What do students do in this clinic?
Represent non-citizen clients applying for political asylum; immigration status for victims of domestic violence, violent crimes, or trafficking; family-based immigration status; or other relief. Students also spend two full days a semester at the Immigration Center in Fort Snelling interviewing and representing detained non-citizens in hearings.
What happens in the classroom component?
Students learn about the different forms of immigration relief that form the basis of the students’ casework.
What do students learn in this clinic?
Time, case, and client management; how to work with clients from diverse backgrounds; how to work with clients who have suffered trauma and dislocation; how to marshal and present facts persuasively in affidavits, application materials, and administrative hearings. This clinic also introduces students to lawyers and others in the immigration practice community.
When is this clinic offered?
Every fall and spring semester. Students may enroll in the Immigration Clinic in the summer for credit, but only if they have either already completed the classroom component in a previous semester or are planning to enroll in the subsequent fall.
How many credits?
Are students permitted or encouraged to take this clinic for additional semesters?
Because of the nature of the cases, it is common for students to take an additional semester to continue working on their cases.
J-Term Immigration Clinic:
Students in the J-Term Immigration Clinic travel to Dilley, Texas for one intensive week interviewing and representing persons detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Students receive on-site training and supervision for interviewing clients seeking asylum and representing them in credible fear interviews and hearings. Proficiency in Spanish is strongly preferred for students participating in the J-Term Immigration Clinic.
Are there any required or recommended pre-requisites?
No formal pre-requisites. Professional Responsibility and Advocacy are helpful but not required. Students who co-enroll in the Immigration Clinic and the Immigration Law class have found it mutually beneficial to take them at the same time. Having proficiency in a second language is a plus.
Can students with full-time jobs take this clinic?
Students must be available at least two full days per semester to appear in detain court; at least once a week for a two-hour supervision meeting with the supervising professor; and as needed for meetings with clients and casework. The timing of client meetings and weekly supervision meetings is flexible.
Can students who live outside the Twin Cities take this clinic?The J-Term Immigration Clinic can be taken by students who live outside the Twin Cities.
Who should take this clinic?
Students with a desire to work with immigrant communities (Somali, Hmong, Karen (Burmese), or Hispanic); students interested in pursuing a career in immigration law; and students interested in working in the area of domestic violence.