CCCJP Outstanding Students

CCCJP Outstanding Students Blake and Christian

Blake Ackerman (left) and Christian Flores (right).

Blake Ackerman, 2023 Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic Outstanding Student

Blake Ackerman enrolled in CCCJP for the Fall 2021 semester and became a certified law student in order to make court appearances for the clients, including one for which his discussion with the Deputy District Attorney prior to the court hearing made the difference in the petition being granted. He also has and continues to raise awareness among students about the CCCJP clinic.

As an undergraduate at the University of Southern California (USC), Blake participated in a group focused on helping formerly incarcerated students enrolled at USC, so he understood the obstacles facing those individuals when he joined CCCJP. One of his clients for CCCJP served multiple prison terms in a fire camp through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and CAL Fire and was eligible to apply for relief under the newly enacted inmate firefighter expungement. Blake’s work was excellent; in particular, he wrote an exemplary declaration after talking to the client that led to various courts granting the petitions. His final project for CCCJP was a presentation on State Bar applicants who have criminal convictions, and he investigated the topic thoroughly despite the lack of public information about the admissions process for those applicants. Blake recently obtained a judicial clerkship in Hawaii, another tribute to his being an outstanding student.

Christian Flores, 2022 Loyola Social Justice Law Clinic Outstanding Student

As a certified law student in the Collateral Consequences of Conviction Justice Clinic in Spring 2022, Christian represented clients at eight court hearings to advocate for the granting of post-conviction relief petitions that remove barriers to employment.  One of these hearings was for a client seeking to seal an uncharged crime arising out of an arrest for driving under the influence that was subsequently filed by the District Attorney. Christian completed the petition for the client and then successfully argued for the sealing.  Currently Christian is working on a motion to vacate an attempted murder conviction for a CCCJP client, a motion that is possible due to recent amendments to the murder law.  Christian’s commitment to learning about criminal law practice is long-standing.  After he graduated from Santa Clara University, chose to attend Loyola Law School because of its emphasis in clinical legal education and criminal law.  Prior to enrolling in CCCJP, he also participated in the Hobbs/Poehls District Attorney Practicum, where he was assigned to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in Compton as a certified law clerk.