Students in the Immigration Clinic advocate on behalf of immigrants in a variety of complex immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the federal courts of appeals. The Immigration Clinic's primary goals are to provide law students with a quality experiential legal education and to provide high-quality legal services to indigent refugees and immigrants who would otherwise lack access to social justice.
The course has two components: (1) practicum - Immigration Clinic and (2) classroom - Administrative Trial Practice. Students earn fou/ credit hours for the practicum component and two credit hours for the classroom component. Students must enroll in the Administrative Trial Practice course. Students may be required to participate in an initial orientation or boot camp the week before classes begin. Further information regarding the dates and times must be obtained from the Clinic's supervising attorney.
As part of the practicum component, students are assigned to work on individual immigration case(s). Our student attorneys write legal briefs, argue cases before the court, conduct fact investigation and legal research, interview witnesses, interview and counsel clients, and represent clients at hearings. For cases that involve a hearing, students also prepare witnesses to testify in court and represent the client at the hearing. Students are responsible for gathering documents, preparing immigration forms and applications, and drafting pleadings and other supporting material. Also, students may participate in interviewing sessions with immigrants, facing removal proceedings, to help them learn and make decisions about their options. Students learn law office management including, but not limited to, E-filing, file management (electronic and hard-copy), managing schedules, trial dates and hearings, coordinating appointments and meetings, scheduling conference rooms; coordinating with clients, opposing counsel, and court personnel to obtain and provide information and/or documentation related to legal matters. All students also prepare for and attend regularly scheduled individual supervision meetings with the clinic's supervising attorney to develop and review case action plans; ensure thorough preparation and evaluation of all options in casework; and examine ethical, moral, cultural, and legal issues that arise in the course of the work.
The classroom component is partly a skills seminar (covering topics such as interviewing, drafting pleadings or brief writing, and preparing for trial), but also includes discussions of ethics and professional identity as well as of broader issues regarding immigration law and policy. Students will participate in "case rounds" whereby Issues students confront in their casework are discussed in the classroom so that students may learn from each others' experiences, explore legal and practical issues in context, and gain exposure to a broader range of approaches to providing legal services to immigrants.
Contact Supervising Attorney or Clinic Director
Submit application, be interviewed and approved by the supervising attorney. Credits: Six
Number of Participants:
8 to 10 per semester
2nd semester 2Ls and 3Ls
Average Time Commitment:
12 to 15 hours per week
YMCA, Catholic Charities, Tahirih Justice Center, and walk-ins.