This is a full-year clinic offered for 10 credits (5 credits/semester) and students will receive separate letter grades at the end of the year for the clinic work and seminar. The clinic is open to day and evening students in their last two (2) years of law school and Accelerated JD students in their last year. The Immigration Clinic seeks to meet the greatest needs for immigrant representation currently present in the local community. Students will represent low income non-citizens facing deportation from the United States, and non-citizens seeking lawful status and naturalization with a primary focus on individuals who are detained by ICE. Individual representation includes appearing before the Immigration Court in Boston to argue for bond, examine witnesses, challenge removability and litigate applications for relief. Students will also prepare and file complex immigration applications with US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Such representation requires in-depth fact development, client interviewing, legal research and writing, witness preparation, and oral advocacy. Types of cases vary but usually include Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, asylum, cancellation of removal, and adjustment of status. Students may also work on a range of legislative and advocacy projects that will include collaborations with nationally recognized co-counsel, community organizations and the media.
The clinic includes a two-hour per week seminar. The class will focus on preparation for direct client representation before the Immigration Court and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with a heavy emphasis on the Immigration and Nationality Act, its accompanying regulations and interpretive case law and agency memoranda. Students will also work on developing effective lawyering skills, engage in critical reflection of their performance, explore the ethical implications of their work, and an individual professional identity in the class.
Time commitment: The seminar for the clinic takes place on Wednesdays, 4-6pm. Each student will also need to set aside an hour a week for supervision with the clinic professor, days and times to be determined. The case work in the Immigration Clinic requires a minimum of 13 hours per week outside of class and supervision meetings. This does require daytime hours as court and client meetings typically occur between 9:00am-6:00pm. Please speak with Professor Shah if you have questions about the time commitment. In the fall semester, there will be one all-day boot camp to introduce student to key legal concepts that you will use throughout the year. Date and time for the boot camp to be determined.
Pre/co-requisites and Language Ability: Preference for students who have taken or are currently enrolled in Immigration Law and Constitutional Law and Criminal Procedure. Students are also strongly advised to take a Trial Practice course as trial skills are extremely helpful in the clinic. Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in Evidence. Fluency in relevant languages other than English (particularly Spanish and Portuguese) is preferred.
Grading: Students are evaluated mid-year to assess progress and set goals. Students will receive separate letter grades at the end of the year for the seminar portion of the clinic and for the casework. If you have any questions contact Professor Ragini Shah.