Immigration Clinic - Students

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.)

Courses

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.

Time Commitment

  • 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.
     

Prerequisites

Successfully Completed 32 Credits

Immigration Clinic Information Session - Spring 2022

Why This Clinic? Student Perspective

Representing Live Clients

Hear from various Miami 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 Talk about their hands-on experiences at detention centers and in the courtroom

Meet the Current Immigration Clinic Student Interns

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.


See former student interns