Students must register for Law 397C and 397D, for a total of six credits.
Students in the Immigration Clinic represent vulnerable low-income immigrants from all over the world before the immigration and federal courts and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Students gain hands-on experience by taking on the primary responsibility and decision-making authority for their cases, under the mentorship of the clinic faculty.
The clinic’s caseload varies each semester but primarily focuses on detention and deportation defense and asylum cases. The clinic has handled cases for clients from, among other countries, Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Guinea, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
In addition to handling a specific caseload, students provide pro-se assistance and direct legal representation to women and children detained at the Hutto and Karnes immigration detention centers. Students also engage in larger national and international human rights advocacy projects and collaborate with national organizations to reform and improve the rights of immigrants in the U.S.
Through client representation and advocacy as well as the classroom component of the clinic, students learn substantive immigration law. Students also develop client relationship skills and practice and master a variety of legal advocacy techniques. The clinic allows students to explore different models for effective and collaborative lawyering.
The Immigration Clinic meets for class two times per week for an hour and a half. Grading is on a pass/fail basis for this six-credit hour clinic. There is no final exam or paper. Students should expect to spend 10-20 hours per week on clinic work, including class time and office hours. Students will occasionally travel to detention facilities and to San Antonio where the Immigration Court and DHS offices are located.
Students are encouraged to apply for the clinic during early registration as enrollment is limited and faculty permission is required to register. Students should submit an application, available on the Immigration Clinic website, by the end of the early registration period. The application questionnaire should be returned to the clinic's administrator, Lourdes Diaz, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by hand to the clinic office at CCJ 1.310. Students may request to be placed on a waiting list if space is unavailable during early registration.
For more information about the Immigration Clinic, contact Denise Gilman (email@example.com) or Lourdes Diaz (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also invite you to visit the Immigration Clinic offices.