Immigration Clinic Overview
In this clinic students represent clients from around the world on immigration law matters, including removal proceedings and petitions for affirmative asylum, before federal administrative tribunals. While taking responsibility for all aspects of client representation, students may also engage in community legal education and draft comments on proposed federal regulations in immigration matters. Students develop an array of skills, including interviewing and counseling clients, fact-gathering, problem-solving, cultural awareness, witness preparation, negotiation, written and oral advocacy, and policy analysis. Class discussions focus on case rounds, skills development and analysis of the immigration process.
Although there are places within the Law School where students can learn the fundamentals of lawyering such as direct examinations, brief writing, and oral arguments, only in clinics will a student actually apply these traditional skills in real cases. The clinics offer students the opportunity to step into the shoes of a working attorney and offer one-on-one assistance to clients in need of representation. Furthermore, in the clinical setting students encounter the day-to-day frustrations that accompany the practice of law. Obstinate clients, surly court personnel, uncooperative witnesses–these are common in everyday practice. Students who have been diligent in their clinic duties will head into practice with the advantage of having dealt with these frustrations and knowing how to work around them.
The Jacob Burns Community Legal Clinics were founded in 1971, and were dedicated in 1991 to acknowledge the generous support of Jacob Burns (LL.B. '24, LL.D. '70). Burns was renowned for his philanthropy, through which he "contributed significantly to the expanding boundaries of knowledge," and left an enduring legacy that improves the lives of many today.