Immigration Law and Litigation Clinic
Students in this course are trained to assist unaccompanied immigrant children who are facing removal from the United States in proceedings held before the New York Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Asylum Office, and in New York State (NYS) Family Courts. These children may secure counsel, but no free counsel is provided at government expense. This project requires students to master the art of interviewing the juveniles and/or their custodians. Students will be given training in working with translators and juveniles. Working with mentor adjunct faculty, the students will make an assessment of the juvenile’s eligibility for potential relief from removal (deportation). If students identify juveniles who may be eligible for relief, they will prepare detailed summaries of the basic eligibility issues. Students will observe both virtual and in-person immigration court proceedings and may also attend and/or observe family court proceedings concerning guardianships for juveniles. Students in this course will draft research memoranda and sample briefs in support of asylum, special immigrant juvenile petitions, and guardianship proceedings. Students will also work directly with Safe Passage Project mentor attorneys to aid these young people in securing both status in the United States and a stable family environment. Accordingly, some of our work is in the NYS Family Courts, and some of it is before EOIR and components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) such as the USCIS Asylum Office and in negotiations with Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) or the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that controls the detention of immigrant youth.
The course is offered in the fall and spring terms, for three credits. Students must be available at least twice a month on Thursdays for seminar meetings and legal screenings. Students should also expect to spend a minimum of eight hours per week on clinical casework.
Approved for the Experiential Learning Requirement. Enrollment is limited. Registration is binding. Application and interview are required, and the application can be found on the Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning section of the NYLS Portal.
Recommended for the Following Professional Pathways: Civil Rights/Civil Liberties; Family Law; Government/Public Sector; Immigration; International Law/Human Rights; General Practice – Litigation/Dispute Resolution