Faculty and Staff
Alicia Alvarez, Director and Clinical Professor of Law
Alicia Alvarez's area of interest is economic justice. She concentrates her practice in the CEDC on community and nonprofit organizations in Detroit and the metro area. She has also taught in the Michigan Clinical Law Program, focusing on employment law. Prior to coming to Michigan, she founded and taught the Community Development Clinic at DePaul University College of Law. She has also taught as a visiting professor at Boston College Law School. Professor Alvarez was a Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador and was a visiting professor at the University of El Salvador. She has consulted with clinics throughout Latin America. She serves on the Board of Directors of Vanguard Community Development Corporation. Before teaching, she was a staff attorney at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, concentrating on housing advocacy work in the Latino communities of Chicago, and at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, working primarily on housing, family, consumer, and employment matters. Professor Alvarez received her B.A., magna cum laude
, from Loyola University of Chicago, and her JD, cum laude
, from Boston College Law School.
Priya Baskaran, Clinical Fellow
Priya Baskaran is a clinical fellow with the CEDC. Prior to working with the clinic, she worked on environment and land use issues with vulnerable populations in Cambodia. Priya received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Art, Architecture, and Engineering in 2008. She served as the Symposium Editor for the Michigan Journal of Race & Law
and organized the 2008 symposium "From Proposition 209 to Proposal 2: Examining the Effects of Anti–Affirmative Action Voter Initiatives." Priya was also a recipient of the Doris McCree Award for Oustanding Student Leadership and a Clara M. Bates Overseas Fellowship.
Gowri Krishna, Visiting Clinical Professor
Gowri Krishna's areas of interest include transactional lawyering in support of community organizing and social-change movements; creating community-based institutions primarily in communities comprised of low-wage, immigrant workers; and cross-cultural lawyering. Prior to joining the Law School faculty, Professor Krishna taught in the Community Economic Development Clinic at Fordham University School of Law as a Clinical Teaching Fellow. After law school, she was awarded an Equal Justice Works Fellowship from 2006-2008 to work in the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center in New York City, where she remained as a staff attorney prior to joining the faculty at Fordham in 2010. At the Urban Justice Center, Professor Krishna provided transactional legal support (e.g., contract drafting and negotiating, corporate, tax, real estate, and regulatory compliance matters) to numerous community-based organizations. Her work also focused on forming worker cooperatives made up of low-wage, immigrant workers. She earned her AB, magna cum laude
, in social thought and analysis and political science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001, and her JD from Fordham University School of Law in 2006, where she was notes and articles editor of the International Law Journal
Brenda L. Parks, Clinic Administrator
Brenda has been with the Community and Economic Development Clinic since 2002. Prior to the Law School, she was the site manager for the Detroit and Pittsburgh offices of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young and the human resources manager for A. G. Simpson, USA.