Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Mark F. Walsh for the ABA Journal reports that the legal and political furor set off by President Trump's travel ban and related executive orders has had a profound impact on U.S. law schools and students. Interest in immigration law is surging, and schools are ramping up programs and staffing to meet soaring demand from students and immigrants.
In the long term, the trend also could birth a new wave of immigration law specialists. “One of the silver linings of this administration’s policy for immigrants is it’s recruiting a generation of advocates,” says Maureen Sweeney, an immigration law instructor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Evidence that immigration law has gained a new cachet on campuses isn’t hard to find. At the Fordham University School of Law, for example, enrollment for the introductory immigration law course this fall more than tripled to 90 students from last year.
“We had to move to a larger room,” says Jennifer Gordon, a professor who teaches the class at Fordham. “Student demand jumped enormously.”
Similarly, Sweeney says her immigration law class has doubled in size to more than 50 students. Further, 9 percent of incoming students chose immigration as one of their top two law specialty preferences, an increase from 4 percent in 2014.