Miami Law’s Immigration Clinic hosted a continuing legal education seminar aimed at training lawyers on defending people against deportation. The training featured prominent lawyers and immigration judge, the Honorable Denise Slavin, who appeared in her personal capacity. Other speakers included Ira Kurzban, a Miami Law adjunct faculty member, and Dan Kesselbrenner, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild. More than a hundred people attended the all-day event.
Miami Law students participated in the training by designing and performing a mock deportation hearing. Abe Rubert-Schewel, 3L, designed the mock hearing, which involved the suppression of evidence alleged to have been obtained by immigration officials in violation of the Constitution.
“I had a blast working with the Immigration Clinic students and Professor Sharpless on the mock suppression hearing,” said Rubert-Schewel, who was a member of the Immigration Clinic last year. “Learning from Judge Slavin and the other attorneys about this cutting-edge area of law was an incredible opportunity.”
Second-year clinic student Sean Mendez-Catlin, who played an immigration defense lawyer in the mock hearing, said, “The CLE training session was very informative. Being able to interact with an immigration judge in an informal setting was invaluable. The mock hearing was a great opportunity to enhance my trial skills and to put my education to the test.” 2L students Adam Hoock, Dana Turjman, and Raman K. Mahal and 3L student Carlos Condarco also participated in the mock hearing.
The training also included an ethics presentation by 3L law students Ross Militello, Paulina Valanty, and Alexandra Friz and Professor Jan Jacobowitz, who directs the Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program at Miami Law.
“This event demonstrates that law students can partner with experienced lawyers to present training of the very highest quality,” said Professor Rebecca Sharpless, Director of the Immigration Clinic. “The high attendance reflects how much the local bar appreciates these types of trainings.”
After the training, the Clinic hosted a stakeholder meeting that brought together lawyers, organizers, and activists who work on immigration issues.
The training and meeting were co-sponsored by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, the Miami Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, and We Count!.
Sean Mendez-Catlin and Adam Hoock during the mock hearing.