Thursday, January 5, 2023

Immigration @ AALS: Leveraging Service Opportunities to Maximize Student Learning in Immigration Law



Immigration @ AALS continued this morning with Leveraging Service Opportunities to Maximize Student Learning in Immigration Law. David Thronson (MSU) moderated a terrific panel featuring:

  • Violeta Chapin (CU Boulder) spoke about her absolutely AMAZING work with law students to shepherd CU Boulder staff with Temporary Protected Status through the employment-based visa process. She and her students have obtained green cards for FIVE staff members (custodians, dining) and continue to work on more. (I'm sitting here in the audience, a non-clinician, wondering about reaching out to OU about this same issue. I'm so inspired!)
  • Lenni Benson (New York Law School), folks will know her will not be shocked by this, talked about the MANY different opportunities that she's created for students -- with a natural emphasis on her biggie: Safe Passage. She offered herself as a resource on forming a nonprofit, fundraising, and the like. *NOTE: She will make time for you! And help brainstorm a million ways to make your work even more effective.*
  • Kif Augustine-Adams (BYU) spoke about taking students to Dilley to engage in direct representation of detained mothers and children during school breaks. It was fascinating to hear about what worked with the program but also what led it to end in 2019: a conclusion that at that time there was no longer a "likelihood of making positive change" where going to Dilley was more of "propping up a system that was no longer a system or law."
  • Richard Boswell (UC Law SF) talked about a variety of programs at UC Law SF (formerly Hastings). The school has a unique relationship with the Ecole Superieure de Droit de Jeremie (ESCDROJ), allowing students and faculty to travel to Haiti every academic year during Spring break since 1999. The school also offers a "Spring Break Immigration Practicum" where students  engage in a "learning internship over spring break, in which students will receive pro bono credit and be placed at a non-profit organization helping indigent migrants secure their rights in the immigration process. Leading up to and during that pro bono work, students will receive instruction in basic legal skills needed to carry out their assignments, including counseling, cross-cultural competency, document drafting, fact development/analysis, interviewing, legal analysis, legal research, oral communication and the exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibility."

Can I go back to school? I want to enroll in every one of these opportunities.


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