Established in the fall of 2009, the Immigration Clinic provides a challenging opportunity for students to advocate on behalf of immigrants in a wide variety of complex immigration proceedings. In addition to helping individual clients, students collaborate with other immigrant rights groups on projects that reform the law and advance the cause of social justice for immigrants. The clinic is dedicated to being an integral part of the wider immigrant and human rights advocacy community in South Florida and the nation.
As the primary advocates for their clients, students gain:
All of the clinic's clients are in removal proceedings before immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, or federal courts. Students have the primary responsibility for preparing cases from start to finish – from an initial factual investigation through to a final merits hearing in an adversarial setting. (Students do not need to be certified by the Florida Bar as certified legal interns in order to appear in court.) The clinic accepts cases of detained and non-detained immigrants on a referral basis from legal service providers and other organizations. A critical component of the class is participation in mock and moot exercises aimed at developing core abilities like interviewing, counseling, and courtroom skills.
The Immigration Clinic's classes focus on substantive law, legal ethics, and structured discussions about clinic cases while also developing lawyering skills and case strategy.
Successfully Completed 32 Credits
Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education
Director, Immigration Clinic
Supervising Attorney and Clinical Teaching Fellow
Law School Students Help Undocumented Immigrants in the Tampa Bay Times (March 14, 2013)
Free Legal Clinics for Deferred Action Applicants in the Orlando Sentinel (March 9, 2013)
Undocumented Residents Can Get Free Legal Help in Plant City in the Tampa Bay Times (March 9, 2013)
UM Law Students Help Undocumented Youths With Status on NBC6 (March 6, 2013)
Professor Rebecca Sharpless blogs on Chaidez case argued on November 1, 2012 before the U.S. Supreme Court
ACLU delivers a statement on behalf of several groups at UNHRC urging US government to refrain from deporting Haitians (July 4, 2012)
See photos of the Immigration Clinic in action on Flickr.
Immigration Clinic project team meet with officials at Krome Detention Center.
2L Alanna McCoy, delivered the clinic's presentation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
2L Alex Vail conducts a phone briefing with a community group.