Comments from Participants
My experience working in the Immigration Clinic, specifically the Immigrant Workers Project, was invaluable and hands down the most enjoyable thing that I've done in law school. IWP gave me a base knowledge about client interaction, interviewing, drafting demand letters, and negotiating. The client interaction was my favorite part; there is nothing like being an advocate for people who either don't understand their rights in the workplace or who are too scared to speak up against mistreatment. Using the law to give them a voice is an incredible thing that I will never forget.
Jamie Watkins, class of 2013
I will never forget two extraordinary days from the immigration law clinic last year: the day our client was released from detention, and a few weeks later, when the judge granted her asylum. The feelings of pride, excitement and gratitude were unlike anything else I have experienced in law school, or even in life outside of school. The class component dovetails perfectly with the main case, so you have an opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of an immigration case, and then immediately put them into practice. It was a truly inspiring experience that has reinforced my desire to go into immigration law.
Molly Kincaid, class of 2013
I felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with the Immigration Clinic, first as a Bacon Program Intern during the summer, then as a clinic participant in Fall 2011. I gained invaluable experience working with the legal issues that I saw, but even more, I gained experience in working with clients. Seeing the faces and knowing the stories of the people I was helping made all the difference. I experienced the practice of law in an environment that allowed me to really take ownership of my cases, but I always knew that there was a safety net to help me in the learning process to make my experience and that of the client the best possible. I highly recommend clinic experience as an essential part of the law school curriculum.
Meredith Lynch, class of 2013
This is the beauty of the Immigration Law Clinic: While representing my client, I was encouraged to leave my comfort zone and to tackle exciting legal and practical obstacles. Normally, I would shy away from daunting tasks like these, but the Clinic changed all that. Not only is the curriculum geared to prepare you for these experiences, but you have your peers and (especially) the wonderful faculty to guide and support you along the way. After taking the course, I feel better trained, more confident, and driven to zealously represent my clients. If you want a taste of real, high-stakes lawyering while in law school coupled with a solid scholarly and practical foundation, the Immigration Law Clinic is the place for you.
Grant Wille, class of 2013
I have no doubt that I will remember my time in the Immigration Law Clinic for the rest of my legal career. Not only did I have the chance to gain invaluable practical experience representing my first client, but I also came away with new friends, mentors and inspiration. The Clinic reinforced my commitment to continue fighting for those who are less fortunate.
Kristi Whitaker Trinks, class of 2012
The 6 credit immigration law clinic was the most enriching experience I have had in law school so far. We were afforded the opportunity to practice a wide variety of useful skills, including client interviews, trial prep and advocacy, brief writing, oral argument, and substantive immigration law research. The clinic was intense, emotional, and challenging, but the experience was absolutely invaluable. I would highly recommend it to anyone.
Ben Harville, Class of 2012
The clinic was a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone. I learned a lot about immigration law— the language/terminology, procedure, cultural/social elements that go into it, and what is really expected in legal arguments. . . .This is an extremely well run and useful clinic for anyone with any interest in immigration law, or in public interest law in general.
April Fletcher, Class of 2010
The Immigration Law Clinic was, by far, my favorite experience in law school. It was a chance to get first-hand experience advocating for clients, to work closely with two awesome professors, and to put my legal knowledge to work. The clinic was one of the reasons I decided to go into immigration law after graduation, and the skills I gained in Rountree Hall come in handy every day at work.
Laura Belous, Class of 2010
My time with the Immigration Law Clinic was the most rewarding part of my law school experience. The lessons I learned by taking on a real client's case (about interviewing techniques, working in a team, managing a case file and deadlines, and handling tough situations before a judge) have been more useful to me since graduation than anything I learned in a classroom. The clinic takes hard work, but I'd do it again without hesitation.
Eric Pavri, Class of 2009
Participating in the Immigration Law Clinic was the most meaningful experience I had in law school. I had a chance to work on legal skills like interviewing, developing testimony, working with experts, and oral advocacy. Emilie Hyams [class of '06, far left] and I represented two sisters who were charged with alien smuggling, and with Lynn [Marcus]'s guidance, we were able to understand the reasons for their actions, which helped us develop a theory of the case. At the final hearing, it would have been impossible not to feel emotionally invested with so many family members present and unsure if they would be separated. After we won, I felt even greater respect for the Clinic because of the important role it serves in the community in enabling law students to develop skills while defending indigent immigrants.
Jay Sagar, Class of 2005 (with tie and glasses)
Last Updated: 08/08/2012