Legal Leaders To Be Honored at 2018 Commencement
Head of National Immigration Law Center and retired Chief Judge of the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court will receive honorary degrees at the state's only law school.
Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, will deliver the 2018 commencement address at Roger Williams University School of Law on Friday, May 18, when more than 125 graduates receive their law degrees.
Hincapié will also receive an honorary degree from Rhode Island’s only law school. In addition, RWU Law will present an honorary degree to the Honorable George E. Healy Jr., retired chief judge of the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court.
Since 2008, Hincapié has been executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, the only national legal advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. She began her tenure at NILC in 2000 as a staff attorney, leading its labor and employment program. Before joining NILC, she worked for the Legal Aid Society of San Francisco’s Employment Law Center, where she founded the Center’s Immigrant Workers’ Rights Project.
Judge Healy retired in July 2015 after 24 years on the Rhode Island Workers' Compensation Court. Prior to being named to that court by Governor Bruce Sundlun, Judge Healy was a civil litigator and workers' compensation practitioner. He was among the inaugural class of the court's judges after its creation in 1991. He was appointed chief judge by Governor Donald Carcieri in 2004. He taught at RWU Law as an adjunct faculty member for many years.
“We are thrilled to welcome Marielena Hincapié back to Rhode Island to address the members of the Class of 2018,” RWU Law Dean Michael J. Yelnosky said. “Her personal journey is a powerful manifestation of America’s promise of opportunity, and she has dedicated her professional life to making sure that promise remains a reality.”
Yelnosky said, “Chief Judge Healy has been a great friend of the law school, and he served Rhode Island with great distinction as a judge. He helped lead reforms that saved the workers compensation system, which provides benefits to Rhode Island workers injured on the job. Like Ms. Hincapié, he dedicated his professional life to ensuring that vulnerable members of the community receive the support they deserve.”