Asylum Clinic

Mission

Students in this course are trained to represent immigrant clients, who are refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries and seeking safety in the United States.

The Clinic

Students in this course are trained to represent immigrant clients under faculty supervision and argue cases in the New York Immigration Court and before the Newark and New York Asylum Offices on behalf of refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries and seeking safety in the United States.

The classroom (seminar) portion of the course will focus on building skills such as interviewing, researching and writing declarations and briefs, fact development, some trial advocacy, as well as working with survivors of torture and trauma, cultural awareness, and engaging with interpreters. Students will learn about the substantive law and procedure of immigration, refugee, and asylum law in the United States and will receive instruction on immigrant access to public benefits. Guest speakers and visits to the New York Immigration Court to observe immigration proceedings will further strengthen students’ knowledge.
Under faculty supervision, students will interview and counsel clients; conduct fact investigation and discovery; draft pleadings, correspondence, and motions; perform legal research and analysis; collaborate with social work professionals and country conditions experts; engage with interpreters; and appear with clients before the New York Immigration Court and at the Asylum Offices in Lyndhurst, New Jersey or Bethpage, New York. Students will also engage in community outreach through Know-Your-Rights presentations and systemic advocacy. Students may also work to develop resources for courts, attorneys, and clients related to immigration law or collateral immigration consequences in other areas. The precise work conducted during the semester will depend on clients who need representation and the posture of these cases.

Links and Logistics

Full-Year Clinic
Fall: 2 Seminar/2 Fieldwork; Spring: 2 Seminar/2 Fieldwork
Instructor: Adjunct Professor Claire Thomas
Course Description
To Apply to this clinic, please visit the OCEL Application Information Page