The primary goals of the Clinic are:
- to provide law students with a high quality legal education.
- to serve the community by providing high quality legal services to indigent refugees and immigrants who would otherwise lack access to counsel.
In order to ensure a high quality legal education, we seek to:
- provide students with PRIMARY responsibility in making case-related decisions, conducting the necessary legal and factual research for their assigned case(s), and carrying out other decisions in the case;
help students to become familiar with the doctrines, institutions, procedures, conflicts, customs, and ethical problems unique to the practice of immigration law in a way that will not only inform future work in the immigration field but will also provide tools and insights for approaching any area of legal practice effectively and with a critical perspective;
improve students' problem-solving skills by emphasizing a model of systematic decision-making based on deliberate planning (rather than on working from hunches); identification of all possible options and assessment of the relative advantages and risks of each; appreciation of the effects of time pressures, interpersonal factors, and emotions on decision-making; constant re-evaluation of decisions as facts change; involvement of the client in the decision-making process; and after-the-fact self-evaluation ("debriefing");
- promote cross-cultural awareness, an appreciation of the way in which cultural differences may affect attorney/client interactions and case development, and an understanding of how to identify and help your clients overcome language, cultural, and racial barriers;
- encourage responsible handling and thorough exploration of ethical issues;
- encourage professional creativity;
- improve traditional skills such as interviewing, case planning, legal research and writing, witness examination, and oral argument;
- help students to improve their ability to successfully collaborate with colleagues;
- assist students in pursuing their personal goals for the course.
In order to serve the community by providing high quality legal services to indigent immigrants, we:
- conduct outreach and provide individual follow-up interviews to unrepresented, indigent people with cases pending before the local immigration court; to low-wage immigrant workers; and to other immigrants;
- provide limited legal assistance (e.g. pro se motions, referrals, applications) to unrepresented respondents, low wage immigrant workers; and people with various immigration issues;
- work in partnership with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project to identify detainees particularly in need of pro bono representation;
- closely supervise student work, require drafts of all written work and run-throughs of witness examinations and oral arguments;
- limit the number of student participants in the Clinic; and
- limit the number of individual removal cases handled by each student (usually assigning two students to cover one case jointly).
Last Updated: 03/22/2011