Frequently Asked Questions – Immigration Law
Below you will find answers to many of the questions you may have about participating in the Immigration Clinic.
- Who is eligible to participate in the Immigration Law Clinic?
- What is the application process for the Immigration Law Clinic?
- What is the student selection criteria for the Immigration Law Clinic?
- How many students can enroll in the Immigration Law Clinic?
- How many hours must student attorneys devote to the Immigration Law Clinic for the semester?
- Are there any special scheduling requirements for the Immigration Law Clinic?
- Are there any special costs associated with taking the Immigration Law Clinic?
- What are the role and responsibilities of Immigration Law Clinic students?
- How is student performance assessed?
- How can I get answers to additional questions I have about the clinic?
Who is eligible to participate in the Immigration Law Clinic?
The clinic is open to both second- and third-year students. Students must concurrently enroll in the Immigration Law Clinic Course (5623). Students may only participate in one clinic or field placement per semester and second-year students who take the clinic may not retake it as 3Ls.
What is the application process for the Immigration Law Clinic?
Students wishing to enroll in the Immigration Law Clinic must apply through the common application process for all clinics and externships. In the joint application, students will be asked to rank their clinic and externship preferences, provide a resumé and answer questions regarding relevant experiences and interests in their selections. The online application form will be made available on the website once the application period opens. Please note that the application period begins and ends several weeks prior to the registration period for all other classes. As a result, interested students should plan ahead and keep an eye out for e-mails and announcements regarding the clinics and externships application period each semester. A phone or in-person interview may be required depending on the number of applicants.
What is the student selection criteria for the Immigration Law Clinic?
Although the high level of interest generally necessitates a competitive selection process, there are no set criteria for a successful candidate other than a demonstrated commitment to hard work and professionalism. In fact, clinic faculty make a concerted effort to select students with diverse experiences, backgrounds, perspectives, and interests to create a rich learning experience for all participants.
How many hours must students devote to the Immigration Law Clinic for the semester?
Students are required to devote a minimum of 135 hours to the clinic. To track time spent on clinic activities, student attorneys are required to submit weekly written time sheets.
What are the role and responsibilities of Immigration Clinic students?
Students make court appearances and gain experience in client interviewing and counseling, fact gathering and investigation, trial preparation, trial advocacy, case management, oral communication skills, and other work relevant to the practice of immigration law.
Student learning is measured through the course of the semester primarily through evaluation of written and oral reflections, participation in and contribution to class discussions, performance in client-related work, review of written materials related to court preparation and litigation, form preparation and final filings submitted to USCIS, observation of court performance, field interactions with clients and third parties, and general professionalism. Meaningful feedback designed to improve student learning during the course of the semester is provided primarily through weekly individual supervision sessions between the professor and student, as well as through edits of and comments on written materials.
In addition to review of draft motions, petitions, applications and other legal documents, students are required to complete case status memoranda for their complete case docket that is updated by the student and reviewed by the professor throughout the semester. Students must also complete detailed closing or transition memoranda at the semester’s end, for all cases assigned to them. Students participate in a mid-semester self-evaluation, and are assessed throughout the semester on preparation, participation and professionalism; mastery of skills and knowledge as exhibited in casework; adherence to Clinic policies and procedures; timeliness of assignments; etc. Students are also provided with on-the-spot feedback immediately after court hearings and observed interactions in the field.
How can I get answers to additional questions I have about the clinic?
You can contact Professor Pedro Gerson directly with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.