ACBA Hispanic Attorneys Committee to Present El Sol Award to Sheila Vélez Martínez
The Hispanic Attorneys Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association will recognize Sheila I. Vélez Martínez, the Jack & Lovell Olender Professor of Refugee, Asylum, and Immigration Law at Pitt Law, as its 2018 El Sol Award honoree.
Vélez Martínez is the 11th recipient of the award which honors and celebrates the accomplishments of a Pittsburgh professional who has helped the Hispanic Attorneys Committee fulfill its mission of promoting the advancement of Pittsburgh’s Hispanic legal professionals and the Hispanic community at large.
Vélez Martínez will be honored in a ceremony Thursday, October 4 at 5:30 p.m. at La Palapa Cocina (2224 E. Carson Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203). Registration and additional details are available at ACBA website.
As director of Pitt Law's Clinical Programs and the Immigration Law Clinic, Vélez Martínez' role has become more important in the current legal climate. The Immigration Law Clinic has seen a greater caseload in the face of significant shifts in law and policy under the Trump administration.
Vélez Martínez joined Pitt Law as a visiting professor in 2010 when she first established Pitt Law's Immigration Law Clinic. She is a member of the Board of Directors of LatCrit (Latino and Latina Critical Legal Studies Inc.) and also of Friends of Farmworkers. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico School of Law. After Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico in 2017, Vélez Martínez received praise for her stewardship of bringing several law students from the University of Puerto Rico to continue their studies at Pitt Law.