About USC Gould
USC Gould is a top-ranked law school with a 120-year history and reputation for academic excellence. We are located on the beautiful 228-acre USC University Park Campus, just south of downtown Los Angeles.
Learn about our interdisciplinary curriculum, experiential learning opportunities and specialized areas.
USC Gould helps prepare you for a stellar legal career. You can pursue a JD degree, one of our numerous graduate and international offerings, or an online degree or certificate.
Participate in an unparalleled learning experience with diversity of people and thought. Get involved in the law school community and participate in activities that enhance your studies.
We work closely with students, graduates and employers to support successful career goals and outcomes. Our overall placement rate is consistently strong, with 94 percent of our JD class employed within 10 months after graduation.
Our faculty is distinguished for its scholarship, as well as for its commitment to teaching. Our 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio creates an intimate and collegial learning environment.
- Alumni and Giving
2022 Equal Justice Works Fellowship winner has a passion for immigrant rights
USC Gould School of Law
- ABOUT USC GOULD
- A MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
- + HISTORY OF USC GOULD
- LAW, RACE AND EQUITY
- + NEWS
- + EVENTS
- BOARD OF COUNCILORS
- CONSUMER INFORMATION (ABA REQUIRED DISCLOSURES)
- VISIT US
- SOCIAL MEDIA
- + CONTACT US
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
The Equal Justice Works Fellowship is an opportunity for those passionate about equal justice to pursue a career in public service. This year, 3L Matthew Palmquist was named the winner of the Equal Justice Works Fellowship, the first USC Gould Public Interest Scholar to win the fellowship.
|Matthew Palmquist is the first USC Gould Public Interest Scholar to be selected for the Equal Justice Works Fellowship. (Photo / Matthew Palmquist)|
Palmquist will provide representation for detained LGBTQ migrants at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Phoenix, Arizona, from 2022 to 2024.
“Arizona actually sends more immigrants to ICE detention than California, despite being about one fifth as populous,” Palmquist said. “In addition to lacking a familiarity with the U.S. legal system, many queer migrants have experienced unspeakable trauma. This makes it harder for them to articulate their claims without a lawyer.”
Personal experience motivated Palmquist to attend law school. His mother immigrated to the United States from South Korea at a time when racist immigration quotas were a barrier for Asian immigrants. Growing up as a gay man in a conservative town also influenced his career choice.
“It wasn't great, but thanks to the privilege of my U.S. citizenship, I could leave and move somewhere more LGBTQ friendly,” Palmquist said. “However, the homophobic bullying I experienced is nothing close to the horrific violence that threatens many LGBTQ people –– particularly, transgender individuals –– abroad. Many queer people around the world do not have this freedom of movement, and relocating within one's country is not an option when the oppression of LGBTQ individuals is state-sanctioned.”
Palmquist said he owes a “great deal” of his skills to the USC Immigration Clinic and its co-directors, Professor Niels Frenzen and Professor Jean Lantz Reisz. Reisz praised Palmquist for his passion and dedication to immigration rights.
“[Matt] also is confident and eager to accept challenges, which is necessary for this fellowship which will require a lot of initiative and leadership,” she said.
As an example of Palmquist’s commitment, Reisz noted he wrote the opening brief in a Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals case in which a 19-year-old asylum seeker who was part of the “Remain in Mexico” program, had represented himself in immigration proceedings.
“After filing the opening brief that was very persuasive, the government agreed to remand our client’s case for a new hearing where the client can fully present his claim for asylum,” Reisz said. “The clinic, and Matt until graduation, will continue to represent this client.”
Reisz is confident that Palmquist will be successful in his fellowship.
“Matt is always a joy to meet with and he remains positive and encouraging to his fellow clinic students which is not easy given the heavy content of our work,” she said. “I am very proud of him and know that he will be an asset to the EJW program and the Florence Project.”
Palmquist expressed gratitude for Rachel Kronick Rothbart, director of the USC Gould Career Services Office, who he called “the best resource, counselor, cheerleader, and trusted confidante that any public interest law student could ask for.”
- Next Article: A long journey to good works
- Previous Article: From USC Law Magazine: Personal experiences fuel passion leading to public interest law fellowships
In the business of shaping entertainment: Adam Glick
January 25, 2023
Adam Glick (JD 1994) is Executive Vice President and Head of Business Affairs Warner Bros. TV
Shaped by education
January 23, 2023
Opportunity for future students motivates John (JD 1979) and Alaine Weiss to include USC Gould in their estate plans
From torts to sports
January 20, 2023
Alums Richard Rosenblatt, Ted Russell team up on Autograph, a new venture bringing Web3 to entertainment and sports