humbling experience. “I have not only learned about the complexities of immigration law in this country, but I also realized that I enjoy direct client representation,” he says.

Post-graduation, Collins is headed for the New York City Law Department as an assistant corporation counsel.

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