In the Immigration Clinic 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 Immigration Clinic's classes focus on substantive law, legal ethics, and structured discussions about clinic cases while also developing lawyering skills and case strategy. A critical component of the class is participation in mock and moot exercises aimed at developing core abilities like interviewing, counseling, and courtroom skills.
- This clinic is a two-semester, 6 credits in-house, live-client clinic.
- Casework and supervision: Students are required to spend an average of 3-4 hours per credit per week on clinic related casework, weekly supervision and class.
- Class Requirement: Clinic class meets for one hour and twenty minutes twice a week.
Successfully Completed 32 Credits
Immigration Clinic Information Session - Spring 2022
Why This Clinic? Student Perspective
Hear from various University of Miami School of Law students as to why representing live clients in the Immigration Clinic was one of their most fulfilling law school experiences, and why through the clinic in particular "We really work with a lot of people who have a real need, we're really their last resort ... before they're deported from the United States."
2Ls Lindsey Adkin, Ross Militello, and Shireen Judeh talk about their hands-on experiences at detention centers and in the courtroom:
Meet the current Immigration Clinic student interns
|Abbey Schultz is a 2L student from Tallahassee. Over the summer, Schultz worked at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen. In addition to being enrolled in the JD program at Miami Law, she is studying for her LL.M. Masters in international arbitration. In the Immigration Clinic, Schultz has worked on an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, the case of a detained woman in removal proceedings, and a petition for writ of mandamus in U.S. District Court.|
Alejandra Gonzales is a 2L student born in Lima, Peru and raised in Miami, Florida. Over the summer, she worked at the City of Jacksonville Office of General Counsel. Currently, she is the Secretary of the Immigration Students Law Association and a member of the Hispanic Law Student Association, First-Generation Law Association, and Miami Law Women. With the Immigration Clinic, she is working on a cancellation of removal case before the Miami Immigration Court. She is also participating in a court observation project.
Ashley Plotkin is a 3L student who recently went to Krome Immigration Court and represented her client in a hearing.
|Barbara Jimenez is a 2L student born in Cuba and raised in Miami since the age of seven. Over the summer, Jimenez worked at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, and she is currently part of the Inter-American Law Review. In her time with the Immigration Clinic, Jimenez has been working on the case of a client in removal proceedings who has an upcoming merits hearing. Jimenez is also participating in a court observation project.|
|Benjamin Brooks is a 2L student from North Carolina. Over the summer, he worked as a David P. Catsman Fellow in the Community Economic Development & Housing Project at the Center for Ethics and Public Service. Brooks is also a member of the Charles C. Papy, Jr. Moot Court Board and the Democratic Law Student Association at UM. His involvement with the Immigration Clinic has included working on the Patel v. Garland Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court and working on multiple challenging cases involving detained clients.|
|Blanca J. Alcaraz Serrano is a 2L student from Colombia. She spent half the summer of 2021 working with a law firm called Jenner & Block and the other half at UBER. She is the Student Bar Association Historian and Vice President of University of Miami’s Christian Legal Society. Currently, Alcaraz Serrano is working with a client in removal proceedings to prepare for an upcoming merits hearing. Alcaraz Serrano is also participating in a court observation project.|
|Carolina Gonzalez is a 2L student born in Havana, Cuba and raised in Miami. Over the summer, Gonzalez worked as a law clerk for the Civil Litigation Department at Gallardo Law Offices, P.A. Currently, she is involved in the Disabled Law Students Association and is working with ACLU of Florida to monitor treatment of detainees at Glades Detention Center. Gonzalez’s work with the Immigration Clinic has included helping clients apply for U.S. citizenship, reunite with separated family members, and seek asylum. Gonzalez is also working on a court monitoring project to ensure that migrants are given adequate hearings.|
|Christin Swanepoel Stevens is a 2L student from Pretoria, South Africa. Over the summer, Swanepoel worked at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office and was a Summer Public Interest Fellow with HOPE. She is currently a 2L Student Bar Association senator, serves as the secretary of Alliance Against Human Trafficking, and is co-chair of the Public Interest Committee. In her time with the Immigration Clinic, Swanepoel has worked on a BIA appeal, petition for writ of mandamus, and temporary protected status renewal. She is currently assisting a client apply for lawful permanent residency in the United States.|
|Daniel Valentin is a 2L student from Miami, FL. Over the summer, Valentin interned with Judge Andrea Wolfson at the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida. Valentin also serves as the Vice-President for OUTlaw, Miami Law’s LGBTQIA+ diversity and advocacy organization. In his time with the Immigration Clinic, Valentin has worked on the Patel v. Garland U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief and two challenging prolonged detention cases. He is currently working on a petition for writ of mandamus.|
|Daniela Torres is a 2L student from Caracas, Venezuela. Over the summer, Torres did a Sustained Impact Fellowship with Squire Patton Boggs. Torres is currently a mentor in the PINPal Program and a Miami Public Interest Scholar. With the Immigration Clinic, Torres is helping clients apply for a naturalization and asylum. She is also developing a fact sheet for individuals held on detainers request as a part of the partial settlement agreement in a class action against Miami-Dade County.|
|David Mancia-Orellana is a 3L student born in San Salvador and raised in Rogers, Arkansas. This summer Mancia-Orellana clerked at two Arkansas firms: Friday, Eldredge, & Clark, LLP; and Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. Currently, Mancia-Orellana is involved in Race and Social Justice Law Review as Chief Comments & Notes Editor, Immigration Students Law Association as Vice President, and First-Generation Law Association. This year, as the Clinic Fellow, Mancia-Orellana is helping develop a court monitoring project that collects data from the new Dedicated Docket at the Miami Immigration Court.|
|Diego Rosette is a 2L student from Mexico City. Over the summer, Rosette worked at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office and was a Summer Public Interest Fellow with HOPE. Rosette is currently involved in the Society of Bar & Gavel, the Criminal Law Society, and the Hispanic Law Student Association. Rosette is working with the Immigration Clinic on an asylum case scheduled for a merits hearing.|
|Dora Haque is a 2L student from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Over the summer, Haque worked on multiple projects with UM Law’s Human Rights Clinic. She mainly focused on studying reports on police conduct and accountability to provide a template for studying the systematic failures of the Collier County Sheriff’s office in Immokalee. Haque is also an Articles and Comments Editor for the Race and Social Justice Law review, as well as involved in the Real Property Probate and Trust Society, Honor Council, Asian Pacific American Student Law Association, Mental Health Collective, and the Cannabis Law League. In her time at the Immigration Clinic, Haque has helped with the Patel v. Garland U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief, filed writs of mandamus, requests for prosecutorial discretion and request for U-Visa, and interviewed detainees at the Glades detention facility, among many other things.|
|Ivan Aaron Rudd is a 2L student from Oakland, New Jersey who worked for Federal Magistrate Judge Maynard before joining the Immigration Clinic this year. Rudd has worked on a BIA appeal brief and is currently working on a renewal of temporary protected status, petition for writ of mandamus, and relief for a potential new client.|
Nelson Garcia is a 2L student. Garcia’s involvement with the Immigration Clinic has included working on an asylum and temporary protected status case.
|Rafael Amador is a 3L student from Ecuador. Over the summer, Amador worked for the Law Office of Robert M Bell, handling removal defense cases for immigrants by conducting research and filing motions, appeals, and waivers. Amador’s involvement with the Immigration Clinic has included working on an asylum and temporary protected status case. Amador has conducted research and constant interviews with the client to proceed according to their needs and aspirations.|